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MENA mobile data traffic to grow 16 times in 5 years

|By Arabian Post Staff| The latest appendix to the Ericsson Mobility Report for the Middle East and North East Africa  reveals that mobile data traffic will  experience 16 times growth by 2021.

This massive growth will be driven by availability of affordable smartphones, coupled with availability of mobile broadband networks in highly populated countries, increased number of subscribers moving to faster networks and growth of the video consumption.

Despite the extreme market variations in terms of Information and Communications Technology Maturity (ICT) throughout the region, LTE subscriptions are also expected to show immense growth throughout the Middle East and North East Africa. LTE only accounts for around 4 percent of all mobile subscriptions in 2015, however, its expected to reach over 30 percent by end of 2021.

The report, a comprehensive update on mobile trends, reveals a significant increase in mobile video consumption. Owing to the high ownership of smartphone devices and the increased availability of faster connectivity, the time spent consuming video content on mobile devices in advanced markets such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates is notably high. In fact, almost half of the time consumed on watching video is over a smartphone in Saudi Arabia..

Rafiah Ibrahim, President of Ericsson Region Middle East and Africa, said: “While the Middle East and Africa region is extremely diverse and some countries are only just adopting LTE networks, we are seeing a rapid rise in terms of data consumption and connectivity. We are currently working with our partners in the industry to introduce the next generation technologies which will fuel the transformation to the Networked Society throughout our region.”

Around 40 percent of countries in the region have launched LTE, but the technology only accounts for around 4 percent of subscriptions, most of which are concentrated in the Gulf countries. However, LTE subscriptions are expected to increase to reach 290 million by the end of 2021, equating to over 30 percent of all mobile subscriptions.