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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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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.


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