The Network Intelligence Report from data-driven network intelligence and analytics specialist Nokia Deepfield, which examines service provider network traffic and consumption trends in 2020, reveals the networks were made to withstand the Internet’s rollercoaster year.
The report examines overall changes in Internet traffic patterns in the last decade and in 2020, focusing on key application areas such as video streaming, video conferencing, gaming and Distributed Denials of Service (DDoS) security.
As Covid-19 lockdown measures were implemented in March-April 2020, consumer and business behavioural changes transformed the Internet’s shape and how people use it virtually overnight. Many networks experienced a year’s worth of traffic growth (30 per cent-50 per cent) in just a few weeks. By September, traffic had stabilised at 20-30 per cent above pre-pandemic levels, with further seasonal growth to come. From February to September, there was a 30 per cent increase in video subscribers, a 23 per cent increase in VPN end-points in the US, and a 40-50 per cent increase in DDoS traffic.
In the decade prior to the pandemic, the Internet had already seen massive and transformative changes – both in service provider networks and in the evolved Internet architectures for cloud content delivery. Investment during this time meant the networks were in good shape and mostly ready for Covid-19 when it arrived.
“Never has so much demand been put on the networks so suddenly, or so unpredictably,” notes Manish Gulyani, General Manager and Head of Nokia Deepfield. “With networks providing the underlying connectivity fabric for business and society to function as we shelter-in-place, there is a greater need than ever for holistic, multi-dimensional insights across networks, services, applications and end users. Nokia Deepfield’s software applications have allowed service providers to understand activity in their networks in these critical times. The data and insights we’ve drawn on for this report also show how continuity of service can be ensured to create value for their customers.”
After monitoring network traffic over an eight-month period, Nokia Deepfield identified five key takeaways for service providers to use in planning future network capacity and value-added services for their subscribers:
The report’s data was gathered from network service providers across Europe and North America from February to September 2020 using the Nokia Deepfield portfolio of network insights and security applications, which use big data analytics to monitor, analyse and understand network traffic and services.