While video today accounts for a small percentage of mobile network traffic in Africa, it is expected to take off faster than it ever has in any other region, according to an Internet traffic trends report.
Video comprises less than 6 percent of traffic in mobile networks in Africa, according to "Global Internet Phenomena Report 2H2013," a survey from networking equipment company Sandvine, released Monday.
However, the increase in the number of smartphones being shipped to and used in Africa, the lack of adequate TV stations and the continuous effort to cut broadband Internet costs will all contribute to the growth of video in the region, according to the report.
"The African market is especially unique as most users are connecting to the Internet for the first time through mobile devices and using applications like Skype, Facebook and WhatsApp," said Sandvine CEO Dave Caputo in a release accompanying the report.
"In other parts of the world, new users have first connected to the Internet via a fixed line," Caputo said. "While video is a small part of mobile bandwidth in the region today, we predict Africa will be the fastest video adopter and operators will respond with creative device-and application-based service tiers."
Mobile Internet usage patterns on the continent are drastically different than what is observed in other regions, noted the Sandvine report. While in other regions, real-time entertainment accounts for much if not most downloads, in Africa the figure is less 6 percent.
While BlackBerry market share has eroded, its smartphones are still among the top communications devices in the region, the report noted. In addition, Africa is the only region where Opera Mini, a Web browser focused on data efficiency, is among the top 25 applications.
The "Global Internet Phenomena Report 2H2013" report was based on aggregated and anonymized data from a selection of Sandvine's 250-plus mobile and fixed service customers spanning North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Caribbean and Latin America and Asia-Pacific.