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MEA Web users set to hit 425m by 2019: Cisco

Company’s annual VNI forecast claims 27% of regional population will be online in four years

MEA Web users set to hit 425m by 2019: Cisco
Younes: We are entering a very dynamic technological era.

The number of Internet users in the Middle East and Africa is set to reach 425m by 2019, accounting for 27% of the regional population, Cisco said today.

The US network infrastructure specialist believes the surge will be driven largely by growing demand for mobile devices, video, and social networking.

Cisco was citing its annual Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast, which is based on "independent analyst forecasts and real-world mobile data usage studies", according to the company.

By 2019 there will be nearly 3.9bn global Internet users, which represents more than half the world's population, up from 2.8bn in 2014.

Cisco's 2015 VNI forecast also reported 78% of all networked devices will be mobile-connected in 2019 and that smartphones will account for 31% (652m) of all networked devices by that time, compared with 14% (196.6m) in 2014.

"As consumers, businesses and societies in the UAE head towards the digital era with the Internet of Everything gaining momentum, VNI is even more relevant now in its 10th year than it was in its first," said Fady Younes, head of Service Providers, Cisco UAE.

"We are entering... a very dynamic technological era and the rapid increase in connected devices will benefit a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, transportation, oil and gas, utilities, government, healthcare, sports and entertainment, and education, in terms of increased efficiency, reduced costs, and, most important, improvement of the lives of citizens."

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