Get Ready for Mobile Video Inflection Point

By Gary Kim May 14, 2013

Real-time entertainment (streaming video and audio) already is the largest traffic category on every network, according to Sandvine, with more than 68 percent of downstream bytes during peak period, compared with 65 percent at the end of 2012.

Also, in 2013, long-form video will become more common on mobile networks, according to Sandvine. Already, more than 25 percent of all streaming audio and video bytes delivered to mobile devices are delivered to those devices in the home.

In fact, more than 20 percent of all traffic on fixed networks in North America already is generated by a smart phone or tablet, Sandvine says.

And Apple devices (iPads, iPhones, iPods, AppleTVs and Mac computers) account for over 45 percent of all streaming audio and video on fixed access networks in North America, Sandvine notes.

In North America, mean usage (simple arithmetic average) on fixed networks was 44.7 GB, a 39 percent year-over-year increase from 32.1 GB for the same period of 2012.

The median (half used more, half used less) monthly usage on fixed networks grew 56.5 percent, from 10.3 GB to 18.2 GB.

Netflix accounts for 32.3 percent of downstream traffic during peak period.

YouTube, which in the first half of 2012 accounted for 13.8 percent of downstream traffic, now accounts for over 17.1 percent of traffic. Sandvine believes the increase in YouTube traffic is caused by the continued growth of smartphones and tablets inside the home.

Amazon represents 1.31 percent and HBO Go had 0.34 percent of traffic.

And, as has been the prevailing pattern in North America, the top 1 percent of subscribers who make the heaviest use of the network’s upstream resources account for 34.2 percent of total upstream traffic.

The heaviest 1 percent of downstream users account for 10.1 percent of downstream bytes. The lightest 50 percent of users account for only 6.4 percent of total monthly traffic.

Mobile network usage likewise has grown substantially. Over the past year, mean monthly usage increased from 312.8 MB to 390.1 MB, an increase of 25 percent.

Median usage more than doubled from 25.5 MB to 58.7 MB, year over year.

YouTube represents 25 percent of all traffic on mobile networks during peak period. And use of Netflix is growing as well.

Contributing Editor

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