SOURCE: iGR

iGR

July 09, 2013 06:00 ET

New iGR Study Shows That Home Broadband Data Use Increases Across the Majority of Households

Consumers' In-Home Usage a Factor in Their Use of Mobile Broadband Data

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired - Jul 9, 2013) - Internet and data access, now an every day occurrence for U.S. consumers, is made possible in the home through broadband and WiFi, and the amount of bandwidth used is forecast to grow in the next five years. iGR's new research shows that this growth in bandwidth usage is not driven by households that currently use low amounts of data or even by households that use extremely large amounts of data, but instead by households that use a medium amount of data -- more than 50 percent of U.S. households.

"Our new study shows clearly that the overall increase in home broadband data use is not simply driven by a few 'extreme' households but rather by the fact that the majority of households are using a lot more data," said Iain Gillott, president and founder of iGR, a market research consultancy focused on the wireless and mobile industry. "Thus, more capacity has to be delivered to the majority of homes (and not just a few), which will have a significant impact on the way broadband networks are designed, funded and constructed."

iGR's new market research report, U.S. Home Broadband & WiFi Usage Forecast, 2012-2017, estimates the amount of data used by fixed broadband connections at U.S. households. This report also estimates the amount of data usage that is driven by devices that primarily connect via WiFi -- laptops, tablets, smartphones, e-readers, game consoles, etc.

In creating its new forecast, iGR created four different usage categories (Light, Medium, Heavy and Extreme) and then grouped U.S. households, subscribed to broadband, into those four categories based on an FCC report detailing the real-world throughputs of U.S. broadband connections.

To illustrate the range in usage, a Light household (per iGR's definition) consumed about 29 GB/month in 2012 of which about 15.5 GB was driven by WiFi. An Extreme household in 2012 consumed about 395 GB / month of which about 225 GB was driven by WiFi. Note that the phrase "driven by WiFi" is shorthand for data that originates and/or terminates on a WiFi-capable device. An example might be a smartphone connected via WiFi that is used to watch Netflix inside a home. A desktop computer connected via Ethernet that is used to watch Netflix would count only as wired data usage.

More qualitatively, a Light household would typically have a lower-speed fixed broadband connection, probably only one computer and use the Internet for basic purposes -- email, Web, etc. An Extreme household, by way of contrast, would have a high-speed connection, stream video on a regular basis, play online games, and/or download HD movies several times a month.

iGR's new market research study finds that more than fifty percent of households are considered Medium users. The amount of data usage per month of this large group of consumers will grow significantly from 5,000 Petabytes to 9,000 Petabytes at a rate of 11.5 percent.

"In-home data usage is a precursor to outside-the-home usage. If a user gets accustomed to streaming music over an in-home cable / WiFi network, then that same user is likely to stream their music when they step outside the home," said Gillott. "This, of course, is why wireless operators (and device OEMs) care about the in-home data usage."

The following key concepts are addressed in iGR's new research study:

  • Amount of in-home wired broadband usage per household
  • Amount of in-home broadband usage that is driven by WiFi
  • Forecasted in-home broadband usage per household
  • Number of broadband-enabled U.S. households
  • Key in-home usage metrics -- devices, applications.

The information in this report will be valuable for:

  • Mobile operators
  • Cable MSOs and other fixed broadband providers
  • Device OEMs
  • Content providers and distributors
  • Financial analysts and investors.

The new report can be purchased and downloaded directly from iGR's website at www.iGR-inc.com. Alternatively, contact Iain Gillott at (512) 263-5682 or at Iain@iGR-inc.com for additional details.

About iGR
iGR is a market strategy consultancy focused on the wireless and mobile communications industry. Founded by Iain Gillott, one of the wireless industry's leading analysts, in late 2000 as iGillottResearch, iGR is now entering its thirteenth year of operation. iGR continuously researches emerging and existent technologies, technology industries, and consumer markets. We use our detailed research to offer a range of services to help companies improve their position in the marketplace, clearly define their future direction, and ultimately improve their bottom line.

iGR researches a range of wireless and mobile products and technologies, including: smartphones; tablets; mobile applications; bandwidth demand and use; small cell architectures; DAS; LTE; WiMAX; VoLTE; IMS; NFC; GSM/GPRS/UMTS/HSPA; CDMA 1x/EV-DO; iDEN; SIP; macro-, pico- and femtocells; mobile backhaul; WiFi and WiFi offload; and SIM and UICC.

A more complete profile of the company can be found at www.igr-inc.com.

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