Republished with permission from the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA)
The great migration to rural and regional communities is on in America as more city dwellers e-scape to the country and reevaluate their way of life. This migration is being driven by several trends including: growth in remote work, learning, and health care due to the pandemic — a phenomenon that is expected to continue even after we fully recover; the desire for a simpler, lower cost way of life; the fact that most commercial transactions are now online, making it easier for businesses to locate anywhere; and, the expansion of remote health care, education, and precision agriculture.
These trends will continue to cause significant growth in mobile and fixed network traffic in underserved communities. Sandvine’s recent Mobile Internet Phenomena Report 2021 provides several insights into these trends and the importance of 5G in managing traffic growth and delivering innovative services.
For example, as shown in Figure 1, work traffic has undergone a major shift from offices to home networks, which are the new “hub” for work, learning, shopping, and entertainment. Competitive carriers that deliver innovative services to these “smart homes,” while effectively managing traffic growth, will be ahead of the game.
Figure 1: Work traffic shift from enterprises to homes
As we all know, we are living in a video-first economy. YouTube, Facebook Video,TikTok, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams are among the most popular mobile applications by traffic share. These services can be augmented by 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) services as video-conferencing, online learning, short-form video entertainment, and remote health care become a larger part of our daily lives.
Figure 2: 5G FWA is becoming more critical as video-first home networks take off
Another important consideration in designing new services and managing traffic growth is understanding what a “day in the life” of your network looks like. Sandvine took a snapshot of a day in the life of a mobile network using North American data during January 2021. It revealed significant application traffic shifts throughout the day between work-oriented video apps such as Zoom and Teams, social video apps such as YouTube, Netflix, and TikTok, and social networking apps like Facebook and Instagram. It also revealed shifts in peak hour traffic.
Figure 3: Afternoon traffic on mobile networks
This kind of application and network intelligence is critical in designing innovative services.
In remote industrial settings such as agriculture, oil and gas fields, and shipping, the internet of things (IoT) is yet another opportunity. Many “things” are either stationary (meters, sensors) or move within a small area (equipment, containers).
Service Breakdown in the Afternoon
Consumers turn to mobile networks for more video streaming services — an increase of 10% since morning
Competitive carriers can offer 5G mobile and FWA services to connect these “things” and transmit readings, video, location, and other important data. All these opportunities will require application and network intelligence based on real-time traffic visibility, contextual awareness, and inline actions. Some examples include: network performance optimization and analytics, service and subscriber analytics, video and VoIP quality of experience analytics and optimization, intent-based congestion management, usage-based services, and 5G slice analytics.
These capabilities will be critical for competitive carriers to deliver exceptional digital experiences to customers.
YouTube is No.1; social networking dominates the top five
Sandvine’s market-leading, cloud-based Application and Network Intelligence portfolio helps customers deliver exceptional digital experiences and grow revenues. By classifying over 95% of mobile and fixed network traffic, we create rich, real-time network and service data, and apply contextual insights to improve performance and enhance services.