As more and more customers switch to unlimited data plans and 5G technology becomes more widely available, it’s clear that video traffic will continue to make up a large percentage of the data usage across all mobile networks. Video traffic on mobile networks is in fact forecast to grow by around 34 percent annually up to 2024, according to a mobile industry report released earlier this year by Ericsson.
What’s Causing This Growth?
Video’s domination of the data use on today’s mobile networks can be attributed to a variety of different factors. One of the biggest contributions to this rise is the fact that video is now often embedded in a wide variety of different websites, including your social media feed.
Logging into Facebook or Twitter and hovering over a video will cause either the video or at least a gif to start playing automatically depending on the user’s settings. In other words, the user doesn’t even have to “click” on the video to begin playing it. This used to be a problem in the days of strict data caps, but now with most mobile providers offering unlimited data plans, there are a lot of users today who don’t think twice about watching videos on their mobile devices for a longer length of time.
Social media networks like Instagram and Snapchat also continue to gain users. The popularity of multiple social media platforms makes it easy for anyone to share a video with the click or tap of a button, thereby potentially sending that video data out to dozens or hundreds of additional phones or tablets across the country and around the world.
Another factor in the continued growth of mobile video is that many mobile providers now offer free access to a video streaming service as part of their plan. Sprint has offered customers on its unlimited data plan access to Hulu for years now. T-Mobile offers some of its customers’ free access to Netflix and further encourages widespread use by not counting Netflix data against the customer’s cap if they have one. Verizon Wireless got in on the fun at the start of November, offering The Walt Disney Company’s new Disney Plus streaming service for free to certain customers. The days of having to quickly turn off a video for fear of using up all of your data are clearly long gone.
5G Will Continue This Trend
Ericsson’s mobile traffic report also makes clear that industry watchers expect 5G to supercharge video traffic as 5G smartphones and networks become more widely available. 2019 has already seen the introduction of some 5G-capable phones, but many are looking to 2020 as the year this new technology will finally take off. 5G is such a large jump in speed and bandwidth compared to 4G or 3G that it’s not uncommon for customers to describe the network as being on par with the reliability of traditional Wi-Fi.
5G will offer the network performance needed for more immersive media on your smartphone or tablet. Video featuring augmented or even virtual reality is expected to continue to grow in popularity and will no doubt further cement video’s domination when it comes to data use.
Join the Global Digital Transformation
Intraway helps global telecommunications operators unleash the full power of their networks. Our standards-based approach adds cutting-edge functionality which will allow your business to speed up time to market, advance customer-centricity, and reduce operational costs. Video is going to continue to dominate data usage in the mobile market for years to come, and it’s time to make sure your company is ready for what’s to come. Contact Intraway today for more information.