Nigeria and other countries in Africa have had a compound annual growth rate of 44% in the capacity of international Internet bandwidth over the past four years.
The growth rate, which occurred between 2018 and 2022, has been characterized as rapid, with Asia growing at a compound annual rate of 35% throughout that time, right next to Africa.
In its most recent Global Internet Geography research, which analyzes the gradual return to “normal” from the pandemic-generated bump of 2020, global telecommunications market research and consultancy firm TeleGeography found that, COVID boost aside, the pace of growth has been declining.
The study found that in 2022, the worldwide Internet bandwidth increased by 28%, reaching 997 Tbps with a four-year CAGR of 29%.
According to TeleGeography, the Petabyte per second (Pbps) era will soon start. It emphasized that, in spite of this slower rate of increase, the amount of Internet bandwidth worldwide has nearly tripled since 2018.
It was noted that average and peak international Internet traffic climbed at a compound annual rate of 30% between 2018 and 2022, just above the CAGR of bandwidth at 29% over the same time, demonstrating that the growth of international Internet bandwidth and Internet traffic remain similar.
Following the COVID-19 traffic surge in 2020, TeleGeography observed that a global return to more usual usage patterns resulted in a reduction in average and peak utilisation rates. According to the report, peak traffic growth fell from 46% to 28% over the same time period, while average traffic growth fell from 47% to 29% between 2019 and 2020.
According to TeleGeography Senior Research Manager Paul Brodsky, “network operators are back to expanding capacity and engineering their traffic in a more methodical manner after a turbulent 2020 with pandemic-induced volume surges and alterations in Internet traffic patterns.
According to TeleGeography, after the epidemic, several international networks have begun to revert to more regular rates of utilization.
In both 2021 and 2022, the global average and peak utilisation rates were nearly similar from the previous year, at 26% and 45%, respectively.
Regarding pricing, the study found that switching providers to 100 Gbps Internet backbones has continued to bring down the average cost of carrying traffic. Between Q2 2019 and Q2 2022, 10 GigE prices decreased by a compounded 16% annually across seven major global hub cities, while 100 GigE port prices decreased by a 25%.
It was stated that the combined effects of new Internet-enabled gadgets, rising broadband access rates, expanding broadband penetration in developing economies, and bandwidth-intensive applications will continue to fuel rapid increase in Internet traffic.
Although end-user traffic demands are expected to increase, TeleGeography noted that not all of this demand will directly convert into the need for additional long-haul capacity.
According to the analysis, a number of variables will influence how the global Internet evolves over the next few years. It mentions the Post-COVID-19 growth trajectory as one of these.
It emphasized that operators indicated they no longer see the pandemic leading to upward adjustments to their demand forecasts, noting that initial evidence suggests that the pandemic’s impact on the rate of bandwidth and traffic growth in 2020 was a one-time event and that the world has largely returned to more conventional rates of growth.
The report also brought attention to the problem of using the open Internet. Regarding this, it stated that the biggest content providers have long run enormous networks, highlighting the fact that these businesses continue to grow more quickly than Internet backbones and are branching out into new areas.
It claims that other other businesses, including CDNs, cloud service providers, and even some owners of data centers, are also creating their own private backbones that evade the public Internet. As a result, it said, “these networks may carry an increasing proportion of international traffic.”