November 13, 2012


Video demands large quantities of bandwidth in consumer market, echoing enterprise trends

Internet use is widespread, with connectivity available in the vast majority of locations and often through multiple means. As more people are accessing the web, the importance of high-performance and data-rich applications is rising. According to a recent study from Sandvine, video is gaining a prominent role in this movement.

Video demands large quantities of bandwidth
According to the study, consumers are heavily interested in video. In Europe, approximately 20 percent of peak downstream traffic on mobile networks is taken up by YouTube. The North American market is dominated by Netflix, which represents approximately 33 percent of all peak downstream traffic in fixed networks. Netflix is not the only video service demanding large quantities of bandwidth in consumer networks. Amazon Instant Video, Hulu and HBO GO all have a substantial impact on fixed networks in North America.

Dave Caputo, CEO of Sandvine, explained that video and other real-time data applications are consuming extremely large quantities of bandwidth in consumer networks.

“Audio and video streaming account for 65% of all downstream traffic from 9pm-12am and half of that is Netflix traffic [on North America fixed networks],” said Caputo. “Prioritizing real-time applications like live audio and video is critical to maintaining a high quality of experience.  Sandvine’s video quality metrics, including display and transport quality, will be key to understanding the impact of major events like the 2014 World Cup which will likely be the most streamed event in Internet history.”

Understanding where consumer and enterprise trends intersect
While Sandvine’s study focused on the consumer market, it also sheds light on potential trends in the enterprise video sector. The consumerization of IT has emerged as a prominent trend across many types of businesses. While this is primarily discussed in terms of mobile device use, it is important that IT leaders recognize that consumerization impacts other areas of operation as well.

IT departments taking a proactive approach to avoiding the pitfalls of consumerization while meeting employee needs have to look closely at consumer industry trends and prepare for them. With video becoming such a prominent bandwidth hog in the consumer market, organizations may want to prepare for similar activities in internet use patterns among their workers. Companies that are aggressive about using video could capitalize on the technology’s ability to engage workers.