Study: Downstream Demands To Reach 165 Mbps By 2020

The demand on the broadband downstream will outstrip upload requirements by an 8:1 ratio by 2020, according to a new study commissioned by Cable Europe and NL Kabel.

The study, undertaken by the Technical University of Eindhoven and Dialogic, predicts that the average broadband user will demand downstream speeds of 165 Mbps, versus 20 Mbps in the upstream, by the end of the decade. In 2013, the average sufficient provisioned speeds were about 15.3 Mbps down and about 1.6 Mbps upstream, the study noted.

The study made that prediction by taking into account a broad range of emerging bandwidth-eating services, including Ultra HD/4K video, remote back-up storage and data recovery, as well as  anticipated usage by average customers as well as a group of heavy duty customers that represents about 2% of the base, yet generate about half of all the upload activity.

While back-up services will tax the upstream, video will need to carry the load in the downstream, the study noted.

Cable Europe said the industry’s current broadband technology roadmap puts MSOs in great position to support those demands. While state-of-the-art DOCSIS 3.0 technology can bond enough channels to support downstream bursts of more than 1 Gbps, the coming DOCSIS 3.1 platform is targeting capacities of up to 10 Gbps down by 2 Gbps upstream.

“The trend in consumer behaviour which lies behind these figures speaks for itself. Customers consume much more content than they produce,” said Caroline van Weede, managing director of Cable Europe. “European cable companies are more than ready to satisfy these growing consumer appetites for internet speeds,” she added, citing the speeds targeted by D3.1. “We’re future-proofed for the fastest connections and the most sophisticated applications.”

More detail about the study will be featured in the June 30 issue of Multichannel News.