By : Mostafa Ibrahim – Wael Elgafary
The latest Cisco Broadband Survey1 – which included 2,000 respondents from Saudi Arabia – has found that evolving consumer expectations will reshape the needs and economics of the Internet.
Consumers in Saudi Arabia are rethinking what they rely on the Internet for, balancing anticipated demands for speed and reliability, with the intensifying needs of rising eco-consciousness, and the consumerization of the Internet of Things (IoT) connecting our devices, from smart cars to home appliances. This has led to 91% of respondents in KSA to regard broadband as ‘critical national infrastructure’, like access to water and electricity – surpassing EMEA results.
The carbon-cost of broadband connectivity is a top priority for consumers. Cisco’s Broadband Survey revealed that 65% of consumers in Saudi Arabia are now concerned about the carbon footprint of their broadband, with young people aged 18-24 the most concerned (73%). In addition, 92% of overall respondents in the Kingdom would be willing to pay more for sustainable broadband, with around a quarter prepared to pay a price premium of more than 20%.
“Our survey has confirmed that consumers in Saudi Arabia are increasingly aware of the carbon footprints of technology. This is in line with KSA efforts towards a more flourishing and sustainable society and a novel approach to promoting sustainability in the country,” said Salman Faqeeh, Managing Director, Cisco Saudi Arabia.
He added: “In today’s world, it is becoming increasingly crucial for digital transformation to work in harmony with sustainability. At Cisco, we believe that the tech industry has a unique opportunity to lead the twin transition to a digital and green future. Hence, we focus on our own practices, including the use of renewable energy sources and circular economy, and build new energy-saving solutions, while setting near- and long-term, science-based targets to reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, for all scopes of greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.”
Connection to Increase as Consumers Expand Their Digital Lives
As the number of IoT devices online grows from billions to trillions, so does the demand for bandwidth and processing power to analyze all of the data produced. According to the Cisco Broadband Survey, there is no sign of this slowing down.
In Saudi Arabia, more than half of Internet users primarily go online to use social media (58%), stream videos and/or play video games (57%), and to browse, read, or shop (53%). Of those planning to upgrade their service in the next year, 44% will do so on the promise of even faster broadband.
Consumers in the Kingdom are also beginning to embrace the shift toward a ‘smarter’ digital life. From smart lights (29%) to home appliances (30%), respondents in Saudi Arabia are increasingly syncing up a range of connected devices to run via their home Internet service, including more than half (54%) currently connecting their home entertainment devices.