Tablets Play Key Role in Driving Traffic, Study Says

LONDON — A recent report suggests that social media, video use and browsing on tablets will be the main drivers of traffic this year.

The research firm Ovum and Telecom Asia conducted their study during December 2010 and this January, polling 178 telecom executives in more than 20 countries.

The study showed social media placing slightly ahead of mobile video as a leading driver of mobile web traffic this year with 31 percent while video earned 30 percent of the vote.

Tablets placed ahead of netbooks and laptops with 25 percent saying they were the key drivers of traffic, placing tablets behind smartphones, which were cited by 50 percent of respondents.

Last year, netbooks and laptops were expected to lead traffic. But that was before Apple introduced the iPad in April, altering the computing landscape for the foreseeable future.

Netbooks and laptops slipped to third behind tablets in this year's report.

"Operators view tablets as a more natural fit than laptops or netbooks as they have the same lifecycle, operating system and data model as smartphones," said Nicole McCormick, senior analyst at Ovum.