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Mobile traffic by application category

Mobile video traffic continues to grow, driven by increased viewing time, online embedded video and streaming services, plus the evolution toward higher resolutions.


Key findings

  • Mobile video traffic continues to grow, driven by increased viewing time, online embedded videos and streaming services, plus the evolution toward higher resolutions.
  • By 2024, video is predicted to account for around 74 percent of mobile data traffic, according to mobile traffic analysis.
  • Main drivers for video traffic growth include emerging immersive media formats and applications such as augmented/virtual reality.

Video traffic in mobile networks is forecast to grow by around 35 percent annually through 2024 to account for 74 percent of all mobile data traffic. Traffic from social networking is also expected to rise – increasing by 24 percent annually over the next 6 years. However, its relative share of traffic will decline from 11 percent in 2018 to around 8 percent in 2024, because of the stronger growth of video.1

Video is everywhere

Increasing video usage is the main driver behind the growth in mobile data traffic. Users spend increasing amounts of time both streaming and sharing video. This trend is expected to continue, as video is increasingly embedded in all types of online content. In addition, emerging media formats and applications, such as streaming high-quality video and augmented/virtual reality, will continue to drive traffic growth while enhancing the user experience.

Calculate the traffic impact of different application categories

Explore the relationship between the usage of various app types and monthly traffic per subscription. Fill in your app usage figures and benchmark the resulting data consumption against six pre-set data consumption profiles.


Main drivers for video traffic growth

  • Video part of most online content (news, ads, social media, etc.)
  • Video sharing services
  • Video streaming services
  • Changing user behavior – video being consumed anywhere, any time
  • Increased segment penetration, not just early adopters
  • Evolving devices with larger screens and higher resolutions
  • Increased network performance through evolved 4G deployments
  • Emerging immersive media formats and applications (HD/UHD, 360-degree video, AR, VR)
Mobile data traffic by application category per month (percent)

1Traffic from embedded video in web browsing and social media is included in the application category “Video”.