Mobile data peak demand is an all-day phenomenon

There’s no rest for a busy network. With video now accounting for the lion’s share of mobile data traffic on wireless networks, peak demand has become an almost all-day phenomenon, running from noon to midnight daily.

According to the quarterly Mobile Analytics Report released by network optimisation firm Bytemobile, video now generates 40-60 per cent of mobile data traffic, with the 29 per cent of users who request high-resolution video hogging 45 per cent of network resources.

For those in search of a high-res YouTube experience using iOS, it seems that how you access the site counts for a lot: iPad users of the pre-installed YouTube app are served a lower-res experience, with 83 per cent of users getting 240p or less. In contrast, 69 per cent of users accessing the site through their browser got 360p, against only 14 per cent of app users.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, smartphones have moved neck-and-neck with laptops in the video usages stakes, increasing the network load of video. Android devices are level pegging with laptops, at 52 per cent; iPhone users are slightly more video-hungry, at 58 per cent.

Depending on network conditions and time of day, mobile videos stall anywhere between 5-40 per cent of the time. With video optimisation found to reduce stalling and improve Quality of Service (QoS) by between 30-50 per cent, operators resisting the urge to optimise might be interested to learn that Bytemobile found that subscribers will happily watch video for longer on networks where QoS is better: as much as double the amount of time in some cases.

Bytemobile’s report is based on data acquired from a global cross-section of its customers’ wireless networks.

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