1% of users hog half of phone bandwidth

Credit: flickr/Sheep purple

Biggest hogs? iPhone 4S users, using twice as much bandwidth as iPhone 4, and three times as much as iPhone 3 users.

Using iPhone 3 users as the average benchmark, Arieso, an English company, tracked 1.1 million users in the U.S., Europe, and Africa during one 24 hour period in November. The results show the top 1 percent use as much bandwidth as the bottom half of all other users. A similar test found the top 3 percent in 2009 generated 40 percent of network traffic; now those users consume 70 percent of carrier bandwidth. A third of the high volume users had only a smartphone, but 64 percent had a laptop.

Older, 2G phones are used almost exclusively for calls and basic texting. Globally, only 13.2 percent of the 6.1 billion cellphones are smartphones, but in markets like the U.S., Germany, and England, the rate jumps to over 30 percent of active phones. Up to half of phones in Sweden and Finland are smartphones. Looking into their crystal ball, hone maker Ericsson expects global mobile data use to grow ten times by 2016.

Phone class warfare

We need to start an Occupy Bandwidth movement.

CPA on anandtech.com

Once again I am still in the 99%. Sigh.

rosy on nytimes.com

i see people in the mobile forums here bitching that 2gb isn't enough for them to use in a month, when most people i know who are 'everyday regular users' hardly use 300mb a month.

purbeast0 on anandtech.com

If I had LTE and a way to watch live sports, I'd probably be in the top 1%.

silverpig on anandtech.com

Yo, carriers

Data usage is growing and the phone companies need to stop complaining, stop kicking the data bandwidth can (problem) down the road and invest and expand their networks.

LFS on nytimes.com

If you are on 3G I'd like to know what people are doing to generate that much bandwith. Anything halfway bandwith consuming blows at that speed. If you are on LTE I can easily see you burning through it with a handful of netflix streams.

vi_edit on anandtech.com

the moment you start doing -anything- more than reading your e-mail on a device, data usage is going to shoot up.

Ver Greeneyes on singularityhub.com

Not buying it

This study is flawed in so many ways. It smells of just another extremely slanted cudgel that the mobile oligarchy will use to crank up prices, rather than serve customers.

Bill Griffiths on nytimes.com

It's entirely possible to see 1% using 50% of the bandwidth on one day when in fact they use only 10% of the bandwidth over one month.

Ben on nytimes.com

Perhaps we should ask Siri on a new iPhone 4S how users are going to keep up their data hogging ways as carriers are setting lower and lower consumption quotas.

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