Cisco just recently released their "Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2013-2018" report. You can download the full report here:
If you don’t get a chance to read the entire report, we wanted to provide some of the mobile video related highlights:
- Mobile video traffic exceeded 50% for the first time in 2012. Mobile video traffic was 53% of traffic by the end of 2013.
- Globally, smart devices represented 21% of the total mobile devices and connections in 2013, they accounted for 88% of the mobile data traffic. In 2013, on an average, a smart device generated 29 times more traffic than a non-smart device.
- Over two-thirds of the world's mobile data traffic will be video by 2018. Mobile video will increase 14-fold between 2013 and 2018, accounting for 69% of total mobile data traffic by the end of the forecast period.
- The average smartphone will generate 2.7 GB of traffic per month by 2018, a 5 fold increase over the 2013 average of 529 MB per month.
- Mobile video will grow at a CAGR of 69% between 2013 and 2018.
- Of the 15.9 exabytes per month crossing the mobile network by 2018, 11 exabytes will be due to video.
- Globally the average mobile network connection speed in 2013 was 1,387 Kbps. The average speed will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 13%, and will exceed 2.5 Mbps by 2018.
These findings confirm that current mobile video optimization solutions are simply inadequate. Mobile video growth is expected to continue a torrid growth rate, growing from 53% of all mobile data traffic in 2013 to 69% in 2018. Also, mobile network connection speeds are not increasing fast enough to support increasing demand for high definition video content.
What’s even more daunting is that smart devices only accounted for 21% of mobile devices and connections in 2013. What happens if that number continues to grow, especially as device manufacturers continue to drive down price points to compete in some of the largest markets around the world? The end result is increased network congestion.
What does this mean for optimization? :
- In order to meet this demand, optimization will move from being a centralized function to being distributed to multiple layers, whether at the source, device or in the network.
- Optimization will become more targeted and intelligent, in order to really focus on reducing congestion where it is most needed (add link to previous blog)
- Since video traffic will continue to dominate, adding services and monetizing this traffic will become increasingly important, and analytics on video usage be an important enabler for monetization.
- Customer Quality of Experience (QoE) will also become more valuable as users will judge their network providers based on their experience viewing video content.
So as we continue to watch mobile video traffic grow, we also believe this pressure will lead to conflict. We believe there is definitely a looming battle between content owners and operators, as they look to implement competing or conflicting approaches as each side strives to take control of monetization, optimization and QoE.