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Fixed Networks Featured Article

Early 4G Adopters Change Behavior

By Gary Kim, Contributing Editor

TeliaSonera (News - Alert) conducted a survey of fourth-generation wireless network customers after 100 days of use, and found behavior changes very similar to the changes we have seen in the change from dial-up to broadband access, namely increases in bandwidth consumption, more use of bandwidth-heavy applications and more work-at-home.

About half of the respondents report their habits have changed. About 26 percent say they are working more on a mobile basis, while 23 percent say they are downloading larger files to a greater extent than previously.

About 19 percent say they watch online TV or stream movies and 16 percent say they began surfing more after they began using the 4G network.

To be sure, it typically is difficult to extrapolate from early adopter behavior to 'typical' users in a mass market.

And the early 4G adopters are not 'typical.'  More than 90 percent upgraded from an already existing 3G subscription and 43 percent had an iPhone (News - Alert).

The majority of respondents 65 percent, acquired 4G to complement their fixed broadband and 54 percent would not consider returning to 3G.

The other way to look at the findings is that half of this generally early-adopter population did not report changes in behavior TeliaSonera sees as significant enough to report.

Still, one obvious implication is that as bandwidth provided by a mobile network starts to approach what is possible on a fixed network, behavior on the wireless network tends to move closer to what is seen on fixed broadband networks. Generally speaking, users migrating off dial-up services and onto fixed broadband watch more video, download larger files, spend more time online, use more applications and consume more bandwidth.

Gary Kim (News - Alert) is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Gary's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Kelly McGuire