A series of studies, undertaken by Arieso (http://www.arieso.com) — a provider of customer centric network management software solutions — comparing subscriber demand for mobile data has shown that different users and different devices exhibit markedly different demands on mobile networks.

The findings of this analysis — using Arieso’s edge location-aware and customer-centric network management solution, ariesoGEO — uses the iPhone3G as a benchmark and shows that data call time on certain handsets can increase by as much as 250%. It also shows that the actual number of data “calls” can increase by more than 130%. In addition, uplink and downlink data volumes can increase by as much as 130% and 40% respectively.

“Smartphone subscriptions are rising and so too is subscriber appetite for mobile data,” Arieso Chief Technical Officer Michael Flanagan says. “Since the launch of the iPhone3G, we’ve seen a multitude of popular new smartphones arrive on the market, successfully driving app and service usage. It’s a trend that’s set to continue. Operators must now be able to quantify the impact of the devices they support, and how subscribers use them, and prepare their networks accordingly.”

The Arieso analysis compares the data consumption of users of newer smartphones, such as the BlackBerry Bold 9700, the Google Nexus One, the HTC Desire, the Sony Ericsson Xperia, and the iPhone 4, against the iPhone3G as a “normalized benchmark.” The results show how different subscribers use their devices in many different ways and exhibit variable demands for mobile data.

In particular, the results show that iPhone 4 users are more hungry for data than their iPhone3G counterparts, typically making 44% more data calls, downloading 41% more data to their devices, and spending 67% more time connected to the network for data.
Arieso’s analysis also show that users with handsets based on Google’s Android OS software are particularly “data hungry,” scoring higher than both the iPhone3G and iPhone 4 in terms of data call volumes, time connected to the network, and data volume (in kilobits per subscriber) uploaded and downloaded.

Android-powered smartphone users also score highest in both the “uplink data volume” and the “downlink data” categories. For example, Samsung Galaxy users typically upload 126% more data than iPhone3G users, and HTC Desire users download 41% more data than iPhone3G users.
But importantly, the Arieso studies also reveal that voice calls per subscriber remain roughly flat, suggesting that the new breed of smartphone subscribers use their devices first and foremost for data consumption rather than making phone calls.

“Mobile operators are playing ‘Guess Who?’ with their subscribers,” says Flanagan. “The variations in data use between various devices highlight the pressing need for a more accurate, in-depth and intelligent view into the potential impact of individual handset users on the network. Right now, operators struggle to see their network as their customers see it, especially regarding performance and quality of service within individual buildings. They are risking rising operational costs, and delivering a sub-par quality of service to customers. They must adopt a new, more precise approach to monitoring and optimizing their networks.”