Sandvine: Streaming video invading mobile networks

Audio and video streaming will account for more than 60 percent of North America's mobile data traffic by late 2014, according to a study from network policy control vendor Sandvine.

Sandvine - chart

Click here to view the chart from the study.

"In North America, video and audio streaming make up more than half of mobile data traffic, led by YouTube, Pandora and Netflix," Sandvine said. The company noted that in all global regions, Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) YouTube dominates as the largest source of mobile video traffic, accounting for 12-25 percent of traffic depending upon location.

Due to the growth in mobile broadband adoption--and the related uptake in mobile video--operators worldwide are finding that they need to add an intelligence layer across their networks in order to access new metrics, such as event-based, time-based and quality-based measurements and forecasts, according to Dave Caputo, Sandvine president and CEO.

Sandvine's Internet traffic trends report, "Global Internet Phenomena Report 1H2012," is based on data from some of the vendor's 200-plus customers. In addition to examining video traffic, the report also addresses mobile network offloading and messaging.

For example, Sandvine reported home roaming with mobile devices accounts for 9 percent of total fixed traffic on North America's household networks. Meanwhile, instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp are eating into operators' SMS revenue. "On an Asian mobile network serving 1 million subscribers, an average of 7.6 million WhatsApp messages were sent per day," the company said.

The company predicts that "click-to-cloud" smartphone photo back-up and synchronization will emerge as a significant source of traffic worldwide.

For more:
- see this Sandvine release
- read FierceMobileContent's take

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