Monday, April 12, 2010

Mobile Data Traffic Study

ABI Research has a new study out that provides a step-by-step analysis of the factors driving mobile data network traffic for Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and the combination of all other US carriers. Factors quantified as contributing to mobile operator data traffic levels include total data devices by operator, total data-activated devices by operator, and total data consumption by device type by operator. Devices analyzed include:

  • Handsets: smartphones, enhanced phones, low-end phones, ultra-low end phones;
  • External Modems: PC Cards, USB modems, 3G/Wi-Fi routers;
  • Computing Devices: laptops, netbooks, MIDs, smartbooks
  • Consumer Electronics: mobile gaming console, mobile media player, mobile digital still camera, mobile digital camcorder, connected navigation devices, and other (mostly mobile e-readers)
Here's some highlights from the report:
  • Verizon Wireless and Sprint Each Carried Over 16 Billion More Megabytes of Mobile Network Data than AT&T in 2009
  • In 2009 Verizon Wireless carried the most traffic, followed by Sprint. Customers of these two operators generated 63% of the US market’s mobile network data traffic.
  • AT&T had the most activated data devices in 2009. But it is laptop mobile data connections that have the most impact on operator data traffic levels.
  • Mobile broadband laptop connections to Verizon and Sprint each far exceed AT&T’s laptop connections.
  • A high proportion of Sprint’s and Verizon’s laptop connections are to lower data-consuming business customers, as well as expansive 3G coverage areas, which helps moderate their network traffic loads across any cell sector.
The report projects:
  • Verizon will maintain the top data traffic position over the next five years.
  • AT&T’s share of mobile data traffic will increase and by 2012 AT&T will take the number two position.
  • The final three spots for top mobile data traffic levels will be held by Sprint, T-Mobile and then all other operators.
The report also predicts nearly all operators will see mobile data traffic levels increase eightfold from 2010 through 2014.

Get more info on the excellent ABI Research study here.

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