0.1% of the world’s 4G users consumed more than half of all LTE downlink data in 2013, according to a new report. That makes these ‘extreme’ 4G users 10 times more data hungry than 3G customers, where 1% of users consume half of all 3G downlink data.
The figures come from the JDSU Location Intelligence Business Unit, which was known as Arieso until its acquisition last year.
Back in 2011, data from Arieso showed that 1% of 3G users worldwide were consuming half of all 3G download data... and the figure was largely unchanged in 2012.
When it comes to specific devices, iPhone 5s users are the ‘hungriest’ for data downloads. They consume seven times as much data as iPhone 3G users in developed markets and 20 times as much data as iPhone 3G users in developing markets. Apple products are six of the top ten ‘hungriest devices’ in JDSU’s list, along with two Samsung phones, one from HTC and one from Sony.
However, Samsung users uploaded more data than other customers in 2013. Samsung Galaxy S4 users uploaded five times as much data as iPhone 3G users in developed markets and 11 times as much data in developing markets.
Dr Michael Flanagan, author of the study and CTO of Mobility for the Network and Service Enablement business segment of JDSU, said “For the past three years we’ve seen explosive growth in mobile data usage, causing operators to have to wrestle with the challenges their success is creating. Each new generation of iPhone has resulted in increases in data consumption of between 20 - 40% - even today when data use is common. Though interestingly, users of the more economically-priced iPhone 5c consume data in the range between that of the iPhone 4s and 5 users.”
“The faster the speeds that mobile operators provide, the more consumers swallow it up and demand more. One would expect a honeymoon period in which early adopters test their toys. But for 4G users to consistently exhibit behaviour 10 times more extreme than 3G users well after launch constitutes a seismic shift in the data landscape. This has important ramifications for future network designs.”