x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Region's bandwidth surges

Consumers could see their internet bills shrink after a report revealed the Middle East had the fastest-growing bandwidth market in the world.

The Middle East has the fastest-growing bandwidth market in the world.
The Middle East has the fastest-growing bandwidth market in the world.

Consumers could see their internet bills shrink after a report revealed the Middle East had the fastest-growing bandwidth market in the world. Regional telecommunications operators more than doubled the amount of bandwidth they used for internet voice and other traffic, from 350 gigabits per second (gbps) in 2008 to 745 gbps last year, said Tim Stronge, the vice president of research for TeleGeography.

The African region's bandwidth grew at the second-fastest rate in the world, with an expansion of 85 per cent. The Middle East would maintain its momentum for the next several years, Mr Stronge said. "We think it will still be either the fastest [or] among the fastest [growing] in the world." The issue of regional bandwidth has been in the spotlight recently, after the failure of a major submarine cable in the Mediterranean. The cable, known as "Sea-ME-We 4", provides about 90 per cent of the Middle East's bandwidth capacity, and the disruption of service slowed the UAE's online connections to a crawl.