Cisco Study Highlights that Internet Traffic in South Africa is Growing 36% annually


JOHANNESBURG, South AfricaJune 19, 2014 – According to the latest Cisco® Visual Networking Index™ Global Forecast and Service Adoption for 2013 to 2018, global Internet Protocol (IP) traffic will increase nearly three-fold over the next four years due to more Internet users and devices, faster broadband speeds and more video viewing. The Middle East and Africa (MEA) region continues to be the fastest-growing IP traffic region from 2013 – 2018 with five-fold growth and a 38-percent CAGR. In South Africa, IP traffic is predicted to grow 4-fold from 2013 to 2018, which is a compound annual growth rate of 34%.

With the FIFA World Cup 2014 now well underway, tens of millions of people are viewing games and/or highlights via the Internet. Video streaming and IP broadcast of the World Cup is anticipated to generate 4.3 exabytes of Internet traffic, which is three times the amount of monthly traffic generated by Brazil (this year’s World Cup host country). In addition, Internet traffic generated by the 60,000 people in a stadium and traveling to games is forecast to surpass the average busy-hour traffic **from all 94 million smartphones in Brazil.

To place the World Cup in context, global IP traffic is expected to reach 132 exabytes per month by 2018, which is the equivalent to:

  • 8.8 billion screens streaming the FIFA World Cup final game in Ultra-HD/4K at the same time;
  • 5.5 billion people binge-watching “Game of Thrones” Season 4 via video-on-demand in HD or 1.5 billion watching in Ultra-HD/4K;
  • The season 3 premier of “House of Cards” streaming in Ultra-HD/4K on 24 billion screens at the same time;
  • 940 quadrillion text messages; and
  • 4.5 trillion YouTube clips.

Cisco VNI South Africa Highlights:

In South Africa:

  • IP traffic will grow 4-fold from 2013 to 2018, a compound annual growth rate of 34%.
  • Internet traffic will grow 4.6-fold from 2013 to 2018, a compound annual growth rate of 36%.
  • IP video traffic will grow 6-fold from 2013 to 2018, a compound annual growth rate of 44%.
  • Internet video traffic will grow 6-fold from 2013 to 2018, a compound annual growth rate of 44%.
  • HD will be 10.1% of IP Video traffic in 2018, up from 2.8% in 2013 (85.5% CAGR).
  • Mobile data traffic will grow 8-fold from 2013 to 2018, a compound annual growth rate of 53%.
  • There will be 147.7 million networked devices in 2018, up from 92.4 million in 2013.
  • Fixed/Wi-Fi was 51% of total IP traffic in 2013, and will be 65% of total IP traffic in 2018.
  • 762,885 Internet households (21.7% of all Internet households) generating more than 100 gigabytes per month in 2018, up from 116,242 in 2013.

Global Traffic Projections and Service Adoption Drivers

  • The composition of IP traffic will shift dramatically in the coming years. By 2018, the majority of traffic will originate from devices other than personal computers (PCs) for the first time. Wi-Fi traffic will exceed wired traffic for the first time, and high-definition (HD) video will generate more traffic than standard-definition video.
  • Mobile and portable devices other than PCs will drive the majority of traffic by 2018. In 2013, 33 percent of IP traffic originated with non-PC devices. However, by 2018, the non-PC share of IP traffic will grow to 57 percent.
  • Wi-Fi and mobile-connected devices will generate 76 percent of Internet traffic by 2018. Wi-Fi will be 61 percent, and cellular will be 15 percent. Fixed traffic will be only 24 percent of total Internet traffic by 2018. In comparison, Wi-Fi was 55 percent; cellular was 4 percent; and fixed was 41 percent.
  • Global broadband speeds will reach 42 Mbps by 2018, up from 16 Mbps at the end of 2013.
  • Online video will be the fastest-growing residential internet service growing from 1.2 billion users to 1.9 billion users by 2018.
  • Desktop and personal videoconferencing will be the fastest-growing business Internet service growing from 37 million users in 2013 to 238 million users by 2018.
  • The Internet of Everything is also gaining momentum, and there will be nearly as many machine-to-machine (M2M) modules as there are people by 2018. For example, smart cars will have nearly four M2M connections per car.

Cisco VNI Forecast Implications for Service Providers in South Africa

  • Service provider networks must adapt to the increasing number of devices, such as tablets, smartphones and M2M connections, that will need to be authenticated to gain access to fixed/mobile networks with enhanced security and intelligence required.
  • The evolution of advanced video services, such as HD/ultra HD video, may create new bandwidth and scalability requirements for service providers. Residential, business and mobile consumers continue to have strong demand for advanced video services across all network and device types with quality of service, convenience, and price as key factors for success.
  • Continued business video adoption, such as HD and web-based video conferencing and business VoD may prompt greater growth in network virtualization and leveraging the Internet for video transmission with network ramifications for service providers and over-the-top providers.
  • 4G network growth and service adoption may grow faster as mobile users continue to demand similar service and content experiences from their fixed and mobile networks.
  • IP networks must be intelligent and flexible enough to support the constant introduction of new/updated applications for fixed and mobile networks. Many service providers are actively collaborating with application developers to differentiate their services.

Supporting Quote
Alpheus Mangale, Managing Director Cisco South Africa:

“Our first Cisco Visual Networking Index nine years ago established the zettabyte as a major milestone for global IP traffic. Today, we are firmly in the ‘Zettabyte Era’ and witnessing incredible innovations and shifts in the industry. It’s amazing to see how, even in the four years since we hosted the World Cup on South African soil, there has been a huge growth in Internet and IP traffic, particularly in video, both locally and globally. The Internet of Things was the buzzword at the time and soccer fans were able to use an app on their mobile phones to locate their gate, seats, police assistance or medical care at the stadiums. This was groundbreaking technology in 2010. We have since entered the Internet of Everything era and the reality of this, together with the increasing demand for network mobility, and the emergence of 4K video are among the key trends highlighted in this year’s forecast that represent significant opportunities for service providers today and in the immediate future.”

Note to Editors:
Cisco VNI Methodology

  • The Cisco VNI Global Forecast and Service Adoption for 2013 to 2018 rely upon independent analyst forecasts and real-world mobile data-usage studies. Upon this foundation are layered Cisco’s own estimates for global IP traffic and service adoption. A detailed methodology description is included in the complete report (see link below).
  • Cisco also welcomes press, analysts, bloggers, service providers, regulators and other interested parties to use and reference our research with proper attribution, such as “Source: Cisco Visual Networking Index Global IP Traffic Forecast and Service Adoption, 2013-2018.”
  • This updated Cisco VNI Forecast includes global fixed IP traffic growth and service adoption trends.  This complements the Cisco VNI Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast released earlier this year.

* A zettabyte is equal to 1,000 exabytes and precedes the yottabyte unit of measurement.
** Busy-hour traffic a 60-minute period with the maximum total traffic load in a given 24-hour period.

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