Our mobile devices are now rarely out of reach. From the instance your alarm wakes you up in the morning to the last social media thumb scroll, our mobile devices are constantly by our side.
A mobile network is fascinating between these two moments throughout the typical day - when commuting to work, standing in line for coffee, grabbing lunch, taking the train, or going for a walk - our phones are always with us!
Have you ever thought about what a day in the life from the perspective of a mobile network looks like?
The mobile network is made up of applications that reflect us on the go. Simply the best way to truly understand mobile quality of experience is to look at how people engage with mobile applications and services throughout their day. In our 2021 Mobile Internet Phenomena Report, we took a snapshot of a day in the life of a mobile network and it is incredible to see a mobile network come to life with our day to day routines.
Morning has broken
In the morning, 29% of mobile traffic falls within the social networking category as the number one service – with users taking advantage of the morning commute to check on their social feeds. Web applications follow closely behind making up 25% of mobile traffic as users check on their emails and catch up on the daily news. Interestingly, with so much mobility the focus is on short-form content and immediate priorities to set ourselves up for success in the day!
As the day progresses, social networking traffic holds strong, but we also see in an increase in the consumption of short-form Video Streaming services - increasing by 10% over the morning hours.
YouTube is the king in this category as a key source of short-form video content that is easy to sneak into a lunch or afternoon break.
Zoom, which is typically an application that has dominated on fixed-networks during the stay at home orders, is an application that is also driving a substantial amount of Video Streaming traffic and peaks during the lunch time period.
Taking a meeting on the move is a phenomena that has risen as a result of an increase in online meetings, since more people are working from home. We also see peaks in Zoom usage during key meeting times outside of the lunch period. These peaks in mobile networks could also be the result of a poor quality of experience on fixed home networks during peak times resulting in users switching to mobile networks to have a better connection.
From dusk till dawn
In the evening, the consumer is ready for entertainment. Social networks and Video Streaming services continue to take over the network as consumers unwind from their day with entertainment, news, and social clips. While YouTube stays in the number one spot, Netflix makes an appearance in the top five applications filling in the need for long-form evening content. The key trend during this time is that consumers are looking for video-first content as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook Video round out the top six evening applications.
The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly had a major impact on daily mobile Internet patterns and we expect these patterns to continue as we slowly open up our economies, return to more transient routines, and as 5G drives an even better mobile experience.
Peak Times Make or Break Mobile Experiences
The 2021 Mobile Internet Phenomena Report includes more in depth data on the categories and applications that dominate network traffic throughout different times of the day and highlights peak times. Service providers that optimize network performance during these peak periods and understand the applications that are driving these peaks at different times of day, will be in the best position to deliver a high quality mobile customer experience.
Explore a day in the life of your network
Our panel of network experts are ready to help you understand the applications that are driving a day in the life of your network and how Sandvine enables operators to delight their customers, plan for the network of the future, and provide world class customer experience.