By Andy Sambidge
New report says region will see annual growth of 52%, will have 1.3bn networked devices by 2015
The Middle East and Africa will be the fastest growing region for internet traffic over the next five years, according to a new report by Cisco.
The region will see a compound annual growth rate of 52 percent, leading to an eight-fold increase by 2015, Cisco said.
It added that 1.3 billion networked devices will be in use in the Middle East and Africa by 2015.
Globally, Cisco predicts that the number of network-connected devices will be more than 15 billion, twice the world's population, within the same period.
The company also said the total amount of global internet traffic will quadruple by 2015 and reach 966 exabytes per year.
Its report said the projected increase of Internet traffic between 2014 and 2015 alone is 200 exabytes, which is greater than the total amount of internet protocol traffic generated globally in 2010.
On the verge of reaching 1 zettabyte, which is equal to a sextillion bytes, or a trillion gigabytes by 2015, global IP traffic growth will be driven by an increasing number of devices, more internet users, faster broadband speeds and more video.
Cisco said by 2015, there will be nearly three billion internet users - more than 40 percent of the world's projected population.
It also said the average fixed broadband speed is expected to increase four-fold, from 7 megabits per second in 2010 to 28 Mbps in 2015. The average broadband speed has already doubled within the past year from 3.5 Mbps to 7 Mbps.
By 2015, one million video minutes - the equivalent of 674 days - will traverse the internet every second, the report added.
It said that the Asia Pacific region will generate the most IP traffic (24.1 exabytes per month), surpassing last year's leader, North America (22.3 exabytes per month), for the top spot.
Suraj Shetty, vice president of Cisco, said: "The explosive growth in internet data traffic, especially video, creates an opportunity in the years ahead for optimising and monetising visual, virtual and mobile internet experiences."