The Traffic on the Mobile Superhighway

The AdMob monthly mobile traffic report was released last week.  AdMob was recently acquired by Google, so understandably it was, in its own words, “bullish on the Android platform”.  Yet even such bullishness could not overcome the fact that Apple advanced its lead in smartphone traffic share from 43% in September to an even 50% globally in October. Apple Insider, granted with its own bias, took a look at the numbers in a bit more interesting way.  Looking at sales of the top platforms and data traffic it becomes apparent that while Apple’s device still comes in third in sales behind Symbian and RIM, its data traffic outpaces both products by a long mile when it comes to data usage. 

 As a result of all of this data usage, phone companies, and AT&T in particular are looking more and more into pay as you go models. Two weeks ago, AT&T announced a plan for people using its network on netbooks and laptops (not iPhones) could buy a contractless data plan for either $15 for daily access, $30 for weekly access or $50 for monthly access.  However, these plans involve a lot less data than the all-you-can-eat model. They are meant to drive up sales for the provider since the cell phone market has become saturated and lacks growth.  John Paczkowski of Digital Daily speculates, after speaking with a Sanford Bernstein analyst, that this kind of thing is definitely on its way for phones as well. iPhone users consume web, email and video data on the mobile network at levels that many believe are adversely affecting other subscribers on those mobile networks,” says the analyst. “Network congestion in turn is triggering higher capital spending requirements for carriers. Unchecked, the iPhone’s very high usage levels could severely undermine the economic returns of offering the iPhone.”


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