Yesterday, Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 7 was released to the public.
We hadalready covered the surge in traffic caused by iOS app updates being released on Tuesday evening, so today I thought I would take a look at the impact that downloading the actual OS made. With two iPhones and an iPad in my household, and knowing that I personally downloaded over 5GB of software and app updates yesterday, I was still kind of surprised by iOS 7’simpact .
Below is a report from a single North American fixed access operator, showing both the bandwidth and traffic share that Apple Updates accounted for over the past few days. Upon release at 1PM ET, Apple Updates immediately became almost 20% of total network traffic, and continued to stay above 15% of total traffic into the evening peak hours.
What I found most interesting is that the launch noticeably increased the total volume of traffic during peak hours. This presents a unique challenge for operators, since they must engineer their networks for peak demand, and Apple product launches and software updates are infrequent in nature.
Apple introduced over-the-air (OTA) updates last year which allow users to download changes to the core OS, but Apple has still has yet to implement any kind of incremental update system for apps like Android. This means that users consume significantly more bandwidth when updating apps, and creates the potential for bill shock given that that Apple now allows app updates up to 100MB on a cellular network.
In talking to a few of our customers, I know they were closely paying attention to the traffic demand the launch would cause, and based on the results we observed, I expect even more will do so when iOS 8 launches next year.
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