Saturday, November 20, 2010

Average Data Usage for Telephone Voice, Internet Data, and Television

What is the average data use for voice, data, and video services and their trends? The basic numbers in my presentation at the CTV conference come from average bandwidth and usage information.

Telephone Data Usage
Fixed telephone line daily usage is approximately 30-60 minutes a day which comes from direct interviews with local telephone providers (local and long distance). Business fixed line usage is much higher (up to 5 hours a day) because each phone extension shares a line. It is a bit hard to get precise numbers because the usage (traffic) can vary based on region, culture, and other factors. I suspect that telephone usage in certain areas may be lower due to unlimited mobile telephone service plans. It is important to note that the data usage for telephone service is 2x the audio path (audio in two directions). This means a 90 kbps Vonage connection actually uses 180 kps of data.

Internet Data Usage
According to Nielsen, the average consumer spends 68 hours per month on the Internet and according to Cisco [], the average family consumes 11.7 GB per month (about 360 MB per day for the entire family). In general, Internet BW consumption is rapidly increasing due to more rich media (e.g. movies and videos) becoming available. While students might consume above the average, it appears that the limited public Interconnection bandwidth for schools restricts their overall public media consumption.

Television Data Consumption
According to Nielsen, the average viewer watches approximately 5 hours of television per day. With a typical MPEG-4 data transmission rate of 4 Mbps per second (about 0.5 MBytes per second - 8 bits per Byte), this results in 1.8 GBytes per hour (0.5 x 3600 seconds per hour) or about 9 GBytes of data per day. Even with a conservative Internet TV data rate of 700 kbps (approximately 0.1 MBytes per second), this results in approximately 360 MBytes per hour or about 2 GBytes per day.

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