Vodacom became the first operator in South Africa to launch a commercial LTE service, having switched on its LTE network on 10 October 2012. This was quickly followed by a commercial launch from MTN, in November, while Cell C and 8ta continue to run trials, as of late last year.
According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast for 2012 to 2017, mobile data traffic in South Africa is set to reach 98,347 Terabytes per month in 2017 – the equivalent of 25 million DVDs each month, or 271 million text messages each second.
In the Middle East and Africa (MEA), Cisco predicts that there will be approximately 849.23 million mobile users in 2017 with the number reaching 54.24 million in South Africa.
Mobile data traffic, it adds, will account for 15% of South African fixed and mobile data traffic in 2017, up from 11% in 2012. The same proportion of all cellular traffic will be off-loaded to fixed or WiFi Networks, the technology firm says.
Business Mobile Traffic in South Africa
- In 2012, South Africa’s business mobile data traffic grew 1.9-fold, or 90%.
- South Africa’s business mobile traffic will grow 8-fold from 2012 to 2017, a compound annual growth rate of 50%.
- Business will account for 19% of South Africa’s mobile data traffic in 2017, compared to 24% at the end of 2012.
Video in South Africa
- Mobile video traffic will grow 16-fold from 2012 to 2017, a compound annual growth rate of 73%.
- Video will be 73% of South Africa’s mobile data traffic in 2017, compared to 46% at the end of 2012.
- Video reaches half of South Africa’s mobile data traffic by year-end 2012.
Craig Zeeman, director transformational accounts at Cisco South Africa: “With such dramatic adoption, we are rapidly approaching the time when nearly every network experience will be a mobile one and, more often than not, a visual one as well.
“This trend is a result of the seemingly insatiable demand by consumers and businesses in the Middle East and Africa to achieve the benefits gained when connecting people, data, and things in an Internet of Everything.”