Video Streaming Held 42% Share of Global Mobile Bandwidth in H2 ’11

allot-global-mobile-broadband-traffic-share-feb-2012.jpgVideo streaming traffic continues to dominate mobile broadband, holding a 42% share of all global bandwidth in H2 2011, up from 35% in H1, according to [download page] a February 2012 report from Allot Communications. File sharing followed at 26% share, down from 31% in H1, while the share of bandwidth held by web browsing also dropped, from 29% to 24%. VoIP and IM accounted for just 3% of bandwidth in H2. Overall, global mobile broadband traffic grew by 83% in the second half of the year, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 234% during the year.

This bandwidth is being dominated by a small percentage of users, though: according to a January 2012 report from Arieso, 1% of mobile subscribers now consume half of all downloaded data, with one-third of those subscribers using a smartphone.

YouTube Accounts for One-Quarter of Global Bandwidth

Meanwhile, data from Allot’s “Global Mobile Broadband Traffic Report” indicates that in the second half of 2011, YouTube accounted for 57% of all global video streaming traffic, meaning that YouTube alone held 24% share of global bandwidth. YouTube high-definition (HD) traffic accounted for 14% of total YouTube traffic, representing a 27% increase from 11% in H1. Overall, YouTube traffic grew by 143%, while video streaming traffic rose 88%.

According to February data from Experian Hitwise, YouTube accounted for 75.9% share of US visits to video and multimedia sites in January 2012.

VoIP Shows Fastest Growth

Although the VoIP and IM applications’ share of global bandwidth remained low in H2, at 5%, the applications demonstrated the fastest-growing traffic segments, up 114% from H1. In the second half of 2011, Skype accounted for 79% of the global mobile VoIP bandwidth. However, Skype’s share dropped from 82% in H1, as it was challenged by new entrants, including Viber, which experienced rapid growth to over 2% of global VoIP bandwidth, surpassing GoogleTalk and Windows Live (both at 1%).

Facebook Has Mixed Results

Only 4 months after its release, Facebook Messenger for Mobile became the dominant platform for instant messaging (IM), accounting for 22% of total IM traffic in H2, ahead of WhatsApp, at 18%. Other IM applications experienced a decrease in their usage, including Yahoo Messenger (17%), Windows Live (14%), and Google Talk (5%). February data from Ovum indicates that consumers’ increasing use of IP-based social messaging services on their smartphones cost telecom operators $13.9 billion in lost SMS revenues in 2011, or 9% of total messaging revenue.

Meanwhile, despite the success of Facebook Messenger for Mobile, Facebook traffic growth diminished, rising 105% in H2 compared to 166% in the first half of the year. Twitter usage continued to surge during the second half of 2011, with bandwidth growth of 184%, yet that was also slower than what it recorded in H1 (297%).

Other Findings:

  • Download traffic from the Apple App Store decreased from 84% share of app traffic in H1 to 79% in H2.
  • Android Market remained behind the Apple App Store, but download traffic from the market grew by 232% in H2, almost 4 times the growth experienced by the Apple App Store (61%).

About the Data: The Allot MobileTrends Report data was collected from July 1 to December 31, 2011 from leading mobile operators worldwide with a combined user base of approximately 250 million subscribers.