Feature Article

August 07, 2014

EE Finds People Consuming More and More Data

Only one prediction about faster mobile networks in general, and fourth generation Long Term Evolution (4G LTE) in particular, is easy to make: people consume more data on faster networks.

All other observations--whether connection time increases or remains the same, whether people use more or less Wi-Fi, whether people consume more data or use different types of apps--are less predictable.

Average data usage has increased by 66 percent in the last 12 months, outstripping 3G customers on both Orange and T-Mobile plans, EE reports. That’s an example of the invariable trend.

The amount of time people spend on mobile internet has remained stable, but customers are doing a wider range of things more quickly, EE says.

The most marked increase was a six percent rise in online banking and five percent more social media usage, five percent more music streaming and four percent more browsing of news sites.

And viewing of more pages means greater advertising avails are created, as a direct result. In other words, Google’s available ad inventory grows as more people view more pages.

The latest 4GEE Mobile Living Index, which analyzes mobile data use and 4G customer trends, also finds that users have not increased the amount of time they spend interacting with mobile Internet apps.

In other words, they might do more, but they do not increase engagement time.

But EE argues that 4G LTE users also reduce use of public Wi-Fi when they have 4G LTE available.

EE believes that is because LTE 4G is seen as more reliable and faster than public Wi-Fi hotspots. LTE access might also be viewed as more convenient, since no additional log-in operations are required, though that is not a specific finding of the study.

The percentage of customers using fewer or no public Wi-Fi services since getting 4G has reached 54 percent.

Some 30 percent of respondents also report they are using less or no home broadband. About three percent of respondents say that they have cancelled their home broadband account since signing up to 4G on EE.

That doesn’t mean adoption of 4G LTE directly lead to cannibalization of the fixed network connection. Those respondents might have switched to another provider. But the findings could indicate a slight displacement of fixed access by mobile access. 

For industry plenty more IT industry insights, be sure to check out the upcoming ITEXPO conference, August 11-14, 2014, at The Rio in Las Vegas, Nev. Keep up with all the latest ITEXPO developments here, and don’t miss your chance to be rub elbows with some of the very best in IT. Follow the event on Twitter at @ITEXPO.

Edited by Adam Brandt

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