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Nigeria, other African countries near Pbps era as bandwidth capacity rise to 44%

By Adeyemi Adepetun
14 September 2022   |   4:01 am
International Internet bandwidth capacity in Nigeria and other parts of Africa has witnessed a compound yearly growth rate of 44 per cent in the last four years.

Internet photo: Gerd Altmann / Pixabay

International Internet bandwidth capacity in Nigeria and other parts of Africa has witnessed a compound yearly growth rate of 44 per cent in the last four years.

The growth rate, which was between 2018 and 2022, has been described as rapid, with Asia sitting next to Africa, rising at a 35 per cent compound yearly rate of 35 per cent within the same period.

Global telecommunications market research and consulting firm TeleGeography, which disclosed this in its latest Global Internet Geography research, which tracks the continued return to ‘normal’ from the pandemic-generated bump of 2020, noted that on a global scale – COVID bump aside-the pace of growth has been slowing.

According to the research, the global Internet bandwidth rose by 28 per cent in 2022, now standing at 997 Tbps with a four-year CAGR of 29 per cent.

TeleGeography forecasts that the Petabyte per seconds (Pbps) era will soon be underway. It stressed that despite this slower growth rate, global Internet bandwidth has still almost tripled since 2018.

It revealed that the growth in international Internet bandwidth and Internet traffic remain similar, stressing that average and peak international Internet traffic increased at a compound yearly rate of 30 per cent between 2018 and 2022, just slightly above the 29 per cent CAGR in bandwidth over the same period.

TeleGeography noted that following the COVID-19 traffic surge in 2020, a global return to more typical usage patterns meant a decline in average and peak utilisation rates. It said average traffic growth dropped from 47 per cent between 2019-2020 to 29 per cent between 2021-2022, while peak traffic growth dropped from 46 per cent to 28 per cent over the same time period.

TeleGeography Senior Research Manager Paul Brodsky, said, “after a tumultuous 2020 – with pandemic-induced volume surges and shifts in Internet traffic patterns -network operators are back to adding bandwidth and engineering their traffic in a more measured manner. Based on hard survey data gathered from dozens of regional and global network operators around the world, it’s clear that the COVID-related expansion of Internet traffic and bandwidth was a one-off phenomenon.”

TeleGeography added that many global networks have started to return to more typical rates of utilisation post-pandemic.

Global average and peak utilisation rates were essentially unchanged from last year, standing at 26 per cent and 45 per cent per cent respectively, in both 2021 and 2022.

In terms of pricing, the research noted that providers’ shift to predominantly 100 Gbps Internet backbones continues to reduce the average cost of carrying traffic. Across seven major global hub cities, 10 GigE prices fell 16 per cent compounded yearly from Q2 2019 to Q2 2022, while 100 GigE port prices fell 25 per cent.

It noted that the combined effects of new Internet-enabled devices, growing broadband penetration in developing markets, higher broadband access rates, and bandwidth-intensive applications will continue to fuel strong Internet traffic growth.
TeleGeography observed that, while end-user traffic requirements will continue to rise, not all of this demand would translate directly into the need for new long-haul capacity.

The report noted that a variety of factors would shape how the global Internet will develop in coming years. These, according to it, include Post-COVID-19 growth trajectory. It noted that initial evidence suggests that the spike in the rate of bandwidth and traffic growth in 2020 from the pandemic was a one-time event and that the world has largely returned to more traditional rates of growth, stressing that operators indicated they no longer see the pandemic leading to upward adjustments to their demand forecasts.

The report also highlighted the issue of by passing the public Internet. On this, it said the largest content providers have long operated massive networks, stressing that these companies continue to experience more rapid growth than Internet backbones and they are expanding into new locations.

According to it, many other companies, such as cloud service providers, CDNs, and even some data center operators, are also building their own private backbones that bypass the public Internet. “As a result, a rising share of international traffic may be carried by these networks,” it stated.