-Regards,NewSense IN Team

January 06, 2012

Study Reveals that IPhone 4S Users Consume the Most Data

Demand for mobile data is putting extraordinary demands on the mobile networks, with each new generation of smartphone consuming more and more bandwidth and a tiny percentage of data hogs consuming half of the downlink data according to a report published Friday.

Graced with not perhaps the snappiest title (“Recent Smartphone Trends and the Extreme Data User”), the report by network management software provider Ariesoshows iPhone 4S users demand twice as much data as iPhone 4 users, and three times as much as an iPhone 3G user. High end Android phone showed similar consumption.

The report’s author, CTO Michael Flanagan, also found that 3% of users consume about 80% of the data, and incredibly just 1% of users are responsible for half of data consumption.

Only two makers, RIM and Nokia, were ‘network friendly’

“The capacity demands [by users] are going to be inexorable,” he said. “All the data we see is consistent with a doubling [of network traffic] every year.

“We are having a Star Trek moment. Space really is the final frontier.”

The survey, taken over a 24-hour period of what Mr. Flanagan would only describe as “Tier one [network] operator in a major European city encompassing both urban and suburban areas,” shows clearly the problems that operators face; the double hit of ever-increasing data demands by more and more sophisticated smartphones, and an ever-increasing penetration of those smartphones as consumers upgrade.

According to Mr. Flanagan only two smartphone makers, RIM and Nokia, could be described as “network friendly”. In the survey users of the Blackberry Bold Touch, for example, consumed just over half the download data, and 62% of the upload data, of an iPhone 3G. Whether that was due to owner behavior or the way Blackberries serve data was not possible to say. The Nokia E72 consumed just 32% of the download data of a benchmark iPhone 3G, yet 92% of the upload data.

1% of users are consuming 50% of data

In tackling the demands on their network—and in the absence of additional spectrum to carry the data, or more efficient technologies such as next-generation LTE which allow more data to be carried over existing frequencies, both of which have long lead times—Mr. Flanagan said network operators had typically responded with either choking back heavy users, or with heavy penalty charges to curb behavior.

However, Mr. Flanagan suggested better network management, and intelligent placing of small cells to absorb the heavy users, could could go someway to help alleviate the problem.

“If you see that 1% of users are consuming 50% of your data you could free up about half of your network if you got rid of these users, churn them off to other networks to ruin your competitors. However you could keep them as valued customers and find more efficient ways to get a microcell to exactly where the subscriber is.”

The report said that from the survey the heavy users had consistent use patterns making the task of locating them and serving their needs easier.

Upgrade heavy users to 4G if possible

“Network operators are going to have to approach this differently than they did in the past; ‘oh lets just blanket an area with coverage’.

“You have to boldly go right where the subscribers are. It is not good enough to put a 4G base station just because it is where you had a 3G one.”

According to the report “One customer-centric, location-aware strategy is then to outfit the extreme user with a 4G device (to replace their existing 3G device) and to install a 4G small cell as close as possible to where they regularly consume data. This conjunction is extremely important: it is not enough to provide a 4G device without ensuring that the data offload will occur by judicious placement of a new small cell.”

The report addressed the recent data demands of over 1.1 million distinct subscribers over a 24-hour period. The analysis focused on popular devices that were represented by at least 1,000 subscribers (more popular devices were represented by well over 10,000 subscribers).


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