MEA region to have highest growth in IP traffic worldwide; Cisco

Internet traffic in the MEA region in 2020 will be equivalent to 527x the volume of the entire Internet in the region in 2005

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MEA region to have highest growth in IP traffic worldwide; Cisco Cisco's Mike Weston: "The rapid increase in connected devices and IP traffic will create new opportunities that arise from digitisation."
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  June 20, 2016

Cisco's Visual Networking Index predicts that the Middle East and Africa (MEA) will see a 6-fold growth in IP traffic, which is the highest at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 41% by 2020.

The overall forecast for 2015 to 2020 will foresee global IP traffic to triple at CAGR of 22% over the next five years. Furthermore, more than 1bn new Internet users are expected to join the global Internet community, increasing from 3bn in 2015 to 4.1bn by 2020, and the MEA region is expected to see 445m new Internet users by 2020.

The digitisation transformation, based on the adoption of personal devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections will have an even greater impact on traffic growth. Over the next five years, global IP networks will support up to 10bn new devices and connections, increasing from 16.3bn in 2015 to 26.3bn by 2020.

Mike Weston, vice president at Cisco Middle East said: "One of the most significant changes of the next few years will be the dramatic increase in worldwide connectivity via the Internet. Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than across the Middle East and Africa where we are looking at the highest growth rate in the world with 2.4bn new devices and connections to be added by 2020.

"The rapid increase in connected devices and IP traffic will create new opportunities that arise from digitisation, delivering benefits such as reduced costs, increased efficiency and improvement in the lives of citizens."

Cisco revealed that video services and content will continue to dominate compared with other applications. In MEA, Internet video traffic will grow 8-fold from 2015 to 2020, this means that for the region 169bn minutes (321,793 years) of video content will cross the Internet each month in 2020. That's 64,359 minutes of video streamed or downloaded every second.

Advancements in the Internet of Things (IoT) are continuing to drive IP traffic and tangible growth in the market. Applications such as video surveillance, smart meters, digital health monitors and a host of other M2M services are creating new network requirements and incremental traffic increases.

With the growing dependence on mobile and fixed broadband networks, security concerns are increasingly becoming top of mind for service providers, governments, businesses and consumers. Cisco collaborated with Arbor Networks to help quantify the current and future threats of DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks.

The new DDoS analysis suggests that these types of breaches can represent up to 10% of a country's total Internet traffic while they are occurring. Over the next five years, DDoS attacks are projected to increase from 6.6m to 17m attacks. These initial findings underscore the need for more comprehensive security measures to protect data and reduce network exposure to such risks.

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