Mobile may dominate as an access medium for the Internet in South Africa, but it’s fixed lines that are consuming most of the data traffic — and they will continue to do so.
That’s according to Seacom chief development officer Suveer Ramdhani, who said at a press conference in Johannesburg on Wednesday — citing data from Cisco — that by 2020, mobile data will contribute only 20% of total Internet traffic in South Africa, with the vast bulk being generated by fixed-line users.
This is a direct result of the fact that the cost of fixed-line data has plummeted, whereas it’s significantly more expensive to buy mobile data. “Pricing is affecting the way we use the Internet and the flow of traffic across networks,” Ramdhani said.
And the biggest component of traffic overall is video. Again citing Cisco, Ramdhani said that in 2015 — before Netflix was launched in South Africa — video already made up 57,6% of total traffic. By 2020, this number is expected to expand to 70,7%.
Increased video consumption in the home is going to increase the case for the uncapped Internet model, with fixed-line prices expect to continue to fall. The good news, said Ramdhani, is that this is likely to put pressure on mobile network operators to cut their prices, too, to “keep your phone on their network”.
Another positive development, he said, is that with more content companies choosing to host locally — through content delivery networks, for example — the overall percentage of traffic staying in the country is increasing. — © 2016 NewsCentral Media