Gathering price plan details from more than 50 mobile operators, Allot says that 32 percent of those operators already use "application-aware" charging models. In such a model, for example, an operator would opt not to count against a subscriber's data cap any data used through a specific social media app.
Allot also found that 51 percent of those operators do not offer unlimited data plans while 89 percent charge for data based on volume.
The study also collected data on mobile apps usage between Jan. 1 and June 30 this year from mobile operators worldwide with a combined 250 million subscribers, using its NetXplorer centralized management and reporting system. Here are the highlights:
- Video streaming is the largest application type, accounting for 39 percent of mobile data bandwidth, followed by file sharing with 29 percent of bandwidth and Web browsing with 25 percent of bandwidth.
- YouTube Inc. is responsible for 22 percent of global mobile data bandwidth.
- The fastest growing apps are VoIP and instant messaging. While only accounting for 4 percent of mobile data bandwidth, these apps grew 101 percent compared with the year-ago Mobile Trends report.
- Skype Ltd. is the top mobile VoIP app, capturing 82 percent of mobile VoIP bandwidth.
- Facebook and Twitter Inc. rose 166 percent and 297 percent, respectively, in their share of mobile data bandwidth.
The report encapsulates just one vendor's view on mobile data usage trends, but it's a handy snapshot of the most popular mobile apps, mobile traffic patterns and how operators are adapting through new charging models.
— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile