The Sandvine Global Intenet Phenomena Report claims that among the European countries examined, web users had a thirst for streaming audio and video, making real-time entertainment the top traffic category with 40.4% of peak downstream traffic in the region. However, this fluctuated between 35% and 50% in different countries dependant on the availability of over-the-top services.
“Countries with access to paid services like Netflix or BBC iPlayer typically had real-time entertainment as a higher share of traffic. In Europe, countries with lower real-time entertainment share typically have higher filesharing traffic, which leads us to believe that subscribers are likely using applications like BitTorrent to procure audio and video content not available in their region,” said Sandvine.
At 24.25%, YouTube’s share of downstream internet traffic was double that of BitTorrent, which accounted for 12.22%. By comparison, Facebook was responsible for 3.97% of this traffic and Skype 1.65%.
“We believe that filesharing’s share of traffic may have finally reached its peak in terms of traffic share and will begin to experience a steady and significant decline, as paid OTT video services continue to expand their availability throughout the region,” said the study.
Sandvine added that European networks generally have a consistent set of dominant applications and services that are available in each region which account for 80-85% of all traffic, and then a set of very local websites and region-restricted applications that make up the remainder.
Europe’s mean monthly fixed internet usage of 13.4 GB and median monthly usage of 6.0 GB is significantly lower than that observed in North America, said Sandvine.