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ISP PlusNet Reports Huge Increase in UK Online Video Gaming Traffic

Monday, Sep 30th, 2013 (9:22 am) - Score 1,824

Internet access provider PlusNet has revealed some interesting statistics about broadband bandwidth usage and online video gaming on its network. Apparently traffic for online gaming has risen by 50% in the last 12 months and that’s after a slight decrease was recorded between 2011 and 2012.

However, despite the growing popularity, it’s still important to remember that online games remain a relatively low bandwidth service because they’re considerably more sensitive to latency times (pings) and upload performance than download speed (having download speeds of 2Mbps or 200Mbps doesn’t really make much difference).

Indeed PlusNet reports that, even after downloading the games, video gaming related Internet traffic on their network only accounts for 2% of the total network bandwidth. By comparison, streaming services (YouTube, Spotify etc.) take up roughly 50% because of the huge amount of data that is being consumed (note: this could easily become confusing when you consider the new streamed video game services like Onlive). So which games and platforms eat up most of PlusNet’s precious bandwidth?

Top Video Game Platforms by Internet Bandwidth
1. Xbox Live 35%
2. Playstation Network 30%
3. PC/Laptops 25%
4. Tablets/Smartphones 5%
5. Wii 5%

Top Video Games by Internet Bandwidth
1. Call of Duty
2. DOTA 2
3. World of Warcraft
4. League of Legends
5. Minecraft
6. Planetside 2
7. Team Fortress
8. Guild Wars
9. Battlefield (EA/DICE)
10. Counterstrike

Apparently the largest ever amount of bandwidth data usage was for the download of Black Ops Vengeance Pack 2, which gobbled 1,279 Megabytes per second (yes they said Megabytes). In terms of traffic trends, most video gaming understandably takes place after everybody gets home from work and school (between 7pm and 9pm at night) during a normal week (the trend is more stable over holiday periods).

In the future we’d expect usage to rise, especially with the release of Microsoft’s XBox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 (PS4) due before the end of this year. Not to mention the release of Battlefield 4, yet another Call of Duty game and many more. Multiplayer has become a crucial element for most games but luckily it’s a lot easier to manage than streaming.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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