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Nokia Deepfield identifies 2020 network traffic, internet consumption trends in new intelligence report

Press Release

Nokia Deepfield identifies 2020 network traffic, internet consumption trends in new intelligence report

  • Implications for service providers and internet service delivery chain with significant growth in video streaming, gaming, video conferencing and DDoS
  • Data recorded by service providers across Europe and North America from February to September shows 30% increase in video subscribers, 23% increase in VPN end-points in the U.S, 40-50% increase in DDoS traffic

17 November 2020

Espoo, Finland – Nokia Deepfield has today released its Network Intelligence Report, which examines service provider network traffic and consumption trends in 2020, revealing 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 behavioral changes transformed the internet’s shape and how people use it virtually overnight. Many networks experienced a year’s worth of traffic growth (30-50%) in just a few weeks. By September, traffic had stabilized at 20-30% above pre-pandemic levels, with further seasonal growth to come. From February to September, there was a 30% increase in video subscribers, a 23% increase in VPN end-points in the U.S., and a 40-50% 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.

Manish Gulyani, General Manager and Head of Nokia Deepfield, said: “Never has so much demand been put on the networks so suddenly, or so unpredictably. 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:

  • #1 The networks were made for this. While the networks held up during the biggest demand peaks, data from September 2020 indicates that traffic levels remain elevated even as lockdowns are eased; meaning, service providers will need to continue to engineer headroom into the networks for future eventualities.
  • #2 Content delivery chains are evolving. Demand for streaming video, low-latency cloud gaming and video conferencing, and fast access to cloud applications and services, all placed unprecedented pressure on the internet service delivery chain. Just as Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) grew in the past decade, it’s expected the same will happen with edge/far edge cloud in the next decade bringing content and compute closer to end users.
  • #3 Residential broadband networks have become critical infrastructure. With increased needs (upstream traffic was up more than 30%), accelerating rollout of new technologies – such as 5G and next-gen FTTH – will go a long way towards improving access and connectivity in rural, remote and underserved areas. Better analytical insights enable service providers to keep innovating and delivering flawless service and loyalty-building customer experiences.
  • #4 Deep insight into network traffic is essential. While the COVID-19 era may prove exceptional in many ways, the likelihood is that it has only accelerated trends in content consumption, production and delivery that were already underway. Service providers must be able to have real-time, detailed network insights at their disposal – fully correlated with internet traffic insights – to get a holistic perspective on their network, services and consumption.
  • #5 Security has never been more important. During the pandemic, DDoS traffic increased between 40-50%. As broadband connectivity is now largely an essential service, protecting network infrastructure and services becomes critical. Agile and cost-effective DDoS detection and automated mitigation are becoming paramount mechanisms to protect service provider infrastructures and services.

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, analyze and understand network traffic and services.  


About Nokia Deepfield
Nokia Deepfield is an expert in providing a new generation of big data-driven network intelligence and analytics technology that can help service providers obtain real-time, granular, accurate and multidimensional details about the network, services, network flows, and usage patterns. Our Deepfield Genome™ continually monitors the internet traffic globally and empowers service providers with service- and security-related insights which they can correlate with real-time insights from their networks. Using the Nokia Deepfield portfolio of applications, service providers can plan, optimize and ensure their internet infrastructures have enough capacity and ability to deliver all services, with high performance, security and automation even under the increased traffic demand.

About Nokia
We create the technology to connect the world. Only Nokia offers a comprehensive portfolio of network equipment, software, services and licensing opportunities across the globe. With our commitment to innovation, driven by the award-winning Nokia Bell Labs, we are a leader in the development and deployment of 5G networks.

Our communications service provider customers support more than 6.4 billion subscriptions with our radio networks, and our enterprise customers have deployed over 1,300 industrial networks worldwide. Adhering to the highest ethical standards, we transform how people live, work and communicate. For our latest updates, please visit us online and follow us on Twitter @nokia.

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