Mean monthly Internet data usage on North America fixed-line networks has shot up 120% in the past year, from 23 gigabytes (GB) to 51 GB– “equivalent to 81 hours of video,” according to data gleaned from Sandvine’s 200-plus customer base.

Mean monthly mobile Internet data consumption in Asia—the largest consumer of mobile data among major world regions—was up 10% in the last six months to a mean monthly average 659 MB, according to Sandvine’s “Global Internet Phenomena Report 2H 2012” on Internet traffic trends.

Audio and video streaming account for 65% of all downstream traffic between 9 pm and 12 am, and half of that is Netflix traffic flowing across North Americna fixed networks, Sandvine found. “Prioritizing real-time applications like live audio and video is critical to maintaining a high quality of experience,” commented Sandvine CEO Dave Caputo. “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.”

Included among the report’s findings on broadband network video streaming:

  • In Europe, YouTube represents more than 20% of peak period downstream traffic on mobile networks
  • Netflix dominates North American fixed networks accounting for 33% of peak period downstream traffic
  • Other video services on North American fixed networks include Amazon (1.8% of peak period downstream traffic), Hulu (1.4%) and HBO Go (0.5%)

Looking at P2P file sharing,  Sandvine found:

  • BitTorrent continues to decline in application-share, accounting for 16% of total traffic in Europe and slightly less in North America, where it accounts for 12%
  • In Asia-Pacific, where there are fewer paid over-the-top video services available, BitTorrent accounts for 36% of total traffic

“Real-time entertainment continues to soar,” Caputo commented. “Since 2009 on-demand entertainment consumed more bandwidth than ‘experience-later’ bulk transfers and we project that trend to continue through 2015 when BitTorrent will shrink to less than 10% of total traffic.”

“There is only one digital network being built today and that is the Internet,” he continued. “With a 120% growth rate there is no doubt that more communications service providers will be launching application-based pricing plans that provide cost certainty and a consistent quality of experience for high-demand applications. Understanding the application make-up of a network is a critical first step in launching new services.”