Mobile data wars: Skype and Viber a real challenge for operators

26 Jul 2011

Mobile data bandwidth usage continued its steady usage rise, with 77pc growth during the first half of 2011, according to the Allot Mobile Trends Report. YouTube accounts for 22pc of mobile data bandwith and Apple’s App Store generates 84pc of overall app store download traffic.

The H1 2011 Allot MobileTrends Report found that video streaming continued to show significant growth with a 93pc increase, and remains the single largest application taking up bandwidth, accounting for 39pc of mobile bandwidth.

Although having limited impact on the total bandwidth, VoIP and IM have gained share to become the fastest-growing application type with a 101pc increase. This data is in line with the declining SMS/MMS revenue experienced by operators.

The H1 2011 Allot MobileTrends Report for the first time takes a closer look at trends in charging models among worldwide operators based on survey information gathered from more than 50 worldwide mobile operators.

The findings reveal a growing number of operators are implementing application-aware charging models and most operators no longer offer ‘unlimited’ data plans.

Main findings include:

  • YouTube remains the single most popular mobile internet destination, accounting for 22pc of mobile data bandwidth usage and 52pc of total video streaming
  • Apple’s App Store generates 84pc of overall app store download traffic, while Google’s Android Market accounts for 13pc
  • Skype continues as the undisputed VoIP market leader with 82pc of mobile VoIP bandwidth, although its market share has been slightly reduced by newcomers such as Viber
  • Twitter and Facebook grew by 297pc and 166pc, respectively
  • 32pc of the mobile operators surveyed worldwide have already implemented application-aware charging models

“OTT applications continue to shift the balance of power from the operators to the content and app providers,” said Rami Hadar, president and CEO of Allot Communications.

“This presents a real challenge for survival to which operators have already begun to respond. We are seeing operators taking the opportunity to evolve their service plans, away from ‘unlimited’ and towards application-aware models, in order to meet this challenge,” Hadar said.


John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years