To the surprise of few mobile network managers, the recent proliferation of advanced mobile devices is putting an increased strain on carriers’ networks, according to a report from mobile network management software provider Arieso.
The study found that using usage models of Apple Inc.’s iPhone 3GS as a baseline, customers using the recently launched iPhone 4 download 41% more data to their device and spend 67% more time connected to a carrier’s network.
However, those numbers pale in comparison to consumers using devices powered by Google Inc.’s Android operating system. According to Arieso’s data, consumers using Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.’s Galaxy devices typically upload 126% more data than those using the iPhone 3GS, while consumers using HTC Corp.’s Desire device download 41% more data than the ubiquitous iPhone 3GS user.
Perhaps most interesting from the Arieso data is that consumers with these more advanced devices are not placing any more voice calls, highlighting the increasing data-focus of modern smart phones.
Arieso noted this data shows that wireless operators need to rethink how they are pricing their wireless services to both take advantage of consumer demand for data offerings as well as to help manage network traffic.
“Smartphone subscriptions are rising and so too is subscriber appetite for mobile data,” said Michael Flanagan, CTO of Arieso. “Since the launch of the iPhone3G, we’ve seen a multitude of popular new smart phones 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.”