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5G to be 13 times faster

The new Cisco Annual Internet Report shows that 5G will support more than 10% of the world’s mobile connections by 2023, at an average speed of 575Mbps

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By 2023, more than 10% of the world’s mobile connections will be using 5G. 

According to the new Cisco Annual Internet Report, the average 5G speed will be 575 megabits per second (Mbps), or 13 times faster than the average mobile connection. 

“With advanced performance capabilities, 5G will deliver more dynamic mobile infrastructures for AI and emerging IoT applications including autonomous cars, smart cities, connected health, immersive video and more,” reports Cisco.

For the past 50 years, each decade introduced a new mobile technology with cutting-edge innovations. Mobile bandwidth requirements have evolved from voice calls and texting to ultra-high-definition (UHD) video and a variety of augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) applications. Consumers and business users worldwide continue to create new demands and expectations for mobile networking. This ongoing trend is clearly highlighted by the adoption and use of mobile applicatons. Social networking, video streaming and downloads, business productivity, e-commerce and gaming will drive the continued growth of mobile applications with nearly 300 billion downloaded by 2023.

“What we are seeing from our research is a continuous rise in internet users, devices, connections, and more demand on the network than we could have imagined,” said Roland Acra, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Cisco. “The insights and knowledge gained by our Annual Internet Report are helping global businesses, governments and service providers prepare and secure networks for the ongoing growth in connections and applications. Strategic planning and partnerships will be essential for all organizations to capitalize on their technology innovations and investments.”

Report Highlights

The Cisco Annual Internet Report covers mobile, Wi-Fi and fixed broadband networking with quantitative projections on the growth of users, devices and connections as well as network performance and relevant trends over a five-year forecast period (2018 – 2023).

1.     Global mobile and internet user projections by 2023

  • More than 70 percent of the global population (5.7 billion people) will have mobile connectivity (2G, 3G, 4G or 5G).
  • 66 percent of the global population (5.3 billion people) will be internet users.

2.     Global devices and connections projections by 2023

  • There will be 3.6 networked devices/connections per person and nearly 10 devices and connections per household.
  • Nearly half (47%) of all devices and connections will be video capable.
  • Machine-to-machine (M2M) connections that support a broad range of IoT applications will represent about 50% (14.7 billion) of total global devices and connections.

3.     Global mobile projections by 2023

  • 45% of all networked devices will be mobile-connected (3G and below, 4G, 5G or Low Power Wide Area [LPWA]) and 55% will be wired or connected over Wi-Fi.
  • Global 5G connections will be 10.6% of total mobile connections, compared to 0.0% in 2018.
  • By 2023, global LPWA connections will be 14.4% of total mobile connections, compared to 2.5% in 2018.

4.     Global Wi-Fi projections by 2023

  • Global Wi-Fi hotspots will grow four-fold from 2018 to 2023. There will be nearly 628 million global public Wi-Fi hotspots, up from 169 million in 2018.
  • Global Wi-Fi6 hotspots will grow 13-fold from 2020 to 2023 and will be 11% of all public Wi-Fi hotspots.

5.     Global network performance projections (mobile, Wi-Fi, and fixed broadband) by 2023

  • Average global mobile connection speeds will more than triple from 13 Mbps (2018) to 44 Mbps (2023).
  • Average global Wi-Fi connection speeds will more than triple from 30 Mbps (2018) to 92 Mbps (2023).
  • Average global fixed broadband speeds will more than double from 46 Mbps (2018) to 110 Mbps (2023).

6.     Global cybersecurity trends from 2018 to 2019

  • Globally, the frequency of DDoS attacks increased by 39%.
  • Globally, the peak attack size increased 63%.
  • The average DDoS attack size is 1 Gbps (23% of attacks are greater than 1 Gbps); there has been 776% growth in attacks between 100 Gbps and 400 Gbps.

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SA’s Internet goes down again

South Africa is about to experience a small repeat of the lower speeds and loss of Internet connectivity suffered in January, thanks to a new undersea cable break, writes BRYAN TURNER

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Internet service provider Afrihost has notified customers that there are major outages across all South African Internet Service Providers (ISPs), as a result of a break in the WACS undersea cable between Portugal and England 

The cause of the cable break along the cable is unclear. it marks the second major breakage event along the West African Internet sea cables this year, and comes at the worst possible time: as South Africans grow heavily dependent on their Internet connections during the COVID-19 lockdown. 

As a result of the break, the use of international websites and services, which include VPNs (virtual private networks), may result in latency – decreased speeds and response times.  

WACS runs from Yzerfontein in the Western Cape, up the West Coast of Africa, and terminates in the United Kingdom. It makes a stop in Portugal before it reaches the UK, and the breakage is reportedly somewhere between these two countries. 

The cable is owned in portions by several companies, and the portion where the breakage has occurred belongs to Tata Communications. 

The alternate routes are:  

  • SAT3, which runs from Melkbosstrand also in the Western Cape, up the West Coast and terminates in Portugal and Spain. This cable runs nearly parallel to WACS and has less Internet capacity than WACS. 
  • ACE (Africa Coast to Europe), which also runs up the West Coast.  
  • The SEACOM cable runs from South Africa, up the East Coast of Africa, terminating in both London and Dubai.  
  • The EASSy cable also runs from South Africa, up the East Coast, terminating in Sudan, from where it connects to other cables. 

The routes most ISPs in South Africa use are WACS and SAT3, due to cost reasons. 

The impact will not be as severe as in January, though. All international traffic is being redirected via alternative cable routes. This may be a viable method for connecting users to the Internet but might not be suitable for latency-sensitive applications like International video conferencing. 

Read more about the first Internet connectivity breakage which happened on the same cable, earlier this year. 

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SA cellphones to be tracked to fight coronavirus

Several countries are tracking cellphones to understand who may have been exposed to coronavirus-infected people. South Africa is about to follow suit, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From Israel to South Korea, governments and cell networks have been implementing measures to trace the cellphones of coronavirus-infected citizens, and who they’ve been around. The mechanisms countries have used have varied.  

In Iran, citizens were encouraged to download an app that claimed to diagnose COVID-19 with a series of yes or no questions. The app also tracked real-time location with a very high level of accuracy, provided by the GPS sensor. 

In Germany, all cellphones on Deutsche Telekom are being tracked through cell tower connections, providing a much coarser location, but a less invasive method of tracking. The data is being handled by the Robert Koch Institute, the German version of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

In Taiwan, those quarantined at home are tracked via an “electronic fence”, which determines if users leave their homes.  

In South Africa, preparations have started to track cellphones based on cell tower connections. The choice of this method is understandable, as many South Africans may either feel an app is too intrusive to have installed, or may not have the data to install the app. This method also allows more cellphones, including basic feature phones, to be tracked. 

This means that users can be tracked on a fairly anonymised basis, because these locations can be accurate to about 2 square kilometers. Clearly, this method of tracking is not meant to monitor individual movements, but rather gain a sense of who’s been around which general area.  

This data could be used to find lockdown violators, if one considers that a phone connecting in Hillbrow for the first 11 days of lockdown, and then connecting in Morningside for the next 5, likely indicates a person has moved for an extended period of time. 

The distance between Hillbrow and Morningside is 17km. One would pass through several zones covered by different towers.

Communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams said that South African network providers have agreed to provide government with location data to help fight COVID-19. 

Details on how the data will be used, and what it will used to determine, are still unclear. 

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