Fueled by new smartphones, apps and services consumer demand for mobile data is accelerating beyond expectations, finds a new report from Arieso (http://www.arieso.com), a provider of mobile network management software solutions. It finds that users of the iPhone 4S demand three times as much data as iPhone 3G users and twice as much as iPhone 4 users, who were identified as the most demanding in the 2010 study.
Following a similar study in 2010, Arieso’s new analysis reveals that so-called “extreme” users are becoming even more extreme, with 1% of subscribers now consuming half of all downloaded data. One thing is clear: the capacity issues plaguing mobile operators around the world will worsen in 2012.
The Arieso study, “Recent Smartphone Trends & the Extreme Data User,” compares data usage across a variety of smartphones and connected devices. In a finding consistent with 2010 results, the study shows that Google Nexus One users make twice as many data calls as iPhone 3G users.
“The introduction of increasingly sophisticated devices, coupled with growing consumer demand, is creating unrelenting pressure on mobile networks. The capacity crunch is still a very real threat for mobile operators, and it looks set to only get harder in 2012,” says Dr. Michael Flanagan, chief technical officer, Arieso and study author. “The mobile industry needs new investment and new approaches to boost network performance and manage the customer experience.”
The Arieso analysis compares the data consumption of users of the latest smartphones against the iPhone3G as a “normalised benchmark.” The study found that different users and different devices exhibit very different demands on the network.
The most significant change in consumer behavior between 2010 and 2011 data has been catalyzed by the introduction of the iPhone 4S. iPhone 4S users download 2.76 times as much data as users of the iPhone 3G. And while an Android-powered device maintains last year’s position at the top of the table for uplink data volumes, with HTC Desire S users typically uploading 3.23 times as much data as iPhone 3G users, the iPhone 4S falls just behind in this category with a typical 3.20 times as much data uploaded.