While South Africa is lagging the US and Europe in its adoption and use of web content, including video and Web TV, there are encouraging signs that corporate users are starting to recognise the benefits it can bring – and the country is moving into a more rapid adoption mode.

This is according to Andrew Aitken, a director of technology company, Antfarm, one of the country’s leading video streaming service providers.

“There has been a fear of any on-line video initiative in South Africa, due to the fact that companies are scared of non-delivery problems. But as we move inexorably into this market, this fear is waning – and I believe South African companies will start to adopt this burgeoning technology far more rapidly in the next three to five years. “

According to Cisco’s annual Visual Networking Index (VNI) – an ongoing initiative to track and forecast the impact of visual networking applications – the Middle East and Africa will have the strongest video to PC traffic growth of any region at 107% CAGR. North America is the slowest at 37%.

The report also reflects that annual global Internet Protocol (IP) traffic will exceed three-quarters of a Zettabyte (767 exabytes) in four years.

Global IP traffic grew 45% during 2009 to reach an annual rate of 176 exabytes per year or 15 exabytes per month. In 2014, global IP traffic is expected to reach 767 exabytes per year, or 64 exabytes per month.

According to the Cisco research, the average monthly traffic in 2014 will be amount to 32-million people streaming Avatar in 3D, continuously for the entire month.

Global IP traffic will quadruple from 2009 to 2014. Overall, IP traffic will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34%.

Putting this in perspective, it would take over two years to watch the amount of video that will cross global IP networks every second in 2014.

It would take 72-million years to watch the amount of video that will cross global IP networks during calendar year 2014.

According to the Cisco report, the global online video community will pass the 1-billion user mark by the end of 2010 – a figure that is exceeded only slightly by the populations of China (1,3-billion) and India (1,1-billion).

Aitken says Antfarm, which provides companies with the technological platform to enable video streaming over the Internet, has been active in the industry for more than 10 years. “We are noticing that the use of our technology is no longer limited to companies that lead in technology adoption –we are starting to see far more widespread adoption of IP video technology across a wide range of companies in all industries, as well as organizations and government.

“From the growth that is being expected in global IP traffic we, as a company, are expecting to grow exponentially,” he says.