Prediction: Internet Users In Middle East and Africa Will Grow to 425 Million by 2019

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Cisco released its annual Visual Networking Index Forecast for 2015 this past week. According to the Index, the number of internet Users in the Middle East & Africa region (MEA), will experience a compound annual growth rate of 47%. This will put the number of internet users at  425 million (27% of population) by 2019.  The report also predicts that the use of social networking sites will stand at 176 million users representing 81% of total internet users.

Currently, there are 2.8 Billion internet users globally. Cisco predicts that by 2019, the internet population will stand at 3.9 Billion representing 51% of the entire global population.  Several factors will be responsible for the surge in internet usage among them increases in Internet users, personal devices, machine-to-machine (M2M) connections, faster broadband speeds, and the adoption of advanced video services.

The number of connected devices in the Middle East and Africa region is also set to grow  to 2.1 billion in 2019, up from 1.4 billion in 2014.  Interestingly, 78% of the connected devices in 2019 will be mobile.  Machine to Machine modules are expected to account for 17% of all devices connected in 2019 up from 8% in 2014. The number of Machine to Machine modules connected  in 2014 were 112.1 million with the number set to rise to 358.9 million in 2019.

Tablets accounted for 2% of the connected devices with 24.7 million devices in 2014. The number will rise to 93.1 million in 2019, accounting for 4% of the devices.  Smartphones are expected to account for 31% of the connected devices with 652 million devices up from 2014 numbers at 14% with 196.6 million. TVs will experience a 1% percentage growth with 69.4 million TVs connected up from 23.8 million in 2014.

Globally, the number of networked devices will rise to 24 billion in 2019 compared with 14 billion connected in 2014. These devices will include tablets, smartphones, and Internet-enabled TVs, as well as machine 2 machine connections and wearables among them smart watches and health monitors. by 2019, 14% of IP traffic will come from cellular connections with 53% of monthly traffic coming from Wi-Fi connections.

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