Middle East Has World’s Second Fastest Internet Traffic Growth

| Sep 4, 2008 | comment 1 Comment

According to a new study from TeleGeography, a telecommunications research and advisory firm, international internet traffic grew 53% between mid-2007 and mid-2008, down from 61% the preceding year.

The Middle East claims the second fastest internet traffic growth in the world, with a growth rate of 97% a year since 2005. South Asia, with its booming economies, comes in first place, with an average annual rate of 103%.
The slowest growing region of the world is North America, with a 57% annual growth rate.

Internet Traffic (TeleGeography)

For the second consecutive year, total international internet capacity grew faster than total internet traffic, leading to lower utilisation levels on many internet backbones. Between 2007 and 2008 average traffic utilisation levels decreased from 31% to 29%, while peak utilisation fell from 44% to 43%. The aggregate trend toward lower utilisation of capacity belies significant regional differences. While utilisation on international links to Europe and Asia fell in 2008, they rose in the US & Canada and Latin America where traffic growth outpaced the deployment of new internet bandwidth.

The Middle East is connected to the rest of the world by only a handful of undersea cables, and was hit hard by widespread internet blackouts in late January, after the simultaneous failure of some of these undersea cables located off Egypt’s Mediterranean coast.

Many major telecommunications company in the region are currently involved in a number of international cable projects, with more than $1 billion of investment, to augment internet capacity for the region.

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