Video 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.
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.
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%).
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%).
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.
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