Online Video Drives 2014 Q4 Mobile Data Usage to Record Levels

by Istvan Fekete on January 15, 2015

Mobile data use on 2G, 3G, and 4G wireless networks spiked worldwide in the fourth quarter, approaching 3,000 petabytes per month, while voice traffic on mobile phones remained flat, according to Ericsson’s data shared by Akamai in its quarterly State of the Internet report.

This means that in just a year, mobile data usage has doubled: Akamai reported slightly more than half of that traffic for the fourth quarter of 2013, 1,800 petabytes per month. Sequentially, between the second and third quarters of 2014, mobile data traffic grew 10%.

The measurement is for mobile data traffic on Akamai’s network, but it is safe to say that a large percentage of mobile data is being consumed for streaming videos, especially in the light of a previous report analyzing mobile data usage in Canada and worldwide. The latest report, however, specify whether this video is streamed from pure-play OTT providers or through TV Everywhere apps provided by pay-TV operators or individual networks and distributors.

The raw data, when held up next to reports posted by online video streaming solution providers Ooyala and JW Player, seems to confirm this idea. Ooyala said in its Q3 Global Video Index, published in December, that videos provided by its customers were viewed more often on smartphones and tablets than the year previously — a 114% increase. JW Player, in its first-ever video index, noted that smartphone users viewed video from its customers for an average of 20 minutes per month.

The key factor in streaming online movies or just video content is the speed of mobile connections. US speeds are mediocre, averaging 5.8 Mbps and 16.9 Mbps at peak connection speeds. In Canada, average speeds are slightly higher at 7.9 Mbps and peak speeds at 28.7 Mbps. In Singapore, however, the average goes up to 9.8 Mbps, and the peak speed reported was 98 Mbps.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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