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Netflix, YouTube Consume Half of Internet Traffic
Netflix, YouTube Consume Half of Internet Traffic

By Nancy Owano
November 11, 2013 11:20AM

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"Since 2009, on-demand entertainment has consumed more bandwidth than 'experience later' applications like peer-to-peer file-sharing," said Dave Caputo, Sandvine CEO. Sandvine's Sandvine's "Global Internet Phenomena Report 2H2013" found that Netflix and YouTube now account for 50 percent of downstream traffic on fixed networks.

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Other noteworthy findings include findings on Instagram and Dropbox, two top-ranked applications in many regions across the globe. The report found that in Latin American mobile networks, Instagram is now the seventh top-ranked downstream application.

Commenting on Monday about the report in Sandvine's Internet Phenomena blog, marketing analyst Dan Deeth highlighted the report's findings on Africa. "For the first time we were able to shine a light on mobile networks in Africa. As a whole, Africa is among the most diverse and fastest-growing regions in the world, and our data shows just how unique their mobile Internet usage is."

If one assumes people on the continent are stuck on Real-Time Entertainment watching, then think again. This is not the case in Africa. "During peak period, Real-Time Entertainment accounts for only 4.7 percent of peak downstream traffic," he found. "Instead, we can crown Web browsing as the dominant downstream traffic category, accounting for over 44 percent of total traffic."

Africa's Seat at Opera

YouTube findings may also cause surprise for some. In Africa it accounted for just 2.7 percent of traffic. HTTP traffic was the leading source of traffic at 32.2 percent and WAP Browsing (typically Web browsing on a feature phone) was also a contributor at 5.8 percent. He noted, too, that Africa was the only region where Opera Mini, a web browser focused on data efficiency, is among the top 25 applications.

Another note-taking item is how BlackBerry devices are popular in emerging markets such as Africa. Deeth said, "BlackBerry smartphones are efficient because all of their data (e-mail, browsing, BBM) is tunneled to a network operations center (NOC), and because of this it is seen as one singular source of traffic accounting for 13.9 percent of traffic."

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