Skip to content

Is your phone a broadband hog or wireless bandit?

Following up my article on the predicted explosion of mobile data, Wedbush has again looked into the problems that are about to occur. What they found was that certain smarthphone devices (or their owners rather) used significantly more data than other smartphone devices:

Data devices by bandwidth consumption

So if you own a “broadband hog”, “wireless hummer” or “bandit devices”, are you to blame when the rest of us cannot access our email on our phone?  Undoubtedly devices like the iPhone entices people to use content, but it was interesting to see that owners of devices which do not necessarily have the great content experience built around them like the iPhone does still use their phone a lot for data.

Wedbush again points to Cisco research that assumes that a lot of traffic (64%) will be driven by mobile video. Again, it remains to be seen whether there will be consistent demand from mobile video outside of sporting events. Yes, boredom killers such as watching YouTube will no doubt be popular, but I doubt YouTube will manage to be as dominant on mobile as they may be online simply because of a different viewer use case.

Wedbush also argues that network upgrades will hurt more than help, as increased bandwidth will only serve to increase demand.  In my opinion, this is a bit of a simplistic view.  There are too many factors with regards to wireless content that need to be in place for usage to happen. Some of them are compelling content, proper business models for content owners, ease of discovery, availability of flat rate data plans, etc – and bandwidth accessibility is only one component (albeit a crucial one).

The research by Wedbush is a good step. I’d like to see more of this research and actually try to link this not only to device types but the other factors that enable mobile content uptake and usage as mentioned above.

Posted in The Business of Mobile.

Tagged with , , , , .