Netflix the Second Largest Source of Traffic in UK and Ireland, says Sandvine's Report

Within two years of its launch, Netflix is already the second largest driver of traffic on fixed access networks in the UK and Ireland. According to Sandvine, provider of intelligent broadband network solutions for fixed and mobile operators, the staggering growth of such applications will necessitate the use of business intelligence solutions that can accurately measure and monitor the impact of OTT services on networks. In their recent bi-annual Internet traffic trends report, entitled “Global Internet Phenomena Report 1H2014”, Sandvine reported the rise in the usage of OTT applications, in particular, video applications based on data from a selection of Sandvine’s 250-plus communications service provider (CSP) customers spanning North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Caribbean and Latin America and Asia-Pacific. 

Key findings in the report include:

On Demand Video

  • North American subscribers who exhibit “cord cutting” behavior (top 15th percentile of video users) are dominating network usage:

    • Consuming on average 212GB a month, more than seven times the 29GB of a typical subscriber

    • Viewing the equivalent of 100 hours of video each month

    • Accounting for the majority (54%) of total monthly network traffic

  • In United Kingdom and Ireland, Netflix is now the second largest source of traffic during the peak evening hours, accounting for over 17.8% of downstream fixed access traffic

  • The availability of high bitrate Super HD content to all Netflix subscribers in North America increased Netflix’s peak downstream traffic share from 31.6% to 34.2%. Amazon Instant Video continues to gain share, but still only accounts for 1.9% of downstream traffic


  • Snapchat generates more traffic than any other third-party messaging app on North American mobile networks, and on one network accounted for an astonishing 12% of total traffic on New Year’s Eve

  • On an African mobile network where the majority of subscribers have talk and text plans, WhatsApp accounts for over 23% of traffic due to the introduction of a low-cost, unlimited access plan for the service that is designed to drive data adoption

  • On several LTE networks in Asia, third-party messaging apps such as Line or WeChat are used by over 40% of mobile subscribers each hour.

Live Streaming

  • Twitch.TV, a live streaming service where video gamers watch each other play, has established itself among the top-15 applications on many fixed networks across the globe, and now generates more traffic than HBO GO on US networks

  • During the World Cup, live streaming of matches is predicted to account for over 40% of network traffic on some Latin American mobile networks


"Just over two years after its launch, Netflix has become the second largest driver of traffic on fixed access networks in the UK and Ireland. This rapid ascent underscores how important it is that operators have business intelligence solutions in place to accurately measure and monitor the impact that over-the-top services have on their networks."
"While the app of choice varies drastically between continents and countries, this latest report makes it clear that mobile messaging matters. To remain competitive in the marketplace, mobile operators must be able to create and implement innovative service plans rapidly in order to meet the ever-changing demands of subscribers and combat declining SMS revenues.”

- Dave Caputo, President and CEO, Sandvine

Executive Editor of The Fast Mode | 5G | IoT/M2M | Telecom Strategy | Mobile Data Innovations 

Tara Neal covers stories on strategies and initiatives in the Digital Telco space, and anchors the 5G and IoT/M2M verticals on the publication. Tara holds a First Class Honours in BSc Accounting and Finance from The London School of Economics, UK and is a CFA charterholder from the CFA Institute, United States. Tara has over 20 years experience in technology and business strategy.

Follow her on Twitter @taraneal11, LinkedIn @taraneal11, Facebook or email her at


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