American Marketer


Marketers must boost video outreach amid surging data usage: report

May 26, 2015

Mobile data usage is surging Mobile data usage is surging


By Michael Barris

Surging data consumption and a central role for WiFi will create opportunities for synergies in the years ahead between marketers and wireless carriers, according to reports from Juniper Research and Chetan Sharma Consulting.

Juniper Research’s report, “Mobile Data Offload and Onload: Wi-Fi, Small Cell & Network Strategies 2015-2019,” found that while average monthly data usage by smartphone and tablet users will double in the next five years, bolstered by the rise in 4G adoption and high-definition video usage, most mobile data traffic will be offfloaded to Wi-Fi networks. The findings tend to support experts’ assertions that marketers must step up efforts in the years to come to engage consumers on video, the biggest data-consumption source.

“With a high proportion of data usage happening indoors, WiFi and small cells enable service providers to offer a more contextual, location-based, personalized and unique experience to the consumer,” said Nitin Bhasm, head of research for Juniper Research, Hampshire, United Kingdom.

“Video is undoubtedly an integral part of marketers’ content strategy. Engaging mobile users is critical for marketers as an increasing proportion of online video consumption is coming from mobile users and is expected to increase over the next five years,” he said.

Traffic boom
Juniper forecasts that mobile data traffic, generated by smartphones, feature phones and tablets will approach almost 197,000 petabytes by 2019, equivalent to over 10 billion Blu-ray movies.

Showing how video has captured an ever-greater proportion of network traffic, video traffic over smartphones will increase by nearly eight times between 2014 and 2019, according to Juniper’s report.


Video is increasingly seen as the way to reach consumers on mobile.

Video is increasingly seen as the way to reach consumers on mobile.

Video currently accounts for around 60 percent of global Internet Protocol traffic and, in some developed markets, is likely to exceed 70 percent in two to three years, according to the report.

Last year, data traffic generated by smartphones, feature phones and tablets in the Far East and China exceeded that of North America for the first time.

Additionally, the research observed that WiFi has now become an integral part of operators’ network strategy.

WiFi is not just used for data offload, but also to maintain call connection quality in challenging network topologies. For example, EE UK, a British mobile network carrier and Internet service provider, launched its WiFi calling feature on a selected number of handsets in April.

In March, Google confirmed what had been rumored for the past year that it was working on a wireless service. The strategy pointed to Google’s growing focus on mobile as well as the perception that existing wireless carriers have left untapped opportunities on the table.

A report from Chetan Sharma Consulting said U.S. mobile data service revenue will increase by 22 percent to $132 billion in 2015. Verizon will become the first operator to generate more than $50 billion from data services in 2015, the report said.

Showing the growth in data consumption, average mobile data consumption (cellular) is approximately 2.5 gigabytes per month.

In the United States, it took roughly 20 years to reach the mark of 1GB per user per month. The second GB mark was reached in less than four quarters.

“An entire year’s worth of mobile data traffic in 2007 is now reached in less than 75 hours,” the report said.

Driving consumption
Video services such as YouTube, which had about 50 percent of its traffic from mobile devices last year, up 10 percentile points from 2013, are helping to increase data consumption.

Data usage is redrawing the marketing landscape on mobile.

“Marketers need to make sure that the video content delivered to mobile users are relevant and creative,” Mr. Bhasm said. “Viral videos are getting more shares and views from mobile users, adding to the increasing data traffic.”

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York