In this discussion with Cisco’s Arielle Sumits, we discuss the latest visual networking index forecast for mobile video. What are the impacts of the return of unlimited data, zero rating, live video, and ultra HD?
Chapter 1: Mobile VNI methodology (1:30)
Mobile VNI is Cisco’s forecast for all things mobile. The company models and collects data on mobile users and mobile devices. They also include traffic and speed forecasts, and combine it all with user behavior.
Chapter 2: Top 3 conclusions (2:10)
Ms. Sumits says the top forecast from the research is that global mobile data volume will grow 7 times bigger through 2021. She says that smartphones will be the dominant driver of that growth. She sees the smartphone increasingly becoming a hub for other devices as they leverage it for connectivity.
Today video is responsible for 60% of mobile bandwidth. By 2021, that will have increased to 78%. There is no other mobile application driving as much bandwidth consumption.
Chapter 3: The impact of unlimited mobile data plans (6:10)
Ms. Sumits says that users on unlimited plans consume about 7Gbytes of data a month. Those on capped plans use 3Gbytes. In 2010 the top 1% generated 52% of all mobile traffic. After 2010, operators began to phase out unlimited plans. Today, the top 1% create 6% of the traffic. As unlimited packages become more common through 2021, Cisco is expecting the top 1% to generate between 10-20% of the bandwidth.
Chapter 4: The impact of WIFI offload and zero-rating (9:40)
Ms. Sumits says that 60% of global mobile traffic is carried over WIFI today, and that will increase to 63% by 2021. In North America, she expects WIFI offload to be 70% of mobile traffic by 2021.
Cisco treats zero-rating as a form of unlimited data plan, as long as the video offered is also the most sort after.
Chapter 5: The impact of social video (14:30)
VNI was conceived with the social aspect of discovery very much at the core of the forecast. Ms. Sumits sees social video having a big impact on mobile data, particularly since Facebook introduced autoplay. How many people are using social sites, and what percentage are watching video is a core part of VNI.
Chapter 6: Skinny bundles (17:30)
The impact of skinny bundles like Sling TV and PlayStation Vue has not impacted the mobile VNI forecast. Cisco is waiting to see how successful the services are before factoring them into the model.
Chapter 7: The impact of live video on mobile (19:10)
Consumer habits around live are very much in flux. One issue is the availability of premium content in social platforms. Companies like Facebook and Twitter are still figuring out how to engage with premium content providers.
Chapter 8: The impact of 5G (21:40)
Through 2021, Ms. Sumits expects 5G to mainly be exploited in the delivery of fixed wireless (for broadband) rather than in the mobile domain.
Chapter 9: Ultra HD, high dynamic range (25:00)
Cisco expects UHD to primarily impact fixed broadband, not mobile video. HDR is more interesting because it can positively impact lower resolution images. However, HDR doesn’t drive nearly as much bandwidth as UHD does.
Chapter 10: What can slow mobile video adoption? (28:30)
Pricing of unlimited plans has the greatest potential to affect mobile data usage.