According to the recent Cisco Broadband Survey, which surveyed 2,000 respondents in Saudi Arabia, it has been discovered that evolving consumer expectations are poised to transform the requirements and financial aspects of the Internet.
In Saudi, consumers are undergoing a paradigm shift in their reliance on the Internet. They are now considering the demands for speed and reliability alongside the growing importance of environmental sustainability and the increasing prevalence of the Internet of Things (IoT), which connects various devices, from smart cars to home appliances. As a result, an impressive 91 percent of respondents in Saudi Arabia consider broadband as “critical national infrastructure,” placing it on par with essential necessities such as access to water and electricity. This figure surpasses the results observed in the EMEA region.
The survey found that the carbon cost associated with broadband connectivity has become a paramount concern for consumers. The survey revealed that 65 percent of consumers in Saudi now express worries about the carbon footprint of their broadband usage, with the highest level of concern observed among young individuals aged 18 to 24, reaching 73 percent. Furthermore, an overwhelming 92 percent of respondents in the Kingdom expressed their willingness to pay more for sustainable broadband options, and approximately a quarter of them were prepared to pay a premium of over 20 percent for environmentally-friendly services.
Salman Faqeeh, the managing director of Cisco Saudi Arabia, stated that the survey conducted by Cisco has provided confirmation of the growing consumer awareness regarding the carbon footprints associated with technology in Saudi Arabia. He further noted that this aligns with the country’s commitment to fostering a thriving and sustainable society, showcasing a fresh approach towards promoting sustainability within the nation.
Digital and sustainability
He emphasized the growing importance of aligning digital transformation with sustainability, stating that in the present era, it is increasingly critical for these two aspects to work together harmoniously. The speaker, representing Cisco, expressed the belief that the technology industry holds a unique opportunity to spearhead the dual transition towards a digital and environmentally-friendly future. As a result, Cisco focuses on implementing sustainable practices within their own operations, such as utilizing renewable energy sources and adopting circular economy principles. Additionally, they are dedicated to developing energy-saving solutions while establishing near- and long-term science-based targets to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across all scopes by the year 2040.
The exponential growth of IoT devices, reaching from billions to trillions, is accompanied by an increasing need for bandwidth and processing power to handle the vast amounts of generated data. The Cisco Broadband Survey indicates that this trend shows no signs of slowing down.
In Saudi Arabia, a majority of Internet users, comprising 58 percent, primarily utilize the Internet for social media purposes. Additionally, 57 percent of users engage in streaming videos and/or playing video games. Another 53 percent utilize the Internet for browsing, reading, or shopping. Furthermore, 44 percent of users have plans to upgrade their Internet service in the coming year. Their motivation for the upgrade is the prospect of acquiring even faster broadband speeds.
In the Kingdom, consumers are progressively adopting the transition to a more “smarter” digital lifestyle. The survey revealed that respondents in Saudi Arabia are integrating various connected devices, such as smart lights (29 percent) and home appliances (30 percent), to operate through their home Internet service. Additionally, more than half of the respondents (54 percent) are currently connecting their home entertainment devices, highlighting the growing trend of device synchronization within households.
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