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MEA with world’s highest IP traffic growth – Cisco

MEA with world’s highest IP traffic growth – Cisco

Further to The responsibility for a sustainable digital future  after the World Wide Web turned 30, CommsMEA elaborated on the latest Cisco report in this article dated March 12, 2019.

Middle East and Africa poised for world’s highest IP traffic growth – Cisco report

12 March 2019

The Middle East and Africa is poised for major IP traffic growth, according to Cisco.

Cisco’s Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast predicts 4.8 billion Internet users to be connected globally by 2022 – out of which 549 million will be living in the Middle East and Africa.

At its “Cisco Connect: Say Hello to the Future” event on March 12, held at the Atlantis The Palm resort at the end of Dubai’s iconic Palm Jumeirah, Cisco celebrated 30 years of the World Wide Web by sharing insights from the VNI Forecast to predict trends and behaviours evolving in the digital landscape in the region and globally.

Cisco’s VNI Forecast predicts four key drivers of IP traffic growth in the MEA region by 2022:

1. A 9% increase in the number of Internet users

The number of people using the Internet will grow from 23% of the region’s population in 2017 to 32%.

Digitisation features high on the national agendas of most of the region’s countries. Cisco estimates that the MEA region will have approximately 549 million Internet users and account for the highest growth rate in IP traffic worldwide, with a 41% increase from 2017.

2. An increasing number of connections

Cisco predicts there will be approximately 2.5 billion devices connected to the network, equating to 1.4 networked devices per capita in MEA.

Non-PC devices will drive 91% of regional Internet traffic by 2022. With projected average mobile network connection speeds to grow by as much as 28%, smartphones in particular are expected to make up 79% of Internet traffic in MEA, with 1.2 trillion connected smartphones by 2022. Cisco anticipates the enhanced connectivity to create new possibilities for AI and machine learning across industries and in smart homes.

3. Faster broadband speeds

As broadband connection speed is a key enabler for IP traffic growth, Cisco predicts the speeds will increase more than two-fold, from 2017 to 2022.

Accordingly, it is expected that broadband speeds in MEA will increase from 7.8Mbps in 2017 to 20.2Mbps by 2022 – enabling businesses and individuals to operate with greater speed and efficiency. As this speed continues to increase, large downloads will go from taking hours to a matter of minutes and eventually, seconds.

4. More media-rich content and applications

In terms of rich media, data-heavy files and videos are anticipated to make up 81% of the MEA region’s IP traffic by 2022, up from 65% in 2017.

The predicted 16% increase in media-rich Internet traffic can be partially attributed to the rapid growth of OOT film, television and music streaming services in MEA. As online gaming also continues to grow in popularity, Cisco predicts that the region will experience a five-fold increase in Internet gaming traffic from 2017, making up 1 percent of total IP traffic in MEA by 2022.

Commenting on Cisco’s VNI Forecast and the changes predicted to affect MEA, Cisco Middle East and Africa vice president David Meads said: “It is undeniable that the Internet is growing at an exponential rate. As governments continue to invest in infrastructure, a faster and stronger Internet opens the doors to unprecedented opportunities for individuals and industry alike.”

He said more. “Digitisation is a critical force for economic growth, so businesses must adopt a mindset that is proactive, rather than reactive. DDoS attacks can represent up to 25% of a country’s total Internet traffic while they are occurring. By implementing the appropriate cyberdefence mechanisms, organizations can protect themselves throughout the full attack continuum – before, during and after an attack.”

Meads also added: “With nations such as the UAE championing innovation, the Internet has, and continues to change our lives in an infinite number of ways. Recognising the changes that are affecting MEA, government, policymakers and service providers must continue to unite in their efforts to create an accessible Internet that is available to the masses, underpinned by a secure framework to aid sustainable growth.”

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Ensuring the future of a networked world

Ensuring the future of a networked world

Or as put by Mounir Mahjoubi, author of this article below, @mounir as “Ensuring the next thirty years of a networked world.”

The responsibility for a sustainable digital future

On March 12, 2019, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the “World Wide Web”, Tim Berners-Lee’s ground-breaking invention.

In just thirty years, this flagship application of the Internet has forever changed our lives, our habits, our way of thinking and seeing the world. Yet, this anniversary leaves a bittersweet taste in our mouth: the initial decentralized and open version of the Web, which was meant to allow users to connect with each other, has gradually evolved to a very different version, centralized in the hands of giants who capture our data and impose their standards.

We have poured our work, our hearts and a lot of our lives out on the internet. For better or for worse. Beyond business uses for Big Tech, our data has become an incredible resource for malicious actors, who use this windfall to hack, steal and threaten. Citizens, small and large companies, governments: online predators spare no one. This initial mine of information and knowledge has provided fertile ground for dangerous abuse: hate speech, cyber-bullying, manipulation of information or apology for terrorism – all of them amplified, relayed and disseminated across borders.

Laissez-faire or control: between Scylla and Charybdis

Faced with these excesses, some countries have decided to regain control over the Web and the Internet in general: by filtering information and communications, controlling the flow of data, using digital instruments for the sake of sovereignty and security. The outcome of this approach is widespread censorship and surveillance. A major threat to our values and our vision of society, this project of “cyber-sovereignty” is also the antithesis of the initial purpose of the Web, which was built in a spirit of openness and emancipation. Imposing cyber-borders and permanent supervision would be fatal to the Web.

To avoid such an outcome, many democracies have favored laissez-faire and minimal intervention, preserving the virtuous circle of profit and innovation. Negative externalities remain, with self-regulation as the only barrier. But laissez-faire is no longer the best option to foster innovation: data is monopolized by giants that have become systemic, users’ freedom of choice is limited by vertical integration and lack of interoperability. Ineffective competition threatens our economies’ ability to innovate.

In addition, laissez-faire means being vulnerable to those who have chosen a more interventionist or hostile stance. This question is particularly acute today for infrastructures: should we continue to remain agnostic, open and to choose a solution only based on its economic competitiveness? Or should we affirm the need to preserve our technological sovereignty and our security?

Photo courtesy of Getty Images/chombosan

Paving a third way

To avoid these pitfalls, France, Europe and all democratic countries must take control of their digital future. This age of digital maturity involves both smart digital regulation and enhanced technological sovereignty.

Holding large actors accountable is a legitimate and necessary first step: “with great power comes great responsibility”.

Platforms that relay and amplify the audience of dangerous content must assume a stronger role in information and prevention. The same goes for e-commerce, when consumers’ health and safety is undermined by dangerous or counterfeit products, made available to them with one click. We should apply the same focus on systemic players in the field of competition: vertical integration should not hinder users’ choice of goods, services or content.

But for our action to be effective and leave room for innovation, we must design a “smart regulation”. Of course, our goal is not to impose on all digital actors an indiscriminate and disproportionate normative burden.

Rather, “smart regulation” relies on transparency, auditability and accountability of the largest players, in the framework of a close dialogue with public authorities. With this is mind, France has launched a six-month experiment with Facebook on the subject of hate content, the results of which will contribute to current and upcoming legislative work on this topic.

In the meantime, in order to maintain our influence and promote this vision, we will need to strengthen our technological sovereignty. In Europe, this sovereignty is already undermined by the prevalence of American and Asian actors. As our economies and societies become increasingly connected, the question becomes more urgent.

Investments in the most strategic disruptive technologies, construction of an innovative normative framework for the sharing of data of general interest: we have leverage to encourage the emergence of reliable and effective solutions. But we will not be able to avoid protective measures when the security of our infrastructure is likely to be endangered.

To build this sustainable digital future together, I invite my G7 counterparts to join me in Paris on May 16th. On the agenda, three priorities: the fight against online hate, a human-centric artificial intelligence, and ensuring trust in our digital economy, with the specific topics of 5G and data sharing.

Our goal? To take responsibility. Gone are the days when we could afford to wait and see.

Our leverage? If we join our wills and forces, our values can prevail.

We all have the responsibility to design a World Wide Web of Trust. It is still within our reach, but the time has come to act.

Mounir Mahjoubi is the French Secretary of State for Digital Affairs.

Top Image Credits: Anton Balazh (opens in a new window) / Shutterstock

‘Bring to life’ any audio-visual recordings

‘Bring to life’ any audio-visual recordings

Audiovisual Heritage of the UN News came up with this call to action for all to try and ‘bring to life’ any audio-visual recordings of their life, be it private or public, all presumably for posterity’s sake.  

‘Bring to life’ precious moments caught on film or tape, UN agency urges on World Day

UN Photo                                                                                                                                                                                   Over 37,000 discs with audio recordings of meetings at the United Nations are part of the organization’s rich audio heritage.

26 October 2018

Culture and Education

Old, grainy film and video footage from years gone by, not only stirs powerful memories – it’s also a vital resource for future generations, the United Nations cultural agency has highlighted, urging everyone to safeguard audio-visual heritage and make archives more accessible.

These images and sounds recorded on film, video and audio tape, “feed into our collective memory and establish links between generations”, Audrey Azoulay, the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said in her message marking the official World Day for Audio-visual Heritage.

“[However,] this memory, which has remained alive and is essential to historians, scientists and ordinary citizens seeking knowledge of their past, is nonetheless fragile,” she added, noting the increasing neglect of archives which are made up of what is now obsolete analogue media, like LP records and quarter-inch audio tape.

Focusing this year on the theme, “Your Story is Moving,” UNESCO, in partnership with the Coordinating Council of Audio-visual Archives Associations (CCAAA), is calling on everyone to showcase personal and family archives.

“Bringing them out of lofts and cellars, sharing slices of life, moments captured on film or videotape, can bring alive, with emotion, an existence that has become a thing of the past,” continued Ms. Azoulay in her message.

“Heritage is not an inanimate object; it is full of meaning, significance and all the emotions that have accompanied the lives of past generations,” she added.

Alongside events globally to mark the World Day, UNESCO is also appealing on everyone to share their stories with the hashtag #AudioVisualheritage to bring their own “moving stories” to the world.

Preserving world history at the UN

In this special video, take a peek into the work of our expert UN archivists, as they protect tens of thousands of records documenting the history of diplomacy from the last century, preserving them for future generations.

Marked annually, on 27 October, the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage aims to raise awareness of the importance of audio-visual documents, redouble efforts to safeguard them and promote greater access to archives.

The World Day is a commemoration of the adoption, in 1980, of the Recommendation for the Safeguarding and Preservation of Moving Images by the 21st UNESCO General Conference.

 

Envisaging a Better 2018 or Envisioning any Future

Envisaging a Better 2018 or Envisioning any Future

At the time when few days remain before closing this year, envisaging a better 2018 or envisioning any future of any sort could these days be somewhat not easy to apprehend, but nevertheless, here are few thinkers’ views as recalled by Annabel Bligh, The Conversation; Gemma Ware, The Conversation, and Will de Freitas, The Conversation.

Anthill 10: The future

Image 20170221 18664 ebyied.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
via shutterstock.com

 

In this episode of The Anthill podcast we talk to historians, future thinkers, designers and sci-fi watchers about our love of predicting what’s to come.

We talk to somebody who does it for a living, Anders Sandberg, research fellow at the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford, who explains how he got into future studies, and what it’s like predicting the future as a day job. Thankfully, not all doom and gloom.

Back in the 1930s, John Maynard Keynes predicted the future of work would leave us more time to sit back and relax. With robots taking on more and more menial tasks, he thought technology would reduce the working week to just 15 hours and the rest of our time would be devoted to leisure.

So why haven’t we got there yet? As we hear from Martin Parker, professor of organisation and culture at the University of Leicester, it will take more than just robots to make this happen; society will need to be entirely reorganised in the process. Meanwhile, Ursula Huws, professor of labour and globalisation at the University of Hertfordshire, identifies four areas where jobs will boom – in spite of all the robots.

We delve into the history of how our ancestors imagined the future too. Selena Daly, assistant professor in Italian Studies and an expert in the Italian futurists, tells us the story of the avant-garde art and cultural movement started by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti a few years before World War I. Both destructive and provocative in its vision, it’s a case study in how visions of the future can get wound up in politics.

Dynamism of a Cyclist by Umberto Boccioni.
via Wikimedia Commons

Helping us to track other visions of futures past, Nick Dunn, professor of urban design at Lancaster University who runs its Imagination design research lab, reveals his favourite dystopian and utopian visions for what future cities could look like. And Amy Chambers, who researches science communication and screen studies at Newcastle University, explains how both utopias and dystopias in science fiction have been used to help imagine a better future. Today, she says, science fiction on the small screen is taking the idea of AI and running with it, creating a range of near futures that we can all be scared of.

Click here to listen to more episodes of The Anthill, on themes including Beliefs, Self-experimentation and Fuel.

The Anthill theme music is by Alex Grey for Melody Loops.
Music in the futurists segment is Impending Boom by Kevin MacLeod via Incompetech, and Fausto Bongelli’s recording of Virgilio Mortari’s piece, Fox-trot Futurista. Music in the utopia segment by I believe in you, by Lee Rosevere and sound effects by dobroide. Sound effects in future studies segment from mknausscat, cydon and CGEffex.

A big thanks to City University London’s Department of Journalism for letting us use their studios.

The ConversationCorrection: The section on Thomas More’s Utopia states that he was hung, drawn and quartered. He was in fact beheaded.

Annabel Bligh, Business + Economy Editor, The Conversation; Gemma Ware, Society Editor, The Conversation, and Will de Freitas, Environment + Energy Editor, The Conversation

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Thousands Marching for Native Nations

Thousands Marching for Native Nations

This most beautiful article produced and published on Friday, March 10, 2017 by Common Dreams and written by Nika Knight, staff writer about Thousands Marching for Native Nations, a movement of populations reacting to the newly elected president of the United States standing for the Big Oils forcing their way with a pipe-line through indigenous lands in the Dakota plains.

We would take this opportunity to remind that the right of marginalised indigenous individuals as well as communities are almost unknown or unheard of in the MENA region populations. The very best example that could laid out for illustration would be the Kuwaiti Bidoons that are by the way found in pockets in almost all countries of the Gulf, Palestine and North Africa.

We recommend reading the article in its original setting for a better appreciation of the embedded message of justice, and eventually provision of some equity as it were in our consumption of the environment.

 

‘We Exist, We Resist, We Rise’: Thousands March for Native Nations

 

‘Standing Rock was just the beginning’

 

The Native Nations Rise march was the culmination of a week of workshops, actions, and prayers to battle for native rights in the face of the right-wing Trump administration and the ongoing #NoDAPL fight.

The march began at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers headquarters and ended at Lafayette Square, in front of the White House. En route, demonstrators erected a tipi at the Trump Hotel to “reclaim stolen land”:

Afterward, the rights and land defenders marched on to the White House:

The march culminated in a rally at Lafayette Square. Indigenous people and protesters spoke, prayed, played music, and repeated calls for environmental justice, sovereignty, and a meeting between President Donald Trump and leaders of tribal nations.

“Standing Rock was just the beginning, “said a journalist with Indigenous Rising Media, speaking to a plaintiff in one of the multiple lawsuits against the U.S. government for permitting the Dakota Access Pipeline’s construction.

A live broadcast of the march and rally can be found here. Throughout the day, participants and journalists are also posting photos and videos of the action under the hashtag #NativeNationsRise:

 

Where are Baekdal Plus subscribers from?

Where are Baekdal Plus subscribers from?

Thomas Baekdal in his “Something to think about” blog, has written and published this article on September 5th, 2016.  Where are Baekdal Plus subscribers from is not only about the origins of his subscribers, pondering on whether in this day and age it matters that much, Thomas  quite rightly pointed out that the Internet accessible now to billions is having bearings on the conventional media as well as on the ensuing trans-border cultural mutations.  Baekdal expresses loud and clear how for the sake of ease of communication, the media are increasingly published in English for reach, spread and for future growth.

What countries are Baekdal Plus subscribers from?

One of the things that often defines a digital native is that they have no country. Traditional media companies are all country-based. We often hear that traditional publishers are ‘expanding into [insert country]’, as if they are not already there.

Digital natives don’t think like this, because they are global by default. A US YouTuber would never say, “I want to expand into Canada,” because they are already in every country in the world.

I wrote much more about this in my recent newsletter, which you can see here (and if you aren’t getting it already, do add yourself to the list).

Another place I see this is looking at this site, Baekdal Plus. My audience comes from all over the world (although some countries are dominating more than others), and it’s quite interesting to look at.

The way I run my business simply wouldn’t be possible 10-15 years ago. Baekdal Plus is 100% digital, but only 3% of audience is coming from my own country. 97% is coming from other countries, which I would not have been able to reach before the internet.

But let me show you the data.

There many ways we can measure an audience. Do we just look at the traffic, or do we look at conversion (which in my case means subscribers)? Well, let’s look at both.

Here is a graph illustrating which countries my audience is coming from if you look at unique visitors.

As you can see, I have a ton of traffic coming from the US, but keep in mind that the US is also a country with 318 million people, so it’s not really surprising that this one country stands out.

When we instead look at this per capita, now we see that most of my traffic is coming from countries that are close to my own (Denmark/Northern Europe) and/or English speaking.

Notice how I have just as much traffic from Australia as from the US, when compared per capita. Language is more powerful than distance in the connected world.

But notice how people from almost every single country in the world visit this site. The only ones missing are a few countries in Africa, Kosovo, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in Eastern Europe… and North Korea.

This would have been impossible just 15 years ago.

But I’m not really interested in unique visitors, because I don’t make any money just from the traffic. Baekdal Plus is monetized by subscriptions, so it’s far more relevant to me to look at that.

So, here is the same map but for all ‘conversions’, being both actual subscribers and people signing up for a free trial.

Yes, the US is dominating Baekdal Plus in a big way. About 60% of all my subscribers and free trials come from the US.

But again, because the US is so big, it is kind of hard to see what’s going on everywhere else. So here is the same data excluding the US.

What you see now is that the UK and Belgium are my two largest (non-US) countries in terms of where my subscribers are coming from. Next are Norway and Sweden. Then comes Australia, followed by my own country (Denmark), Germany, Canada and Brazil.

Yes, Brazil. How awesome is that?

You will also notice that I’m getting more and more subscribers from India and Indonesia, which is just brilliant.

Africa is a bit of a problem though, and so is China. I have a few important subscribers in Hong Kong, but because of China’s media laws, it’s impossible for me to make Baekdal Plus relevant for them.

I want to mention Turkey here as well. As you can see above, I do have a number of subscribers in Turkey, which I find to be very interesting. Or rather, I used to have subscribers in Turkey, but not anymore.

As you may know, Turkey has decided to close down its internet to global players by forcing, for instance, payment providers to operate entirely within its borders (similar to what is happening in China). And as a result, PayPal has been forced to stop all payments from my subscribers in Turkey.

It’s yet another example of how Turkey is destroying itself and hurting not just the media industry, but also the tech industry. It’s really sad to see.

So, I’m unable to get any new subscribers from Turkey, and my existing subscribers cannot renew their subscriptions (although what I have done is to extend their subscriptions indefinitely, so that all my current Turkish subscribers are getting Baekdal Plus for free).

So, thank you Turkey for being an idiot.

The above map, however, shows you all conversions, regardless of whether people are currently active subscribers or not. So what if we just look at the active subscribers?

Well, here you go:

Again, the US is dominating. Not as much as before though. While 60% of all free trials and subscribers are from the US, only 29% of all active subscribers are from the US.

But while the US is awesome, let’s exclude it from the data so that we can see the pattern everywhere else, which looks like this:

Again, we see that the UK and Belgium are huge countries for Baekdal Plus, but Sweden is not far behind. Then comes Norway and Germany, followed by Australia and Canada. Brazil is pretty high up as well. Spain, France and India are pretty good too, as well as Mexico and Argentina.

But look at Denmark. My own country has almost dropped off the map, and I have nowhere near as many subscribers coming from my own country as the countries around me.

As I said before, only 3% of my annual revenue is coming from media companies within my own country. 97% comes from other countries. And you simply couldn’t do this 10-15 years ago. This is what happens when you live in the connected world.

So, when I define my location as ‘global’ on Twitter, that’s really what I am. I may live in Denmark, but my work, my analysis, my business… and in many ways also my culture… does not.

For instance, I was recently introduced by a Swedish magazine as a ‘Danish media analyst’, but I’m not. There is nothing specifically Danish about my work or analysis.

The next generation

Anyway, this was just a bit of data fun that I wanted to share with you. What’s interesting about this, though, is the larger trend.

Fifteen years ago, none of this would have been possible. But today, it’s not just possible for me, but also for many other digital native publishers. And if we look 15 years into the future, this will become the new normal.

baekdacountries

And a big part of this is because of language. The countries with a very high English proficiency are also where we see most of the digital natives. And every young person today is growing with the internet, social media, blogs, and other channels, where communicating isn’t defined by any specific country nor the local language.

Already today, people don’t really think about what country someone is from before they follow them on Instagram. We only look at what they do, who they are, and why they are sharing things.

The older generation is still mostly just following people locally because of old habits and existing networks, but the younger generation isn’t really defined by country anymore, and especially not in countries where English proficiency is very high.

We see this even more with magazines and newspapers from English speaking countries. More and more of their audience is what is usually referred to as ‘out of market’, as people are reading their publications from outside their old markets.

Local newspapers in the US, for instance, are slowly turning more and more national, and UK magazines are increasingly focusing on the entire English speaking population of the internet, as opposed to just the UK population.

And, of course, digital natives are doing all of this by default. Here is the most popular YouTuber in Norway. Yes, she is obviously creating all her videos in English, because that’s the only thing that makes sense.

As you can see in the map above, real English proficiency is still only a thing in parts of Europe and a few other places, but if you live in any of those places, it is becoming increasingly important to look at publishing in English as a key driver of future growth.

If you are a Norwegian magazine, for instance, does it really make sense to continue to publish in Norwegian and only reach a maximum of 5 million people, or would it make more sense to create a more global magazine in English just like the popular Norwegian YouTubers are already doing?

That’s the shift that is currently happening.

Of course, if you live in France, where English proficiency generally is still low, it’s too soon to make that shift. I would not recommend to a French magazine to do what I would tell a Norwegian magazine.

But, again, this is a generational thing. The future generation in France will have grown up communicating in English with all their friends, so whether something is in French or in English won’t really matter to them.

That’s why we call this a transitional trend. Our world is transitioning from a country-based media industry, to an interest based media industry. And this change is happening faster in countries with a high proficiency in English, because it allows being global by default (which is impossible for an Italian magazine).

So, what language will you use in 2036?