LTE drives surge in video consumption, claims new report

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Video now accounts for more than half of global mobile network traffic, with five times more data served over LTE networks than 3G, new research has found.

Citrix's latest Mobile Analytics Report, which tracks traffic from 3G and 4G networks, found that there are 1.5 times more requests for video content over LTE networks than 3G. Video traffic volume is now 52 percent of total, up from 45 percent in the second quarter of 2013.

The report also found video consumption is longer on LTE networks, with 76 percent of Netflix viewers watching more than five minutes of content on 4G networks, compared to 65 percent on 3G.

Video also heavily features on social networks, which remains the most popular app category. The report said 47 percent of social network data is video content, with images comprising 40 percent. However, video consumption on the likes of Facebook or Twitter account for 39 percent of traffic in Europe, behind the Middle East (62 percent) and North America (59 percent).

Anna Yong, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Citrix, said: "The key concern regarding the rise of video is, and always has been, user experience, both in terms of network quality and subscriber plan satisfaction. We know that video is high-impact when it comes to mobile network consumption - where only 20 percent of subscribers access video on any given day, they are generating 42 percent of daily data traffic volume on the mobile network.

"LTe further increases the impact of video, generating 1.5x more demand than 3G, yet generating 5X more video data volume than 3G. This gives video the potential to affect both overall quality of experience of the user, such as smoothness of video and likelihood of stalling, as well as eat into their data usage. Mobile operators' network management strategies need to evolve to keep pace with changing user habits."

The report also found video is increasingly used in mobile advertising, up 20 percent since the beginning of 2014.

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