South Africa’s Internet Protocol (IP) traffic will quadruple between 2012 and 2017, at a compound growth rate of 31%.
This is one of the findings from Cisco’s Visual Networking Index (VDI) Forecast (2012-2017), which predicts that South Africa’s IP traffic (fixed and mobile) is expected to reach an annual run rate of 6,1 exabytes – almost 6,55-billion gigabytes per year – by 2017.

6,1 exabytes is equivalent to 2-billion DVDs per year, 128-million DVDs per month, or 174 939 DVDs per hour.

On a monthly basis, IP traffic is expected to reach 511 petabytes per month by 2017, up from 131 petabytes per month in 2012.

The updated study includes fixed IP traffic growth and service adoption trends, complementing the VNI Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast released earlier this year.

The VNI also forecasts that, by 2017, there will be more than 133-million network connections in South Africa (fixed/mobile personal devices, M2M connections and so on).

In South Africa, the average fixed broadband speed will increase 2,3-fold from 2012 to 2017, from 2,5Mbps to 6Mbps. The average fixed broadband speed grew 28% from 2011 to 2012, from 2Mbps to 2,5Mbps.
It is expected that 38-billion minutes (72 436 years) of video content will cross the South Africa Internet each month in 2017. That’s 14 487 minutes of video streamed or downloaded every second.

In addition, by 2017 the non-PC share of Internet traffic will grow to 20%.

As global service providers build out the Next Generation Internet, nearly half of the world’s population will have network and Internet access by 2017. The average Internet household (globally) will generate 74,5Gb per month. By comparison, in 2012, the average Internet household generated 31,6Gb of traffic per month.

The forecast also reveals that the “Internet of Things” (the networked connection of physical objects) is showing tangible growth and will have a measurable impact on global IP networks. Globally, M2M connections will grow three-fold from 2-billion in 2012 to 6-billion by 2017.

Annual global M2M IP traffic will grow 20-fold over this same period – from 197 petabytes in 2012 (0,5% of global IP traffic) to 3,9 exabytes by 2017 (three % of global IP traffic). Applications such as video surveillance, smart meters, asset/package tracking, chipped pets/livestock, digital health monitors and a host of other next-generation M2M services are driving this growth.

“Cisco’s VNI Forecast once again showcases the seemingly insatiable demand for bandwidth in South Africa as well as around the globe and provides insights on the architectural considerations necessary to deliver on the ever-increasing experiences being delivered.

“With more and more people, things, processes and data being connected in the Internet of Everything, the intelligent network and the service providers who operate them are more relevant than ever,” says Leon Wright, chief technology officer of Cisco South Africa.

The research also indicates that the Middle East and Africa will continue to be the fastest growing IP traffic region from 2012 – 2017 (five-fold growth, 38% CAGR over the forecast period); MEA was the fastest growing region last year as well (10-fold growth, 57% CAGR for 2011 – 2016 forecast period) in this category.

Asia-Pacific (APAC) will generate the most IP traffic by 2017 (43.4 exabytes/month), maintaining its leadership from last year.

By 2017, the highest traffic-generating countries will be the United States (37 exabytes per month) and China (18 exabytes per month).

For fastest growing IP traffic at the country-level, India will have the highest IP traffic growth rate with a 44% CAGR from 2012 – 2017. Second is Indonesia (42% CAGR) and third is South Africa (31% CAGR) over the forecast period.