14 January 2016


    SA internet use set to skyrocket by 2019

    Projecting internet use in South Africa over the next five years, using Cisco's Visual Networking Index Global IP Traffic Forecast

    Cisco Systems Inc is a California-based tech multinational that produces networking equipment – and they continually analyse and forecast the use of IP (internet protocol) networks worldwide. In May last year, the company released their VNI (Visual Networking Index) forecast for the years 2014 to 2019.

    Two of the global findings that stood out for us:

    • By 2019, more than 51% of the world's population will be internet users (that's about 3.9 billion people), and
    • Watching videos will represent 80% of internet traffic by 2019 – it took up only 67% in 2014.

    Mobile data traffic in SA is set to increase by over 60% year on year until 2019.

    That's pretty amazing growth in five short years. But some of the projections specific to South Africa are even more impressive.

    Internet traffic

    By 2019, internet traffic in South Africa will be about 267 times greater than the volume of the entire South African internet in 2005. 

    There will be a 44% growth in traffic between 2014 and 2019 – that's about a 6-fold increase. 6.3-fold, to be exact.

    Mobile data use

    While mobile penetration in South Africa at the moment is nothing to sneeze at, mobile data traffic is set to increase 11 fold by 2019. That's an annual compound growth of over 60%. This will come as a result of data becoming cheaper as the years go by, and with greater access to networks like Vodacom's super-fast LTE network.

    Networked devices

    In 2014, it was estimated that there were 2.1 networked devices per capita in South Africa. By 2019, that could grow to 3.5 networked devices. That works out to just under 190 million networked devices in South Africa as a whole. Here's the projected breakdown of some of the devices:

    • PCs: 12%, up from 10% in 2014
    • Tablets: 11%, up from 5%
    • Smartphones: 30%, up from 22%
    • Smart TVs: 6%, up from 3%
    • Non-smartphones: 14%, down from 44%

    Network traffic

    The data shows a substantial decrease in fixed-line internet connectivity by 2019. It accounted for about 30% in 2014 and is set to drop to around 11% by 2019 – which makes sense, considering the growth in mobile data traffic mentioned above. Wi-Fi traffic is projected to increase a little, from 57.2% to 64.5%.

    Internet video

    SA Stats

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