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South Africa: Massive growth in 4G and Wi-Fi connections expected

According to the latest annual update of the Cisco Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast for 2014 to 2019, the ongoing adoption of more powerful devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections may see 3G surpassing 2G as the top cellular technology, based on connection share, by 2016. 4G will account for 56.1 percent of total mobile data traffic in South Africa by 2019, compared to 15.7 percent at the end of 2014, a CAGR of 110 percent.

The forecast predicts that Wi-Fi data offloading, the use of complementary network technologies for delivering data originally targeted for cellular networks globally – is expected to surpass that of cellular traffic. The amount of traffic offloaded from 4G will be 46 percent by 2019, compared to 40 percent at the end of 2014. Traffic offloaded from 3G will go up to 42 percent from 35 percent in the same time period. Whilst traffic offloaded from 2G will be 42 percent compared to 37 percent at the end of 2014.

According to Vernon Thaver, Chief Technology Officer, Cisco in South Africa: “The increasing demand for network mobility and the emergence of 4G are among the key trends highlighted in this year’s forecast that represent significant opportunities for service providers today and in the immediate future. The challenge is not about getting Wi-Fi facilities to South African citizens but rather about ensuring that high speed internet is available not only in homes and offices but also public places like shopping centres. The findings highlight that service providers in South Africa have immense opportunities to innovatively deliver a variety of mobile services and experiences to consumers and business users as the Internet of Everything (IoE) continues to take shape.”

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