Apple iPhone 5s Users Take First Place In Data Usage
January 24, 2014

iPhone 5S Users Are The Biggest Data Hogs: JDSU Report

Lee Rannals for - Your Universe Online

Apple iPhone 5s users are the hungriest of all data users in both developed and developing markets, according to a new report by JDSU researchers.

Scientists at JDSU’s Location Intelligence Business Unit found that iPhone 5s users use more data than the 150 devices that were included in the study. The team found that iPhone 5s users gobble up seven times more data than iPhone 3G users in developed markets. They also discovered that people with 4G smartphones are using 10 times more data than 3G users.

“For the past three years we’ve seen explosive growth in mobile data usage, causing operators to have to wrestle with the challenges their success is creating,” Dr. Michael Flanagan, CTO of Mobility for the Network and Service Enablement business segment of JDSU and author of the study, said in a statement.

IPhone users have been notorious for consuming the most mobile data, but the new bar set by iPhone 5s users is the most intense witnessed to date. The iPhone 5s users are consuming 20 percent more data than iPhone 5 users when using iPhone 3G usage as a benchmark. Apple devices account for six of the top ten “hungriest handsets,” along with two Samsung products, one HTC and one Sony.

“Each new generation of iPhone has resulted in increases in data consumption of between 20-40 percent - even today when data use is common. Though interestingly, users of the more economically-priced iPhone 5c consume data in the range between that of the iPhone 4s and 5 users,” said Flanagan.

In 2011 and 2012, the study found that just one percent of 3G users consumed half of the entire download data. However, as data speeds have increased so have data hogs’ appetite. According to the new study, 0.1 percent of 4G users consume half of the entire LTE data. They also found that 4G users are 10 times more data hungry than 3G users.

“The faster the speeds that mobile operators provide, the more consumers swallow it up and demand more,” continued Flanagan. “One would expect a honeymoon period in which early adopters test their toys. But for 4G users to consistently exhibit behavior 10 times more extreme than 3G users well after launch constitutes a seismic shift in the data landscape. This has important ramifications for future network designs.”

IPad mini users tend to use data a lot less than their counterparts who opted for the bigger device. The study said that iPad mini users consume 20 percent less than second and third-generation iPads.

“Last year, we were surprised to see that smartphones trumped tablets when it came to data consumption. Lost ground has not been made up by tablets, in spite of the progress of the fourth generation iPad. Only two of our top ten most hungry devices were tablets this year, compared to three last year,” commented Flanagan.

Since the iPhone 3G arrived in 2007, mobile network providers have had to keep up with data consumption by finding new ways to charge customers. Reports like these will allow mobile network providers to not only keep track of how data is being spent, but also could help find new ways to service customers.

“This report provides new insight on how operators can deal with skyrocketing data use. For example, the fact that 0.1 percent of 4G subscribers consume half of the data may prompt operators to identify extreme users. This, in turn, may make it easier to deploy small cell and Wi-Fi access points to ease network congestion. However, the accuracy of these placements should be of paramount importance to operators due to the limited range of the small cells and Wi-Fi,” said Flanagan. “This is likely part of an overall trend towards the “personal” wireless network. Just as femtocells were placed in homes to satisfy network coverage objectives on a subscriber-by-subscriber basis, small cells and Wi-Fi access points may be placed to satisfy network capacity objectives on a subscriber-by-subscriber basis.”