Last week’s Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) show was hosted in the lively city of New Orleans and pulled together over 40,000 attendees and more than 1,000 exhibitors from all corners of the globe to discuss issues facing the mobile industry. As a show opener, a local jazz quartet marched out to center stage and delighted the applauding audience with a snappy tune. Some could argue that this brief music interlude captured the peak of show excitement, as some reporters have been commenting on how quiet this year’s event was.
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Although it may seem to have been a quieter show, Sandvine believes that there is an underground current of noise that everyone is starting to listen to much more closely. In our Global Internet Phenomena Report: 1H 2012, we reported that streaming audio now accounts for over 6% of total mobile traffic in some regions of the globe and that YouTube is the largest source of mobile video traffic in every region examined, accounting for as much as 25% of network data. How many people are listening to music through Pandora on your network? If subscribers are starting to use mobile devices as a radio, it won’t be long before they use mobile devices as their TV.
Adding to these mobile melodies, the score is further complicated by the entrance of several new phones unveiled at the show, including RIM’s BlackBerry Curve 9320, HTC’s Droid Incredible 4G LTE for Verizon Wireless, HTC Evo V 4G for Virgin Mobile, Kyocera’s Rise and Hydro and Samsung’s Focus 2 for AT&T Mobility. Some of these phones will have built-in capabilities like automating the upload and download of endless Bourbon Street photos and videos. Sandvine calls this phenomenon “click to cloud” and predicts we’ll continue to see this sort of automation claim its share of bandwidth in the future.
CTIA keynote speakers such as former President Bill Clinton, spoke on the global benefits of mobile technology, especially for those living in poverty. FCC Chairman, Julius Genachowski, outlined his 2013 budget request of over $346 million and his initiatives in creating spectrum. While these initiatives may help ease bandwidth concerns, Sandvine’s experience shows that increased bandwidth is not a panacea. Additional bandwidth quickly gets consumed and network traffic management techniques will still be needed to optimize quality and manage the priority of time-sensitive applications like streaming video and music.
If you didn’t get a chance to connect with Sandvine at the show, you are always welcome to investigate our spectrum of “instruments” including traffic management techniques, network analytics and usage management solutions. We have been listening to our customers for over 10 years, so don’t be afraid to ask challenging questions – our answers will be music to your ears!
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