LTE: The Extreme Gene for Data Consumption

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It’s a well-documented fact that Apple iPhones consume more data per user on carrier networks worldwide than any other smartphone or smart device. It’s a benchmark that was set with the iPhone 3G and continues with all the iPhone iterations since.

That’s a pretty useful industry beacon of smart mobile device evolution and the impact of consumer demand on network bandwidth/speed. But it also begs this question: how on earth can mobile network operators and subscribers meet the voracious appetite of bigger, better and faster smartphones?

It seems the smarter they get, the more users will consume data. According to Arieso for example, iPhone 5s users demand seven times as much data as iPhone 3G users in developed markets, and 20 times as much data in developing markets. That’s a clear indication of the compelling performance of newer generation smartphones and the higher speed networks that do their level best to serve them.

What is even more astounding are the LTE (4G) extremes that are being revealed on both the data download and upload side of things.

Here are some facts to consider:

  • In 3G networks, 1% of all users consume over half of the data.
  • LTE users are 10 times more extreme. In other words, 0.1% of all users consume over half of the LTE data.
  • Compared to last year, user-generated content for 3G networks is holding steady at 1/6th the consumed data, but LTE is 20% higher than UMTS at 1/5th the consumed data.

Considering that a significant increase in speed and usage occurs indoors (upwards of 70%); and that wireless signal quality diminishes significantly after passing through the windows, floors and ceilings of buildings, it’s clear that both carriers and subscribers need some help.

Smart Signal Booster and Small Cells are two solutions to this problem. Sometimes they work independently; other times in tandem. The upshot is, LTE data usage is clearly taking the inside track in a big way, and is going to need a boost to get to full speed.

Do you think LTE will meet the user need for speed? Or is there more to come?

By the Cel-Fi Team

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