Smart devices push networks to the edge
With Christmas bringing another leap in ownership of tablets, smartphones and other devices, new research from Bell Labs, the research arm of Alcatel-Lucent, suggests that increasing consumption of video content on such devices will push the wired broadband networks that carry this traffic to their absolute limits over the next decade.
Bell Labs’s projections suggest that, by 2020, consumers in the United States will access seven hours of video each day – compared to 4.8 hours today, and will increasingly consume this additional video on tablets, both at home and on the go.
Significantly, the research also points to a dramatic shift in viewing habits, as consumers switch from broadcast content to video-on-demand services, which will grow to 70 per cent of daily consumption compared with 33 per cent today.
The projections also suggest a 12 times increase in Internet video content as cloud services, news sites and social networking applications become more video based, and continuously accessible anywhere on tablets.
Importantly, the study also highlighted how these trends will stretch the capabilities the residential broadband networks many service providers use today. As the delivery of video content rapidly moves from traditional broadcast TV to the ‘unicast’ delivery of personalized content to individuals, disproportionate pressure will be placed on the ‘IP edge’ of these networks.