Global internet usage stats

Here’s a fascinating white paper from Sandvine on global internet usage in the 2nd half of 2012. It’s interesting as a snapshot of what’s going on today, and also as a lens to the future. The percentage of Internet traffic that’s real-time entertainment is huge, though the players vary across the world due to licensing and regulation. Sandvine is projecting exponential traffic growth for both wireline and wireless internet, though more in wireless as you might expect, particularly as LTE becomes more prevalent. They look at the North American, European and Asia-Pacific areas individually. There are more similarities between North America and Europe than with the Asia-Pacific area, with filesharing taking a much bigger percentage of the aggregate. It’s interesting to reflect on both the cultural differences as well as the connection capability differences (with generally higher speeds available in many Asia-Pacific countries). I think it’s also interesting to think about the emergence of China, and what will happen from a traffic perspective as more devices become able to connect at higher speeds, particular outside the coastal urban cities, and reflect on what would happen if the barriers to free flow of Internet traffic were lowered.

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