SEACOM, Afrika’s first broadband submarine cable company, recently presented some interesting insights on internet traffic in South Africa.
As Chief Development Officer Suveer Ramdhani explains, Internet video presents the bulk of data consumption in South Africa. In 2015, he elaborates, Internet video accounted for 57.6% of data volumes in South Africa and it is projected to account 70,7% of traffic data volumes by 2020.
Also interesting to observe is that smartphones and smart devices dominate the “time spent online” category but paradoxically, it is fixed line access (includes Wi-Fi) that most South Africans use to access the Internet over mobile data.
Even though video dominates Internet traffic volumes in South Africa, there is still room for those volumes to grow further, Ramdhani adds. Low Internet penetration is not unique to South Africa but a common theme across Afrika with as illustrated above. Encouraging also is the forecasted 1 billion broadband connections and 725 million smartphones expected on the continent by the year 2020.
Also interesting to note is that currently in South Africa, smartphones account for approximately 50% of the time spent online as compared to Internet access using desktops or tablets.
Overall, these current and forecasted numbers are encouraging for both users and telcos as more people coming online likely means a drop Internet access costs (hopefully) as telcos also start adding value added services to their offerings.