Google Search, Facebook, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and YouTube are the five worst mobile apps in terms of network impact.
Based on Alcatel-Lucent’s Mobile Application Rankings Report, the same five apps are also the most popular among users.
As an example of the benefits of optimization, the report found that Facebook successfully optimized signaling for Android devices by reducing the overall signaling load in some networks by 5-10%.
Also, apps that impact the network due to their high data volume — such as most video apps as well as iTunes, Instagram, Pinterest, Apple Maps and Pandora — are targets for bandwidth optimization.
Alcatel-Lucent said one service provider reduced cell utilization by an average of 20% after introducing selective traffic optimization.
Low-impact apps —including weather apps, Google Maps, Dropbox, Zynga games and some social media apps like Nimbuzz or Palringo — could be excellent candidates for flat-rating, zero-rating or other innovative packaging plans.
"However, packaging plans must also consider the per-user cost of low-impact apps on individual networks,” the report said. “The best apps for packaging are those with low network impact and low per-user cost.”
The apps with the biggest impact on the consumer data plan are YouTube, Netflix, Facebook Video, Pandora and Instagram Video.
The lowest-volume cost apps for consumers by category are Yahoo Mail and Gmail; Blogger, QQ.com, Live Messenger and Viber; and Instagram Video.