Research Provides New Insight into LTE Impact on Smartphone User Behavior, Uncovers Opportunities for Mobile Operators
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Jan. 3, 2013 - Mobidia Technology, Inc., a leading provider of mobile analytics, in collaboration with Informa, a leading analyst firm, today released new research and the third part of their popular whitepaper, "Understanding Today's Smartphone Users," which offers new insights into LTE usage in the leading LTE markets of Korea, Japan, and the U.S.
Mobidia's data highlights that LTE subscribers, on average, are using more mobile data driven by the increase use of services, such as video, that benefit from larger bandwidth. The data also points to a potential trend towards a decrease in Wi-Fi usage in relative and absolute terms. Furthermore, Mobidia's data shows an increase in adoption of new pricing plans and a move away from the traditional unlimited plans. These trends suggest a positive opportunity for the more than 100 mobile operators that have already deployed LTE. The generational change to LTE is driving increased demand for mobile data and presenting operators with the ability to monetize that data in more sustainable ways.
An analysis of LTE usage in September 2012 in leading markets highlights the following trends:
- In all markets, LTE subscribers used significantly more mobile data than 3G subscribers. Specifically, in Korea and Japan, markets often used as leading indicators of mobile trends, Mobidia recorded increases of 132 percent and 67percent, respectively.
- At the same time, decreases in relative Wi-Fi usage in all markets were also noted and Korea registered an absolute decrease. While Wi-Fi usage is still very significant, the data points to a possible trend towards a decrease in reliance, suggesting an opportunity for LTE operators.
- LTE operators' strategy to reset pricing plans during the transition to 4G appears to be working. Mobidia's data shows significant decreases in unlimited plans and increases in larger-sized, volume-limited plans. As an example, only seven percent of SKT LTE subscribers are using unlimited plans compared to 24 percent of SKT 3G subscribers. Additionally, the percentage of SKT subscribers on 2G or higher plans increased from only 10 percent of 3G subscribers to 62 percent of LTE subscribers.
Figure 1: Cellular data traffic on Android 3G and 4G LTE smartphones by operator, September 2012
Figure 2: Change in average monthly data usage on cellular versus Wi-Fi networks for 4G LTE Android smartphone users versus 3G Android smartphone users, September 2012
"Because Mobidia is able to provide data on cellular, Wi-Fi, and application usage across all major geographies and specific operators' networks, we are in a unique position to provide insight into the latest smartphone usage trends – including the LTE trends identified in our latest whitepaper," said Derek Sprat, president and CEO at Mobidia. "Based on our analysis of early LTE usage, it looks like operators have a strong opportunity to increase demand for mobile data while implementing stronger and more sustainable ways to monetize that data during the transition to 4G."
With a global set of data provided by millions of smartphone users, Mobidia is able to provide mobile operators and the global mobile industry ecosystem with detailed and unique insight into subscriber behavior surrounding data- and application-specific usage on all the networks to which smartphones and tablets connect, including mobile cellular (and LTE), roaming and Wi-Fi. The data also includes both aggregate data amounts consumed by and time spent in specific applications and services.
For more information about Mobidia's mobile data, please visit Mobidia's website, where you will find detailed whitepapers, or Mobidia's Blog for periodic updates on data and analysis of mobile usage.