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  (Source: connect2mason.com)
Arieso and Ericsson say it's due to increased use of smartphones instead of feature phones as well as the rise of mobile devices like tablets

A mobile advisory company recently found that the top 1 percent of heavy users are bandwidth hogs, accounting for half of the world's mobile traffic.

Arieso, a Newbury, England-based provider of mobile network management software solutions, conducted a study back in November 2011 that followed 1.1 million mobile customers of a certain European operator.

After following these customers over a 24-hour time period, Arieso found that 1 percent of consumers generated half of all traffic while the top 10 percent generated about 90 percent of wireless bandwidth traffic. Sixty-four percent of heavy users accessed wireless bandwidth via laptop, 33 percent via smartphone and only 3 percent via an iPad.

Also, in 2009, the top three users consumed 40 percent of wireless bandwidth. Now Arieso reports that this number has jumped to 70 percent.

"Some people may draw the parallel to Occupy Wall Street, and I've already heard comments about 'Occupy the Downlink,'" said Michael Flanagan, chief technology officer at Arieso. "But the situations are very different, and the mobile situation doesn't break down along socioeconomic lines."

The European operator that took part in Arieso's study, which chose to remain anonymous, said that it was forced to install 250 microcells last year to support traffic of heavy consumers.

Not surprisingly, increased use is largely due to the rise of smartphones (and the replacement of feature phones) and other mobile electronics like tablets. According to a survey conducted by mobile network equipment maker Ericsson, about 13.2 percent of the 6.1 billion cell phones in this world are smartphones. More than 30 percent are smartphones in markets like Britain, Germany and the United States.

Ericsson's survey found that 40 percent of smartphone users would access mobile broadband connections before even getting out of bed last year, and now, the company expects global mobile data use to increase tenfold from 2011 to 2016.

The heaviest of mobile broadband hogs, however, are those that consume videos and surf the Web. According to Ericsson, extreme users watched videos 40 percent of the time, searched the Web 20 percent of the time, and the rest of the time was dedicated to social networking, e-mail, and software downloads.

Other possible reasons for increased mobile bandwidth usage are assistants like Apple's Siri, which is a digital assistant that helps users enter text and data faster. According to Arieso, users with the Apple 4S, which is the smartphone that Siri debuted on, downloaded 276 percent more data than Apple 3G users did.


Source: The New York Times



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Who pays the ferry man?
By drycrust3 on 1/6/2012 8:40:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
A mobile advisory company recently found that the top 1 percent of heavy users are bandwidth hogs, accounting for half of the world's mobile traffic.

This is one of the main justifications for things like data caps and user's pay:the people that use the network the most put the biggest burden on the network, so they should pay the most. The mobile network has only its paying customers to pay for everything, so when you don't have things like user pays and data caps, then the cost of the heavy users is passed onto the majority, but when you use a cost regime that punishes heavy users, then you get one of three outcomes: 1) they contribute to the extra burden they place on the network; 2) they migrate to another network; or 3) they moderate their use.




By stardude692001 on 1/6/2012 9:10:05 PM , Rating: 3
Normally I hate the idea of caps but if this is the case I can understand it. For example if I had the same water bill as the people who ran the waterpark I would be pissed.
That said the only reason I'm not angry is that my provider(us cellular) has a 5 gig a month data cap which I have only scratched at.


RE: Who pays the ferry man?
By phatboye on 1/6/2012 9:35:16 PM , Rating: 5
I don't mind data caps my self, if they are reasonable, but 2GB/month with a subscription rate at around $25-$30 is absurd. That being around the price for bandwidth for most of the wireless service providers in the US. Caps should start with a 5GB minimum cap and tethering should be free.


RE: Who pays the ferry man?
By Concillian on 1/7/2012 2:03:53 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
I don't mind data caps my self, if they are reasonable, but 2GB/month with a subscription rate at around $25-$30 is absurd. That being around the price for bandwidth for most of the wireless service providers in the US. Caps should start with a 5GB minimum cap and tethering should be free.


You're right it's absurd. There should be a $5-10 option for ~250-500 MB. I never use more than that and my wife usually uses like 20MB a month for her iPhone4s. People using 1GB+ should be footing the majority of the bill just like the usage, not people like my wife and myself footing the bill for people who think the 5GB cap should be the minimum, rather than the maximum. If you think a 5GB cap should be the minimum, you might be in the 1%. Just sayin'

They should publish a histogram of usage.

I do agree that tethering should be free, but a 5GB cap is enormous, keep dreaming.


RE: Who pays the ferry man?
By GoodRevrnd on 1/7/2012 4:32:47 AM , Rating: 1
I bet it wouldn't be so enormous if you had an hour of train commuting each day in which you killed time by watching Netflix or listening to Spotify, which these companies love to use all the different streaming media options as selling points for their fancy phones. It also wouldn't be so enormous if you had a cell card as a primary connection for your laptop.


RE: Who pays the ferry man?
By seamonkey79 on 1/7/2012 10:02:18 AM , Rating: 2
Probably wouldn't be enormous... but for those of us with a 15 minute drive to work, a nice plan with 250-500 would be great. I'm getting to the point where I use the 3G on my phone so little that I can't continue to justify it. I like the smartphone, it's just that most of the time when I'm idle enough to use it I have wifi. I would rather have an option for low bandwidth with a lower monthly, even if that lower was half what it is for the 5GB. Per MB would be far more expensive, but would be easier for me to justify at the end of the month when the bill was due.


RE: Who pays the ferry man?
By Concillian on 1/7/2012 3:20:10 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
I bet it wouldn't be so enormous if you had an hour of train commuting each day in which you killed time by watching Netflix or listening to Spotify, which these companies love to use all the different streaming media options as selling points for their fancy phones. It also wouldn't be so enormous if you had a cell card as a primary connection for your laptop.


Then pay the rightful price for it. Don't make users like me and my wife who have a combined usage well under 500 MB a month subsidize your need for 20x more data usage than either of us.


RE: Who pays the ferry man?
By 0ldman on 1/9/2012 10:01:46 AM , Rating: 2
+1


RE: Who pays the ferry man?
By alcalde on 1/10/2012 12:10:20 AM , Rating: 2
Or quit all the high-falootin' streaming and download/capture/rip (legally) content at home, compress it, and load it onto your device. You won't have to deal with buffering or dropped signals either. Radios are also great for streaming voice and music. :-) Me and my "antique" Creative Zen have taken several four-hour trips out of state and back and I've had plenty of audio and video to pass the travel time without even needing wireless access on the device.


RE: Who pays the ferry man?
By kattanna on 1/9/2012 10:27:30 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
if you had an hour of train commuting each day


there are these really cheap entertainment devices that come preloaded and require no bandwidth for their use. you might try looking into them. they are called books


RE: Who pays the ferry man?
By dgingerich on 1/7/2012 4:58:55 PM , Rating: 2
I use about 250-300MB per month, yet because of AT&Ts plans, I have to take the 2GB plan. They have a 200MB plan for $10 less per month, but if I used that, I'd wind up paying about $20 more per month in overage fees. a 500MB plan would be great.


RE: Who pays the ferry man?
By Solandri on 1/9/2012 11:45:32 AM , Rating: 2
I still don't understand why people are so dead set against metered plans. If the price is competitive with a tiered plan, what is the problem? You pay for how much you use, no more, no less. It's how practically everything else in life is sold - gas, electricity, food, etc.

The only reason to have tiered plans is if you're a business which wants consistency in your monthly bill, for planning purposes. Which is the reason the cellular companies prefer people to be on tiered plans (so their monthly revenue is predictable). But it doesn't explain why most customers want to be on a tiered plan.


RE: Who pays the ferry man?
By tastyratz on 1/9/2012 2:18:26 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with the idea of metered usage plans, there could be bulk buying discounts in steps if they wanted to incentivize data usage.

The reality though is not what is fair, it is simple basic business economics. While there are a few users who use $5000 worth of data if that was the bill they were given they would simply quit.

The standard bandwidth users who currently buy a $20-30 might like paying less money... but they are willing to subscribe at a rate of $20-30 so it is in the providers best interest to keep you on. If data usage and smart phones were both scarce they could entice with a paultry plan but the only reason those teaser plans exist is to force subscribers to buy the next tier package or lose data entirely. Same goes with buying x minutes per month instead of paying 3c per minute, etc.

Do I think it's fair? hardly... but the business model is one of the most successful ones in the world. Everyone complains on dailytech, but at the end of the month you pay your bill.


RE: Who pays the ferry man?
By Jeffk464 on 1/9/2012 10:23:18 AM , Rating: 2
If you are only using 20MB a month you are probably better off with a feature phone. You obviously don't take advantage of the iphone's capabilities.


RE: Who pays the ferry man?
By alcalde on 1/10/2012 12:12:04 AM , Rating: 2
You don't need to stream data to play Angry Birds or make electronic fart noises.


RE: Who pays the ferry man?
By EJ257 on 1/8/2012 4:43:32 PM , Rating: 4
I have no dispute with tiered data plans. I think people should have the option to pay for what they use. If you use a lot you pay more for the service. What I do have a problem with is the distinction the wireless companies like to make regarding regular data (surfing on your smartphone) and tethering (surfing on you computer thru you phone). Whiskey Tank Foxtrot! The data is still being sent/received from the phone's radio, going over the same data channels. If I paid for 2GB or 4GB why the heck does it matter if I am using it solely on my phone or tethered. The extra tethering fees should be the first thing to go.


RE: Who pays the ferry man?
By gladiatorua on 1/8/12, Rating: 0
RE: Who pays the ferry man?
By Jeffk464 on 1/9/2012 10:20:58 AM , Rating: 2
So the cell phone companies are pushing smart phones but they don't want consumers to use them. I purchased the latest and greatest LTE smart phone on verizon and have to avoid anything such as video that benifits from LTE because it uses to much data.


RE: Who pays the ferry man?
By Jeffk464 on 1/9/2012 10:39:36 AM , Rating: 2
Verizon made 106.6 billion dollars in profits in 2010. So those saying verizon can't afford to support and upgrade their 3g and 4g networks don't know what your talking about.


RE: Who pays the ferry man?
By Solandri on 1/9/2012 11:39:31 AM , Rating: 2
Verizon had $106.6 billion in revenue in 2010, not profit. They actually lost $10.2 billion, rather than had a profit.

Verizon Wireless had $26.9 billion in revenue, and $3.3 billion in profit. With an estimated 92.8 million customers, that's about $35 per customer in profit for the year.


RE: Who pays the ferry man?
By Jeffk464 on 1/9/2012 11:53:25 AM , Rating: 2
can you post your source?


RE: Who pays the ferry man?
By AlterEcho on 1/9/2012 3:10:53 PM , Rating: 2
I do not agree about having data caps. I do agree that pricing (reasonable) should be adjusted, though. One pricing for unlimited (say between $50-$75 dollars a month)and another price for lower usage.
The one thing that really irritates me is the belly-aching of the Telecoms'. Selling subscriptions above the limit of your infrastructure is both negligent and incompetent. It is like building a toll bridge across a river. To save money, the toll bridge will only sustain 1/4 of the known traffic (a known constant) that will cross. All the while, collecting money from drivers' who use the bridge. Plus, increasing the toll, using the excuse that the structure was not meant for this many cars (This money is then funneled into a profit stream instead of being used on the infrastructure). Then when the bridge shows signs of failing...the Telecom's scream that it is the driver's fault...to many drivers are using the bridge!
Why the FCC has not confronted the Telecoms' about adding customers above the limits of their infrastructure, is beyond me...


A distraction
By LilBudyWIzer on 1/7/2012 12:53:37 AM , Rating: 2
It's people using it at peak times that cause a build out of capacity. They have to support peak loads. What a person uses over a months time has nothing to do with the expense in supporting that user. They could be using at 3AM when virtually no one else is using the network. Really, the highest cost users are in low population density areas. Just providing coverage is a big expense with little revenue from the few users actually using it.

It's a divide and conquor strategy. Them damn data hogs when it really has little to do with the actual expense of delivering the service. Where do you think it leads though? Eventually to the actual drivers of the expenses. That's prime time users and users in low population density areas. Say hello to you new service you can't use during prime time nor outside densely populated areas. Hope you're all happy now.




RE: A distraction
By tng on 1/7/2012 9:40:28 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
...the highest cost users are in low population density areas. Just providing coverage is a big expense with little revenue from the few users actually using it.
Really?

So a bunch of farmers who are looking at the weather report for their area in the morning are using more data than thousands of people on trains going to work watching video and surfing during the ride?

Coverage in rural areas is a one time thing I have found. Yes they install a tower (finally) and you can make calls, but there are no upgrades after that and when the tower goes down for some reason, it is days (or weeks in one case) before someone is there to look at it. It is hard enough to get Verizon or AT&T to provide rural coverage, not to mention upgrade it.

The money is in metro areas and the burbs, not rural areas where there is little use anyway. Spoken like someone who has never left the city. By the way, most of the time when I go back to my home town, I can't get cell coverage of any kind, yet there is DSL from a local ISP. Smartphones are almost worthless for net surfing within 20 miles to the West and 200 miles to the East since there is no reliable 3G coverage.


RE: A distraction
By RealTheXev on 1/8/2012 12:47:42 PM , Rating: 2
I am more then willing to pay for my bandwidth usage. I live in the middle-of-nowhere Northwest PA. I am with Verzion wireless only for the 3G coverage(they are the only ones that cover it with 3G period!). Even then, I hardly ever get 3G service.

I use upwards of 2GBs of bandwidth a month. I doubt I am robbing many others of that bandwidth since many do not use data in this area (and those that do are stuck in Sprint's crappy 1X or AT&T's Edge), but I am forced to use so much bandwidth because I have NO other internet choices outside of stupid expensive satellite connections (yeah, you think that data plans are outrageous, go look at DirecWAY or WildBlue's plans).

If I had better reception, I'd use even more bandwidth! I'd use upwards of 10-20GBs of data when I was connected to a cable connection speed, but I am stuck here in the middle of nowhere due to my circumstances.

I am fortunate that Verizon has had the decency to not only cover my area, but to do so with 100% 3G (I believe 100% of Verizon's existing network is 3G, but am unsure).

The hilarious flip side to this is that Verzion does NOT have the decency to provide my road with DSL because of a farm that takes up over half of the damn road(they are the local land line provider).

I agree, that people in metro area's shouldn't be using so much data, but you have to wonder how many have ever bothered to setup their wifi(has any studies been done on these same users and if they KNOW who to use their wifi at home, etc)? Also, how many people (iPhone AT&T users) are Grandfathered in on $15/$30 unlimited data? Further more, how many places that have "free wifi" are still using data speeds from the year 2002!? Why would you bother to connect to those places when you do get faster speeds on congested 3G??

I won't lie, I nabed my unlimited Verizon data right before it ended because it was ending and I KNOW I hog bandwidth (by all means, I am not a stupid consumer), but I wouldn't have even bothered with a smartphone at all if I had a real broadband option. I was perfectly happy on my $15-$30 prepaid phone service with voice/text only ($10 spent on unlimited in VZW texting that I actually used), but am forced to pay $100 a month for a phone with way to many voice mins, and the data I need to HAVE internet at my home.

But let's not lie to ourselves, we know EXACTLY why these plans are so expensive even if they aren't custom fit to our voice/text/data needs: Our "free" phone. Something's got to pay for that "free" phone.. or hugely discounted phone. The HTC Trophy 7 I use doesn't seem like a nice phone compared to a Samsung Galaxy Nexus, but its retail value is $499.

People in this country simply do not outright buy their phones en mass. I bought my awesome Samsung A930 in 2006 and only paid $50 a month for a plan that fit my needs, but buying a $250 vs a $500 phone is a huge difference. We're buying these phones and paying even more then retail value because of our "installment" payments.

Do not forget even if you outright purchase a data phone now, if you want to activate it and not use data... well, NO carrier allows THAT anymore! So much for living from wifi hotspot to hotspot... unless you want to do some illegal things to your phone or use a crappy feature phone (not very any left).

Data phones are being shoved down our throats and we're eating it all up people.


RE: A distraction
By Jeffk464 on 1/9/2012 10:30:46 AM , Rating: 2
My "free phone" cost me $362 with tax and set up fees.


RE: A distraction
By x10Unit1 on 1/9/2012 10:57:06 AM , Rating: 2
@RealTheXev

Are you not getting 3G because you have a weak signal?

If so, you might consider getting a network extender. They are $200-$300 but can boost your signal considerably. If you aren't getting internet out there anytime soon, it might an option.


RE: A distraction
By fic2 on 1/9/2012 12:13:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I use upwards of 2GBs of bandwidth a month. I doubt I am robbing many others of that bandwidth since many do not use data in this area (and those that do are stuck in Sprint's crappy 1X or AT&T's Edge), but I am forced to use so much bandwidth because I have NO other internet choices outside of stupid expensive satellite connections (yeah, you think that data plans are outrageous, go look at DirecWAY or WildBlue's plans).


Forced to use 2GB of bandwidth? Someone holding a gun to your head?


RE: A distraction
By fic2 on 1/9/2012 12:18:26 PM , Rating: 2
He didn't say that a bunch of farmers use more bandwidth. He said that because the build-out cost is the same for the 20 farmers as it is for the thousand commuters that it cost more per user to support the 20 users than it does the 1000.

You even quoted that. Try reading comprehension sometime.


Had to read this twice ;)
By dethrophes on 1/6/2012 8:33:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Also, in 2009, the top ---> three users <--- consumed 40 percent of wireless bandwidth. Now Arieso reports that this number has jumped to 70 percent.

those must be some serious users.




RE: Had to read this twice ;)
By raphd on 1/6/2012 8:49:23 PM , Rating: 2
maybe standard def porn was more common back then. Now its hd porn!


RE: Had to read this twice ;)
By vol7ron on 1/7/2012 1:32:31 AM , Rating: 2
is Apple considered a user?


RE: Had to read this twice ;)
By dgingerich on 1/7/2012 5:02:51 PM , Rating: 2
somebody downloading Linux ISOs, of all kinds, every month, from his phone.


RE: Had to read this twice ;)
By kattanna on 1/9/2012 10:32:13 AM , Rating: 2
yep. 3 users?? i can only be left thinking it was supposed to read 3% of users

quote:
After following these customers over a 24-hour time period


and the study was done for one whole day?? wow..dont work too hard at that..

quote:
Ericsson's survey found that 40 percent of smartphone users would access mobile broadband connections before even getting out of bed last year


and just how do they know they were still in bed?? did they remotely activate the devices webcam to see where it was?? LOL


The one percent
By aromero78 on 1/7/12, Rating: 0
RE: The one percent
By drycrust3 on 1/8/2012 10:13:24 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's the right of the one percent to take as much bandwidth as they can handle.

No, "rights" are what the government says are your rights. You have a contract with the mobile phone company which they wrote and which they can change as they see fit.
One of the facts of life is a business has to run at a profit if it wants to stay in business. Even your local church has to run at a profit, otherwise it will go out of business.
Your mobile phone company has only its paying customers to support its network. There are many ways it can charge those customers, and the best way is one which attracts the most customers, and generally the best way is by not charging much more than its competitors. This means heavy users should be discouraged from being a heavy user, or discouraged from staying on the network, and the easiest way to do that is to charge them more than the other customers.


RE: The one percent
By Jason H on 1/8/2012 2:50:15 PM , Rating: 2
Your sarcasm detector is broken.


RE: The one percent
By drycrust3 on 1/8/2012 10:04:08 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks, I hadn't noticed.


I'd just like to point out
By Totally on 1/7/2012 10:43:54 AM , Rating: 2
that all subscribers who purchase a smart phone are required to buy a data plan regardless of whether they want one or not. The way I see is that carriers are forcing data plans on 99% of it's subscribers.




RE: I'd just like to point out
By Jason H on 1/8/2012 2:48:23 PM , Rating: 2
No, they're not "required" - that's only to get the phone at the subsidized price. You can buy a phone at full price without any plan if you want.


per usage amount
By undummy on 1/8/2012 2:53:07 PM , Rating: 2

Why not charge for the internet in MB's, a penny or two for each MB used??? Sounds easy enough. This way, I don't have to subsidize YOUR cellphone internet usage. And, as long as you pay your bill, its UNLIMITED!

Looks like the 1% of abusers are enjoying their welfare mobile internet while the rest of us pay for something we're not too addicted to or use excessively. Too bad so sad. Jack up the rates and put caps on them abusers!




RE: per usage amount
By x10Unit1 on 1/9/2012 10:51:49 AM , Rating: 2
While it sounds reasonable, however if successful, it would make the case that non-mobile ISP could do that same thing and that could get really really messy and expensive. Especially for internet junkies like me....lol


Which 1% ?
By ShieTar on 1/9/2012 10:02:42 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
After following these customers over a 24-hour time period


That is not much time to go from. If I look at my own personal data use, I also tend to use the majority of my monthly data on just 1 or 2 days. E.g. when I do a trip to a different city and have google maps running for several hours.

The people behind this study really need to go and read "statistics for dummies".




RE: Which 1% ?
By x10Unit1 on 1/9/2012 10:46:52 AM , Rating: 2
I can't believe that Google Maps consumes 2-4GB of data in 1-2 hours.

However, if it does, one of the previous updates allows you to activate an option in the lab to pre-cache a location in google maps. This would allow you to cache that area using wifi instead of your mobile data plan!

I haven't it tried it, since I have a grandfathered unlimited plan, but it would be worth a shot. Better than having to wait a whole billing cycle to use your data plan again.

Make sure to go through your phone and set all sync options to wifi only. A lot of places are offering free wifi. Use that to your advantage when away from home. It also doesn't hurt to ask your friends to give you access to their wifi when you are hanging out. That will help you save even more data. Even with unlimited data, I have done this because the speeds are faster! Hope this helps!!


Meaningless
By Just Tom on 1/7/2012 9:46:13 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
After following these customers over a 24-hour time period, Arieso found that 1 percent of consumers generated half of all traffic while the top 10 percent generated about 90 percent of wireless bandwidth traffic. Sixty-four percent of heavy users accessed wireless bandwidth via laptop, 33 percent via smartphone and only 3 percent via an iPad.


They tracked people over a one day period, that is too short by far. There are lots of reasons someone's data useage might spike for a day. If you looked at my useagae rates there are probably as many days I am in the top 10% as I am in the bottom 10%. To see whether there people are truly 'data hogs' you would need to do a longitudinal tracking date useage over a time period longer than a day. Heck, a good portion of that 1% oould be nothing more than people updating their OS (nearly 2/3 of the users tracked were using laptops)




I have an idea
By wordsworm on 1/8/2012 6:05:20 PM , Rating: 2
Make that 1% of pay for 1/2 the cost of the network.




Top THREE?!?
By crimson117 on 1/9/2012 11:57:46 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Also, in 2009, the top three users consumed 40 percent of wireless bandwidth
I hope you meant top three percent ...




Occupy Bandwidth!
By fic2 on 1/9/2012 12:19:57 PM , Rating: 2
The greedy top 1% ruin everything! First Wall Street, now this.




Cool!
By Souka on 1/6/12, Rating: 0
"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)














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