Adoption of 4G to accelerate in SA - Cisco

South African mobile operators are eager to switch on a 4G network as soon as are allocated spectrum. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)
South African mobile operators are eager to switch on a 4G network as soon as are allocated spectrum. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Johannesburg - Networks equipped with 4G technology will generate 56.1% of total mobile data traffic in South Africa by 2019, says Cisco.

This is according to the technology company’s forecast on mobile data traffic for 2014 to 2019.

The Cisco research says that 4G accounted for 15.7% all mobile data traffic at the end of 2014. This means that the uptake in 4G mobile traffic is predicted to experience a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 110% in South Africa.

Furthermore, Cisco has said 4G connections in South Africa are expected to grow 14-fold from 2014 to 2019 at a CAGR of 69%.

“By 2019, 4G connections will be 23.2% of total mobile connections compared to just 2.2% in 2014,” say the Cisco researchers.

“This will largely be led by the growing number of smart connections in South Africa, which are expected to increase to 62% of mobile connections by 2019, from 21% in 2014,” said Cisco.

Breaking the stats down further, Cisco said that 4G smartphone traffic will be 51% of total smartphone traffic by 2019, compared to 12.9% at the end of 2014.

The company also said that 4G tablet traffic will be 93% of total tablet traffic by 2019, compared to 56.5% at the end of 2014.

In South Africa, the average 4G smartphone will generate 7 191 MB of traffic per month by 2019, compared to 3 727 MB for non-4G smartphones.

In addition, the increase in 4G adoption is further expected to boost 3G access.

Cisco has said the average 3G speed will grow 2.1-fold from 2014 to 2019 and the average 2G speed will grow 1.3-fold in the same time period.

The company noted that of all IP traffic generated in South Africa in 2014, 57% was Wi-Fi and 13% was mobile. By 2019, 59% will be Wi-Fi and 32% will be mobile.

Wi-Fi offloading

Wi-Fi offloading is also becoming a growing trend in South Africa, say the researchers.

Wi-Fi offloading occurs when a user or device switches from a cell connection to Wi-Fi and small cell access.

“In South Africa, 36% of total mobile data traffic was offloaded in 2014; by 2019, 44% of total mobile data traffic will be offloaded,” said Cisco.

“In South Africa without offload, the 2014 - 2019 South Africa mobile data traffic would grow at a CAGR of 67% instead of 63%,” added the company.

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