Sandvine: Internet usage soars in North America

Fueled by Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX), which accounted for a 33 percent bandwidth share, North American Internet data usage spiked 120 percent in the last year, according to the latest research from Sandvine.

Data culled from a selection of 200-plus Sandvine customers throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America and Asia-Pacific, revealed "mean monthly data usage has increased by 120 percent from 23GB to 51GB in the past year on North American fixed line networks." The total is equivalent to 81 hours of video, the research firm said.

While Netflix dominated the North American market with 33 percent of peak period downstream traffic, YouTube led the way in Europe with more than 20 percent of peak period downstream traffic. Others in the North American mix include (Nasdaq: AMZN) (1.8 percent of peak period downstream traffic), Hulu (1.4 percent) and HBO Go (0.5 percent), the research showed.

"There is only one digital network being built today and that is the Internet," Dave Caputo, Sandvine's CEO, said in a news release. "With a 120 percent growth rate there is no doubt that more communications service providers will be launching application-based pricing plans that provide cost certainty and consistent quality of experience for high-demand applications."

The highest demand applications are audio and video streaming, Caputo said.

"Since 2009 on-demand entertainment consumed more bandwidth than 'experience later' bulk transfers and we project that trend to continue through 2015 when BitTorrent will shrink to less than 10 percent of total traffic," Caputo said.

For now, BitTorrent appears to account for about 16 percent of total European traffic and about 12 percent in North America, the researchers said. On the other hand, in Asia "where there are fewer paid over-the-top video services available, BitTorrent accounts for 36 percent of the traffic," the research indicated.

For more:
- Sandvine issued this news release

Related article:
Sandvine: Streaming video invading mobile networks