VoIP, IM top mobile data usage growth

Michael Carroll
22 Feb 2012

Mobile operators should respond to rapid growth in over-the-top voice-over-IP (VoIP) and instant messaging (IM) with clever price plans based on application usage, a senior Allot Communications executive says.

Andrei Elefant, Allot’s vice president of marketing and product management, says growth of 114% in VoIP and IM traffic in the back half of 2011 presents as many opportunities as threats to mobile operators.

“Intelligent, application-based data pricing is the way forward for operators, allowing them to maximize data revenues based on its true value to subscribers,” Elefant notes.

While VoIP and IM were the fastest growing services during 2H11, video streaming remains the dominant service in terms of overall mobile data usage. Video garnered a 42% share of the broader market - compared to 5% for VoIP and IM - after experiencing the second-highest growth of 88% during the period, regular Allot figures reveal.

That growth came at the expense of file sharing, which saw its share of the market fall from 29% in 1H11 to 26% in 2H, and web browsing, which fell from 25% in 1H to 24% in 2H.

Allot notes that app store traffic is now broadly on-par with VoIP and IM, with Apple generating 79% of traffic during the period to maintain its dominance of the sector. However, the figures show that Apple’s growth of 61% pales in comparison to Android Marketplace, which grew by 232% in 2H11 to give the firm an 18% share of overall traffic.

The figures are revealed in Allot’s seventh report on global mobile broadband usage, which is based on anonymous data from operators with a combined subscriber base of 250 million.

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