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Sandvine Report: On-demand is in demand. Internet traffic report identifies real-time applications as key driver in consumer data consumption

Sandvine, a leading provider of intelligent broadband network solutions for cable, DSL, FTTx, fixed wireless and mobile operators, today released an Internet traffic trends report, entitled “2009 Global Broadband Phenomena”, based on data from more than 20 cable and DSL service provider networks, totaling 24 million subscribers, spanning five regions worldwide including, North America, Europe, Caribbean and Latin America, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and Africa.

This is the sixth report in an ongoing series of broadband phenomena & Internet traffic analysis Sandvine has published since 2002.

The 2009 report findings include a dramatic increase in consumer behavior towards real-time “experience now” applications and away from bulk download “experience later” applications.   Compared to last year’s results, real-time entertainment traffic (video and audio streaming, Flash media, peercasting, placeshifting) accounts for 26.6 per cent of total traffic in 2009, up from 12.6 per cent in 2008.  Overall, the “experience now” applications (real-time entertainment and real-time communications, such as social networking, VoIP and gaming) continue their domination of peak evening hours, with usage growing substantially from 17.7 per cent in 2008 to 32.8 per cent in 2009.

“We live in a ‘right here right now’ society and that translates into time-sensitive gigabits,” said Dave Caputo, Sandvine co-founder, president and CEO.  “As more and more consumers rely on their Internet connection for on-demand entertainment it is increasingly necessary to protect their quality of experience.  A key element for minimizing customer churn and increasing consumer satisfaction will be improving quality of experience, especially in times of congestion when these real-time applications are being utilized the most and are the most sensitive to latency and jitter.” 

Other key findings include a shift in Internet usage peak-times, from 6:00 - 11:00 p.m. in 2008 to 7:00 -10:00 p.m. in 2009, down by a full two hours.  Sandvine’s global research also finds that one per cent of subscribers account for nearly 25 per cent of total monthly Internet traffic, indicating a vast difference between the average subscriber and heavy users.

“Broadband access has become an indispensible utility and there is a real need to educate consumers on the network demands and bandwidth consumption needs of their favorite applications,” said Mr. Caputo.  “More and more often, network providers will start offering transparent billing models based on subscriber usage and personalized tiers.  The reality is that all-you-can-eat service plans do not serve either subscribers or broadband service providers in the long term.”

Other notable findings and regional comparisons:

  • North America consumes the most YouTube videos followed closely by the Middle East and Africa;
  • Africa uses Skype more often than any other region worldwide;
  • Bit Torrent is the dominant peer-to-peer file sharing application by numbers of users and total bytes worldwide, however in Caribbean and Latin America, Ares protocol is most popular; and
  • Asia-Pacific subscribers have the largest appetite for real-time entertainment.

Visit http://www.sandvine.com/news/global_broadband_trends.asp for the executive summary of the 2009 Global Broadband Phenomena report.

2009 Global Broadband Report Methodology

This study was based on data from more than 20 cable and DSL service provider networks totaling 24 million subscribers, spanning five regions worldwide including, North America, Europe, Caribbean and Latin America, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and Africa. Data was gathered between September 1 and 22, 2009 and captured the bits-per-second, per protocol and the number of active hosts per protocol on the network.

The data gathered in Sandvine’s global Internet traffic report is completely subscriber-anonymous.  No identifiable information of any kind, including IP addresses were collected during this study.  Sandvine’s network equipment analyzes data from an application utilization level and is not content aware.

With service provider customers in over 70 countries serving over a hundred million broadband and wireless subscribers, Sandvine is enhancing the Internet experience worldwide. For more information on Sandvine’s platform and products please visit www.sandvine.com.

October 26, 2009

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