Posted by: Ann Treacy | March 22, 2012

Broadband traffic to double annually on mobile networks

Thanks to Ann Higgins for the heads up on the expected future of mobile broadband. According to TeleCompetitor

Internet-generated broadband traffic will increase approximately 50% year-over-year on fixed networks and double on mobile networks, driven in large part by “power users” that are using a disproportionate amount of bandwidth, according to new research from International Data Corporation (IDC).

The report itself is $7500; so I won’t be using many direct quotes. But again TeleCompetitor highlights from the report…

    • HD video content will drive a new level of bandwidth demand, with more than 50% of video and audio streaming destined for a connected TV, an iPad or another mobile device or tablet
    • In North America, downstream traffic typically exceeds upstream traffic by a factor of 10 or more
    • Web browsing represents a declining share of traffic across the globe, especially in Europe and in the Asia-Pacific region. Accordingly IDC advises service providers to deliver more bandwidth in order to spur usage of new services and drive new subscriptions and revenue.

On a potentially related note, I just happened to notice that  a recent Pew Internet & American Life indicates that 23 percent of teens (ages 12-17) have a smartphone. Having just been on a road trip and sharing a wireless network with two members of that demographic (who don’t have smartphones but do have laptops), I think that the IDC estimates are probably conservative because teens are power users. It doesn’t occur to them not to download a video (even full length feature film) and they have time to download and watch them. And uploading video is just as easy.


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