Feature Article

June 23, 2014

LTE Users Shown to Use Far More Data than 3G Subscribers

A recent study conducted by Mobida Technology sought to examine the way the mobile data is used around the world, in LTE and 3G markets for countries including the United States, Brazil, Hong Kong, Germany and others. This study sampled usage statistics over the first four months of 2014 from more than 100 different mobile operators that have deployed LTE networks, and found several pieces of insightful information that will steer the data network market, including the simple fact that more customers are switching to LTE networks in favor of 3G networks. However, the most telling piece of information uncovered by the research project was the fact that LTE users consistently download more data than their 3G counterparts, in some cases almost twice as much.

An LTE network delivers more information faster, so it stands to reason that mobile customers who have the capability to download more information at higher rates will do so much faster, much in the same way that a man with a garden hose is likely to use less water than one with a fire hose. This trend was noticed across every major market surveyed by the team.

In the four month survey period, users from Hong Kong consumed around 100 percent more data than 3G users from the same region over the same time period. Similarly in Japan, South Korea and the United States LTE users led the pack on data consumption. Japanese mobile data consumers averaged around 3GB of data usage every month.

The other major finding from this study was the fact that Wi-Fi connectivity is the primary access point for most mobile phone users, which accounted for 75 to 90 percent of all data that is used across world markets. When Wi-Fi figures are included in mobile usage, South Koreans were found to use a staggering 12GB monthly, while Japanese and Russian users fell just short of 10GB monthly.

A high reliance on Wi-Fi and LTE networks shows that the future lies in delivering reliable LTE coverage, while finding a way to monetize data pulled off of Wi-Fi networks. Mobile operators are likely to start focusing on delivering Wi-Fi networks in order to capitalize off of this data as well.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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