Light Reading

iPhone 5 Is Top Euro Data Hog

Michelle Donegan
Wireless Bits
Michelle Donegan
1/14/2013
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9:00 AM -- Here's a trend that could be something of a worry for mobile data network operators, particularly the folk working in the network planning department: The latest smartphone devices are using even greater volumes of data on 3G networks than their predecessors and are even greater data-hoggers than tablets.

That's the main conclusion to be drawn from the results of a new study from mobile analytics specialist Arieso Ltd., which found that the Apple Inc. iPhone 5 is the biggest data consumer on 3G networks.

And in Arieso's ranking of devices that consume the most data on 3G networks, smartphones dominate the Top 10, with six entries compared with just three tablets and one "phablet," specifically the Samsung Corp.'s Galaxy Note 2.

The study looked at the usage patterns of about 1 million users connected to a 3G network in one European market. (Even though 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) services are available in this unidentified market, there were too few users to be statistically meaningful for the research, noted Arieso CTO Michael Flanagan.)

The iPhone 5 was the most demanding device for data, consuming 50 percent more than the iPhone 4S (which was last year's data hog in another European market) and four times as much data as the iPhone 3G, which is the study's benchmark device. (See iPhone 4S is Most Data Hungry, Study Finds.)

The tablets identified in the study -- Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, Apple's iPad and its iPad 2 -- ranked fourth, eighth and ninth respectively. This suggests not only that smartphone users have a seemingly unquenchable thirst for data but also that tablet users often rely on Wi-Fi for data connectivity. (See Wi-Fi: Taking the Strain for Cellular and 5 Trends in Carrier Wi-Fi.)

The Top 10 3G data-hoggers, as identified by Arieso, are:

1. iPhone 5
2. HTC Sensation XL
3. Samsung Galaxy S III
4. Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1
5. Samsung Galaxy Note 2
6. HTC One X
7. iPhone 4S
8. iPad
9. iPad 2
10. Sony Ericsson Xperia S

The study also found that 1 percent of the users consumed 40 percent of mobile data on the 3G network. While that's a high figure it isn't as extreme as last year, when the study found that 1 percent of users consumed 50 percent of the data traffic, though it should be pointed out that the studies were on two different networks and so are not directly comparable.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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mervynk1
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mervynk1,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/14/2013 | 8:42:54 PM
re: iPhone 5 Is Top Euro Data Hog
As your article mentions, the
increase in the consumption of real-time, data-rich content by iPhone 5 users
is intensifying the challenging situation network operators find themselves in,
trying to satisfy the growing demand for bandwidth in a viable and profitable
manner. To help address these concerns, operators will have to ensure that the backhaul
portion of the network can cope.

-

The backhaul connects base
stations to the core network and has a great impact on the quality of service
consumers get. Operators need to optimise their backhaul networks to handle
high-bandwidth services. Carrier Ethernet offers operators a sound solution to
this challenge, combining a cost-effective and scalable architecture that
allows carriers to control costs while supporting the next-generation of mobile
applications. Putting in place sufficient capacity and resiliency in the
backhaul will help operators to cope with the demand for additional bandwidth
generated by increasingly powerful smart devices such as the iPhone 5.

-

Mervyn Kelly, EMEA Marketing Director, Ciena
Michelle Donegan
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Michelle Donegan,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/14/2013 | 8:29:34 PM
re: iPhone 5 Is Top Euro Data Hog
Fair point. Big bandwidth consumption is good for business, yes. But I think operators do worry when smartphone usage is unpredictable -- spiking in some areas at various times -- or when not all smartphones have the same usage patterns, which makes network planning difficult. How do they provision the right amount of capacity in the right places? -

Also, if operators are working on the assumption that tablets will consume way more data than smartphones (which, I have to admit, is what I thought), here's one network snapshot showing that's certainly not the case now. Perhpas the network usage picture is different in other EU markets or markets outside EU.

-
mervynk1
50%
50%
mervynk1,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/14/2013 | 4:34:43 PM
re: iPhone 5 Is Top Euro Data Hog
As this latest report from Arieso
Ltd. demonstrates, the arrival of the iPhone 5 has brought with it more data
hungry applications and capabilities than previous devices. Its deeper
integration with applications like Facebook means that consumers are inclined
to upload and download larger image and video files than ever before. As your
article mentions, the increase in the consumption of such real-time, data-rich
content will intensify the challenging situation network operators find
themselves in, trying to satisfy the growing demand for bandwidth in a viable
and profitable manner.

-

To help address these concerns, operators will
have to ensure that the backhaul portion of the network can cope. The backhaul
connects base stations to the core network and has a great impact on the
quality of service consumers get. Operators need to optimise their backhaul
networks to handle high-bandwidth services. Carrier Ethernet offers operators a
sound solution to this challenge, combining a cost-effective and scalable
architecture that allows carriers to control costs while supporting the
next-generation of mobile applications. Putting in place sufficient capacity
and resiliency in the backhaul will help operators to cope with the demand for
additional bandwidth generated by increasingly powerful smart devices such as
the iPhone 5.Mervyn Kelly, EMEA marketing, Ciena
mervynk1
50%
50%
mervynk1,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/14/2013 | 4:28:53 PM
re: iPhone 5 Is Top Euro Data Hog
As this latest report from Arieso
Ltd. demonstrates, the arrival of the iPhone 5 has brought with it more data
hungry applications and capabilities than previous devices. Its deeper
integration with applications like Facebook means that consumers are inclined
to upload and download larger image and video files than ever before. As your
article mentions, the increase in the consumption of such real-time, data-rich
content will intensify the challenging situation network operators find
themselves in, trying to satisfy the growing demand for bandwidth in a viable
and profitable manner.

-

To help address these concerns, operators will
have to ensure that the backhaul portion of the network can cope. The backhaul
connects base stations to the core network and has a great impact on the
quality of service consumers get. Operators need to optimise their backhaul
networks to handle high-bandwidth services. Carrier Ethernet offers operators a
sound solution to this challenge, combining a cost-effective and scalable
architecture that allows carriers to control costs while supporting the
next-generation of mobile applications. Putting in place sufficient capacity
and resiliency in the backhaul will help operators to cope with the demand for
additional bandwidth generated by increasingly powerful smart devices such as
the iPhone 5.
lrmobile_jepovic
50%
50%
lrmobile_jepovic,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/14/2013 | 4:25:04 PM
re: iPhone 5 Is Top Euro Data Hog
Why would wireless operators worry about devices that consume a lot of bandwidth? It's their business! Last time I checked their were subsidizing precisely these devices.
Michelle Donegan
50%
50%
Michelle Donegan,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/14/2013 | 3:37:05 PM
re: iPhone 5 Is Top Euro Data Hog
I think the cellular data usage on tablets found in this survey shows just how much subscribers are probably using Wi-Fi for their tablets.
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