The Middle East and Africa (MEA) will be the fastest-growing IP traffic region in the world from 2012 to 2017, showing a compound annual growth rate of 38 percent, according to Cisco's Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast for 2012 to 2017.
This will represent a five-fold growth over the projected period. In comparison, global IP traffic is expected to grow three-fold between 2012 and 2017, Cisco said in a statement.
The MEA region showed the fastest growth in IP traffic last year, too, Cisco added -- the region's IP traffic was projected to grow 10-fold, with a compound annual growth rate of 57 percent, from 2011 to 2016.
During 2012, Cisco said, the MEA region's consumer Internet traffic grew by 83 percent, while business Internet traffic grew by 63 percent.
Breaking down further the numbers for the region during 2012, Cisco said that 10 percent of consumer Internet traffic was mobile during that year, while 5 percent of business Internet traffic was mobile.
Cisco added that consumer fixed Internet traffic grew 80 percent in 2012, making up 53 percent of the total IP traffic.
Meanwhile, Internet-video-to-TV traffic increased three-fold in 2012, and the average broadband speed grew 20 percent from 2011 to 2012, from 3.1 Mbps to 3.7 Mbps, Cisco said.
This leaves the region experiencing slower broadband than the global average -- Cisco said that the world average broadband speed grew from 8.7 Mbps to 11.3 Mbps during the same period.
In terms of forecasts, Cisco said that it expects 31 percent of consumer Internet traffic and 14 percent of business Internet traffic in the region to be mobile by 2017.
In its VNI forecast, Cisco also predicted that the MEA region's IP traffic in 2017 will be equivalent to 10 billion DVDs per year. Putting it another way, Cisco said that the gigabyte equivalent of all movies ever made will cross the region's IP networks every two hours in 2017.
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