Video traffic now represents half of all traffic on the networks, according to Bytemobile’s February 2012 Mobile Analytics Report. On certain networks, video traffic is up to 69 percent of total traffic.

That is important for one strategic reason: video now drives bandwidth consumption.

One often hears it noted that video represents two orders of magnitude more bandwidth demand than voice. The latest Bytemobile study confirms that video consumes two orders of bandwidth more than Facebook.

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When a user is on Facebook for nine minutes, or YouTube for nine minutes, YouTube generates 350 times more traffic than the Facebook session.

The study also confirms what logic would suggest: namely that larger screen devices, whether PCs, notebooks or tablets, create more bandwidth demand than smart phones or feature phones do. Some would say a large-screen device (PC, notebook or tablet) will tend to lead to an order of magnitude higher data consumption than a smart phone.

Most mobile network bandwidth demand, for example, has been driven by PC dongles. Smart phone bandwidth demand has been relatively slight, in comparison, and bandwidth offload mechanisms will be important for all mobile devices in the future, it would appear.

Possibly nine percent of mobile usage occurs when people are out and about, the balance occurring either at stationary locations such as home or work. Logic also would suggest that when people are out and about, they are not typically consuming as much data as when they are stationary, either at home or at work.

As early as 2007, about 40 percent of total mobile traffic was generated in the home environment Informa Telecoms & Media has said.

Mobile use at work now is likely about 30 percent of mobile device usage.

According to Bytemobile’s report, an iPad user generates three times the data traffic that an iPhone subscriber does.

Also of note, mobile social networking is taking off, as smart phone users spend an average of 4.57 minutes per session on Twitter, 8.51 minutes per session on YouTube and 9.06 minutes per session on Facebook.

Some mobile networks have seen average volumes of video traffic grow 10 percentage points since February 2011,

The report also shows that a majority of traffic generated by iOS devices, about 83 percent, comes from just three native Apple apps: Media Player, Safari and App Store/iTunes, at 47 percent, 21 percent and 15 percent, respectively.

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