Mobile "bandwidth hogs" are just ahead of the curve

A Cisco white-paper on mobile data usage shows that "high bandwidth" users are just early adopters -- the first people to start using high-bandwidth apps like video. In other words, it's not P2P or tethering that mobile operators have to worry about, it's using mobile data in exactly the way it's advertised. (via cmdln)


  1. “The top 1% of users consume 20% of the bandwidth, but that share is down from 30%”

    Sounds like a lot like the US economy, from the promise to the actual distribution. Except with data usage the gap is shrinking. Why can’t our economy be more equitable?

  2. Sure. The general practice for ISPs is to oversell their bandwidth, therefore falsely advertising and committing fraud by any reasonable standard. No surprise that mobile operators are doing the same thing and complaining the same way ISP’s do. Boohoo, someone is using your services as advertised. Maybe you shouldn’t be lying about what the intended use of your product is?

  3. Whatever Cisco’s bias, American information infrastructure is in shambles relative to other 1st world nations.

  4. Probably because you only download so much porn and torrents over a mobile connection per month…

    (I have a friend that has the old unlimited IPhone plan and routinely is pulling down 4+ gigs a month, it’s tethering of course.)

  5. I worked at one of the UK’s mobile networks in the late ’90s, designing the architecture for GPRS & EDGE. The product managers at this company had absolutely no idea what consumers would do with the technology when they got it, couldn’t imagine what use a camera in a cell phone would be, or who would possibly use the internet on a tiny phone. The big Telco equipment vendors couldn’t really understand it either. Mobile LBS was gleam in some of the eyes around us, but they were never in the eyes of the people already working in the networks and big suppliers. It was the start-ups. The biggest most obvious thing visible to me was how terribly siloed everything was—network ops spoke a complicated dialect that Operations couldn’t understand, which was in turn a completely foreign language to the business systems, who wanted to track every single pindrop and charge someone for it, which was still foreign to the Product Managers & CSRs, who were very comfortable, thank you very much, selling new handsets to punters who just wanted to make calls, and that was all. Everything else was pie in the sky.

    We were talking about LBS 15 years ago, and granted, the tech & infrastructure wasn’t really there. It took Apple to make it a viable business model.

    And they knew what the bandwidth might look like, and had models of what might happen, and did nothing, until users actually started doing what was possible, and what they had been sold. And now, it’s our problem?

    Old telco mentality is still firmly entrenched, passed down from mentor to protege. Make ’em pay, my son, make ’em pay.

    1. Bmcraec, your product managers couldn’t understand what the camera or the data plan were for? They must have been even denser than the ones in the US, who could at least copy the Japanese and Finns.
      – The purpose of the camera is to generate product differentiation at a low cost, mainly for the hardware manufacturer but also for the wireless carrier.
      – The purpose of only being able to upload camera pictures using the data service, not the sync cable to your PC, was to make you buy the data plan if you wanted to use the camera, though they’ve mostly stopped doing that.
      – The purpose of the data plan was to increase Average Revenue Per User (ARPU), just like text messaging and ringtones.

      On data usage, most of them should have seen what happened to dial ISPs (at least AOL) and home broadband providers when they started offering “unlimited” service, which was that customers assumed that that meant “actually unlimited”, not just “use about what you have now but not have to keep track of usage records for billing.”

  6. I can use up all of my bandwidth (5gigs) in a matter of days streaming audio from Mog. Don’t know what Mog is? Well then you are not an early adapter. I have never tethered, and I routinely run over my bandwidth allotment.

  7. I use about 500-600mb a month just checking my email, rss and twitter feeds, and reading a few sites (webcomics and this one mostly). I’d do a lot more video streaming if I had time, and if I still caught the bus to work. T-mobile just changed their cap to 500mb. Guess I won’t be switching to them any time soon.

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