Ever wondered what kind of bandwidth, news hype can consume? Be it a big sporting event, a big social event or a keynote that will introduce a much talked about technology, you can bet that hundreds of thousands of people will be logging online to try and catch the proceedings. And when it comes to Apple’s live keynote on October 4th (October 5th, 1.00am Malaysian time), it is going to be no different.
Blue Coat, a WAN (wide area network) optimisation solutions company, thinks that live coverage of the event will cost a corporate network an average of 360 MB to 1.1 GB per viewer. Each viewer will consumer an average of about 800Kbps to 2.5Mbps depending on video quality. Overall, one to three users cold completely exhaust the average capacity of a branch office link… tsk tsk tsk.
That won’t be all the data bandwidth woes that the iPhone has created. When the iPhone launched with AT&T in the US in 2009, users were angered because of the congestion it created on the networks. Not only do iPhone owners download applications, stream music and videos and browse the Web at higher rates than the average smartphone user, but the average iPhone user uses ten times more network capacity than an average smartphone user.
Later it was discovered the real culprit was the crazy growth of signalling, due to the Fast Dormancy feature which Apple introduced in June 2009. Instead of the phone being constantly “on” so that it can frequently receive frequent updates and messages, it aims to rapidly disconnect. This saves on battery life, but creates more signalling traffic between the device and cell towers.
On top of that, iPhones put extra strain on networks due to the way they let users view videos – iPhones download more data upfront, and overcome bad experiences like streaming disruptions. But, iPhones load the network more heavily by transmitting more data than might be watched.