We are currently seeing an explosive growth in the distribution and delivery of digital video content across both fixed and mobile networks. Four years ago 100 million videos were watched on YouTube every day. It is two billion today. The BBC’s iPlayer launched in December 2007. It now delivers over 120 million requests every day which adds up to 7 petabytes of data a month.
As a result of this, the volume of data carried by mobile operators has risen twentyfold over the last two years (thanks iPhone), and is forecast to grow almost as much again in the next two years. The figures for fixed operators are less dramatic but still very significant.
Cloud computing is finally coming of age. Gartner forecast that by 2012 20% of all businesses will own no IT assets. That will not only further increase bandwidth demand but will also make high levels of service reliability ever more essential.
Now is the time for network operators to ensure they have their investments in place to service this rising market. As the CTO of an acquisitive company I see a lot of small ISPs struggling to find the cash to make these investments which very much points towards further market consolidation. The game is getting bigger.
PS thanks to Sally Davis, CEO of BT Wholesale for some of the statistics above.