Streaming mobile video has become a mainstream medium and is the single most influential factor driving the need for increased network capacity, according to the latest survey from IP firm Allot.
The report found that global mobile data bandwidth usage increased by 72% between the second quarter and fourth quarter of 2009, and that YouTube was responsible for 10% of global mobile data bandwidth.
“The exponential global and regional growth in video streaming indicates that much of this increase is due to a shift towards more real time, user-generated, on-demand content where the user is both broadcaster and viewer,” the firm said.
HTTP streaming experienced a strong upward growth trend, and increased its global mobile broadband share by 50%, according to the report.
“HTTP streaming continued to be the fastest growing application with a 99% increase,” adds the report. “HTTP downloads grew by 73%, and have become a feasible alternative for massive file sharing.”
VoIP and IM applications also increased by almost 47%. Skype was found to be the “undisputed VoIP market leader” in Q409, accounting for 77% of global mobile VoIP bandwidth.
“The single largest factor leading to cell congestion remains P2P which accounted for 34% of bandwidth utilization in the top 5% of utilized cells,” the company said. “This is nearly three times P2P’s bandwidth utilization of 12% in the average cell.”
But Allot warns that mobile broadband networks are still facing the same challenges as fixed networks – growing bandwidth demands, congestion, enhancing the user experience and the ability of a few subscribers to negatively impact network resources.