When pulling together the Global Internet Phenomena Report, Sandvine has access to an incredible wealth of data. Typically this is data used to present a highly detailed analysis of what is current and happening around the globe, but it can also be used to help predict what will happen in the future.
To wrap up the year, rather than try and predict what will happen in 2013, I’m going to take a slightly longer view and make six predictions about what will be the Internet will look like in 2015.
Home Roaming Will Be a Home Run
In the 1H 2012 Global Internet Phenomena report, we revealed that Real-Time Entertainment applications on mobile devices (smartphone and tablets) being used on fixed access networks accounted for 9% of all traffic in North America.
By 2015, we believe this trend will be even more profound, with mobile devices accounting for 20% of all traffic on North American fixed access networks.
This prediction is based on the fact that smartphone ownership rates are still expected to grow, and tablets are still a new emerging product category, with many consumers yet to buy their first.
No Stopping Real-Time Entertainment
Real-Time Entertainment is the most popular traffic category on almost every network we have examined.
In the past three years on North American fixed access networks, Real-Time Entertainment has almost doubled its share of traffic, now accounting for 58.6% of all peak period traffic.
Sandvine expects this growth to continue, with Real-Time Entertainment accounting for over two-thirds of peak period traffic by 2015.
Netflix Will Continue Its Dominance in North America
In recent years, competing pay over-the-top (OTT) video services from Amazon, Hulu, and HBO have all attempted to take on Netflix with only marginal success. Netflix currently accounts for 33.0% of downstream traffic during peak period in North America, with Amazon being the second place pay OTT video service, accounting for 1.75% of peak period downstream traffic.
Even with moderate growth of these competing services, Sandvine expects Netflix to maintain at least a ten-fold lead in traffic share amongst long form video services until at least 2015.
The 2014 World Cup Will Be the Most Streamed Event In Internet History
Operators from around the world saw significant adoption of live streaming of the London Olympic games, but 2013 doesn’t appear to have a single scheduled global event that will drive demand for live streaming.
With soccer being the most popular sport in the world, we think the 2014 World Cup should easily smash all sports streaming records set in 2014.
In the last year, BitTorrent has declined from 18.87% of total traffic on North American fixed access networks to 12.44%. We believe that the reason for this slide is primarily due to the increasing number of legitimate and affordable Real- Time Entertainment options available to subscribers.
Based on the downward trend covered in the last several Global Internet Phenomena Reports, we predict that by 2015 BitTorrent in North America will be less than 10% of total daily traffic.
Service Plans Will Need Servicing
With a global rollout of LTE and demand for video continuing to grow, mobile users will demand service packages with ten times the monthly quota that is available in 2012
So will our predictions hold true? We think so, but Internet can be a crazy thing to predict. The next big future trend might launch in 2013 and throw some of these predictions off. The good news is we will be sure to cover it in this blog when it happens.