Arieso reveals hungriest users of mobile data


– Network-based analysis compares top smartphone use on mobile networks
– Appetite for data rockets as new devices drive subscriber demand for apps, services and mobile internet
– iPhone 4 and Android-based smartphones lead the next wave in the data tsunami

8 December 2010, Newbury, UK – A series of studies, undertaken by Arieso, comparing subscriber demand for mobile data has shown that different users and different devices exhibit markedly different demands on mobile networks. The findings of this analysis using Arieso’s leading edge location-aware and customer-centric network management solution, ariesoGEO, highlight the emergence of a new breed of mobile subscribers in the post-iPhone3G era, with an even more insatiable appetite for mobile data than their predecessors.

The comparison between a variety of different smartphones and connected devices – using the iPhone3G as a benchmark – shows that data call time on certain handsets can increase by as much as 250%. It also shows that the actual number of data “calls” can increase by more than 130%. In addition, uplink and downlink data volumes can increase by as much as 130% and 40% respectively.

Commenting on the findings of the studies Michael Flanagan, CTO of Arieso, said, “Smartphone subscriptions are rising and so too is subscriber appetite for mobile data. Since the launch of the iPhone3G, we’ve seen a multitude of popular new smartphones arrive on the market, successfully driving app and service usage. It’s a trend that’s set to continue. Operators must now be able to quantify the impact of the devices they support, and how subscribers use them, and prepare their networks accordingly.”

Who are the data-hungriest users of them all?
The Arieso analysis compares the data consumption of users of newer smartphones, such as the BlackBerry Bold 9700, the Google Nexus One, the HTC Desire, and the Sony Ericsson Xperia, and the Apple iPhone 4, against the iPhone3G as a “normalised benchmark”. The results show how different subscribers use their devices in many different ways and exhibit variable demands for mobile data.

In particular, the results show that iPhone 4 users are more hungry for data than their iPhone3G counterparts, typically making 44% more data calls, downloading 41% more data to their devices, and spending 67% more time connected to the network for data.

Arieso’s analysis also show that users with handsets based on Google’s Android OS software are particularly “data hungry”, scoring higher than both the iPhone3G and iPhone 4 in terms of data call volumes, time connected to the network, and data volume (in kilobits per subscriber) uploaded and downloaded.

Android-powered smartphone users also score highest in both the “uplink data volume” and the “downlink data” categories. For example, Samsung Galaxy users typically upload 126% more data than iPhone3G users, and HTC Desire users download 41% more data than iPhone3G users.

But importantly, the Arieso studies also reveal that voice calls per subscriber remain roughly flat, suggesting that the new breed of smartphone subscribers use their devices first and foremost for data consumption rather than making phone calls.

“Mobile operators are playing ‘Guess Who?’ with their subscribers. The variations in data use between various devices highlight the pressing need for a more accurate, in-depth and intelligent view into the potential impact of individual handset users on the network,” continued Flanagan. “Right now, operators struggle to see their network as their customers see it, especially regarding performance and quality of service within individual buildings. They are risking rising operational costs, and delivering a sub-par quality of service to customers. They must adopt a new, more precise approach to monitoring and optimizing their networks.”

Arieso has published the findings of its studies together with in-depth analysis in its white paper “Emerging Smartphone Trends: The Next Wave in the Data Tsunami”. The white paper is available upon request.