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New Ways to Pay for Mobile Data

9:30 AM Operators start app-based charging, finds new mobile data study from Allot

Michelle Donegan

July 26, 2011

2 Min Read
New Ways to Pay for Mobile Data

9:30 AM -- There are signs that new mobile data charging models are starting to emerge in the latest Mobile Trends report from deep packet inspection (DPI) specialist Allot Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALLT) (See Video Streams, Carriers Scream.)

Gathering price plan details from more than 50 mobile operators, Allot says that 32 percent of those operators already use "application-aware" charging models. In such a model, for example, an operator would opt not to count against a subscriber's data cap any data used through a specific social media app.

Allot also found that 51 percent of those operators do not offer unlimited data plans while 89 percent charge for data based on volume.

The study also collected data on mobile apps usage between Jan. 1 and June 30 this year from mobile operators worldwide with a combined 250 million subscribers, using its NetXplorer centralized management and reporting system. Here are the highlights:

  • Video streaming is the largest application type, accounting for 39 percent of mobile data bandwidth, followed by file sharing with 29 percent of bandwidth and Web browsing with 25 percent of bandwidth.

  • YouTube Inc. is responsible for 22 percent of global mobile data bandwidth.

  • The fastest growing apps are VoIP and instant messaging. While only accounting for 4 percent of mobile data bandwidth, these apps grew 101 percent compared with the year-ago Mobile Trends report.

  • Skype Ltd. is the top mobile VoIP app, capturing 82 percent of mobile VoIP bandwidth.

  • Facebook and Twitter Inc. rose 166 percent and 297 percent, respectively, in their share of mobile data bandwidth.

The report encapsulates just one vendor's view on mobile data usage trends, but it's a handy snapshot of the most popular mobile apps, mobile traffic patterns and how operators are adapting through new charging models.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

About the Author(s)

Michelle Donegan

Michelle Donegan is an independent technology writer who has covered the communications industry for the last 20 years on both sides of the Pond. Her career began in Chicago in 1993 when Telephony magazine launched an international title, aptly named Global Telephony. Since then, she has upped sticks (as they say) to the UK and has written for various publications including Communications Week International, Total Telecom and, most recently, Light Reading.  

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