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Mobile Data Traffic

February 15, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Very Cisco-oriented couple of days – thanks to the brilliant Jeremiah Owyang (@jowyang) I stumbled across a series of presentations yesterday for Social Media Week (http://socialmediaweek.org/) from the Cisco group, which led me to follow a bunch of twitter accounts, so I have a bit of ammunition for some blogging. There was a terrific presentation from Jeanette Gibson (@jeanetteg) that I wanted to talk over, but I can’t find a link yet so it’ll have to wait a bit.

One piece to come out of yesterday’s event was a link to Cisco’s new Visual Networking Index containing their predictions for mobile data traffic over the next several years. There’s a lot in there about usage, devices, trends, etc. but the tweet that caught my attention referenced this line as written in their exec summary:

Two-thirds of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2016. Mobile video will increase 25-fold between 2011 and 2016, accounting for over 70 percent of total mobile data traffic by the end of the forecast period.

The emphasis is theirs, not mine, but it is worth noting. As I posted last year in reference to their report on internet traffic, I feel it’s necessary to distinguish between the volume of traffic and the value of that traffic to the enterprise. Once again, more data does not necessarily mean better or more important data.

What it does mean for the enterprise media manager is the importance of ensuring cross-platform availability of your content. You need to go where the eyeballs are, and those viewers are at least equally if not more likely to be on mobile devices as on desktops. For your outside viewers your opportunity to reach them and gain traction in the marketplace depends on their ability to find your content no matter where they are. Similarly, your inside audience will be accustomed to receiving their video content anytime, anywhere and will expect the same behavior from their corporate learning, messaging and communications.

Practically speaking, there are some necessary considerations to prepare or maintain important work processes:

  • Transcoding needs to be built in or scaled to ensure the ability to deliver multiple output formats
  • Streaming servers or vendors need to be prepared for proper format delivery and increased volume
  • Online learning platforms may need to be upgraded or configured for mobile delivery

While it may be a brave new world, the mobile universe is just one more delivery outlet media managers will need to understand and prepare for.

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