High-End Smartphones Drive Mobile Data Traffic Growth

Mobile data traffic continues to grow, doubling from the second quarter of 2010 to the second quarter of 2011, according to a new measurement from Ericsson, to be released as part of Akamai’s The State of the Internet report. ??The mobile data growth patterns reveal that the quality of a smartphone affects which applications people use and the length of time they surf the mobile Internet.

As defined by Ericsson, an active smartphone user generates more than 1 MB traffic per day. Factors including screen size, age and price of the smartphone have a stronger correlation with median traffic than operating system. It is notable that in North America, high-end smartphones generate twice the traffic than comparable smartphones at the operators analyzed in Asia and Europe.?

Additionally, Ericsson found that among heavy users, the cumulative data generated by video is significantly higher than for other activities. The top 5 to 10 percent of smartphone users are willing to spend up to 40 minutes a day watching online video. However, the average user spends about 30 seconds a day watching online video. ??The implication is that high-end users are driving traffic and demand for prioritized services.

These findings are based on Ericsson mobile broadband measurements during the second quarter of 2011 at four different operators in mature markets in Europe, Asia and North America.

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