Report: YouTube is world's largest source of mobile data traffic

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Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)-owned YouTube is the largest source of mobile data traffic across all international markets, accounting for more than 25 percent of total network data in some regions, according to a new report issued by broadband equipment vendor Sandvine.

Real-time video and audio streaming now make up half of all mobile data traffic in North America, a 55 percent volume increase over the last six months, Sandvine reports. YouTube represents 27 percent of all North American data traffic, followed by streaming music service Pandora at 6 percent. YouTube's popularity is not limited to the North American segment. The video site drives 24 percent of mobile data traffic in Latin America, accounting for 17 percent in Europe and 14 percent in Asia-Pacific.  

North American subscribers consume an average of 309 MB of mobile data per month; Sandvine notes that the top 5 percent of users across the region consume 49 percent of all data. Beyond mobile entertainment at 50 percent, web browsing accounts for 21 percent of North American data traffic, followed by social networking at 10; rival services make up the remaining 19 percent. At the current rate of growth, media streaming will drive more than 60 percent of North American mobile data by late 2014.

Mobile device usage on fixed networks is also growing: Smartphones and tablets now drive 9 percent of total fixed traffic on North America's household networks. Sandvine anticipates services like click-to-cloud smartphone photo backup and synchronization will emerge as significant sources of worldwide data traffic in the years to come.

For more:
- read this release
- read FierceBroadbandWireless' take

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