Android users the most data-hungry says Arieso

Users of Android handsets place the greatest up- and downlink demands on mobile data networks according to a study carried out by location-based network management firm Arieso. The study used the data usage profile of iPhone3G owners as a benchmark and looked at usage patterns for a range of handsets, including the Blackberry Bold, the Google Nexus One, the HTC Desire, the Sony Ericsson Xperia and the iPhone4.

Users of the iPhone 4 are more hungry for data than their iPhone3G counterparts, the study found, typically initiatinig 44 per cent more data sessions, downloading 41 per cent more data to their devices, and spending 67 per cent more time connected to the network for data.

But users of handsets based on the Google-backed Android operating system are even more voracious in their data appetites, ranking higher than both the iPhone3G and iPhone 4 in terms of data call volumes, time connected to the network, and data volume (in kilobits per subscriber) uploaded and downloaded. Owners of the Samsung Galaxy handset typically upload 126 per cent more data than iPhone3G users, Arieso found, while HTC Desire users download 41 per cent more data than the benchmark iPhone users.

Android-powered smartphone users also score highest in both the “uplink data volume” and the “downlink data” categories. For example, Samsung Galaxy users typically upload 126% more data than iPhone3G users, and HTC Desire users download 41% more data than iPhone3G users.

The research covered a single 24-hour weekday in an urban Tier-1 network, with more than 440,000 distinct subscribers. Those users made more than 22 million voice and data calls, with the total data traffic involving the transfer of 3.7TBytes of data. Arieso’s comparisons were based on popular devices represented by a minimum of 1,000 users, although the firm said the most popular devices were represented by more than ten times that figure.

Arieso’s findings chime with research published by Informa Telecoms & Media recently which found that smartphone traffic is set to increase by 700 per cent over the next five years. Informa created the Average Traffic Per User (ATPU) metric in a bid to help operators judge the performance of competing smartphone platforms and to measure the potential of new services and revenue streams.

Informa predicted that Apple’s iPhone will remain the highest traffic-generating platform, with 196MB/month for 2010, because of its quality of user experience and its high end market positioning. Other platforms are catching up, however, with Android ATPU currently sitting at 148MB/month and likely to exceed 757MB/month by 2015. While Android’s performance is likely to be diluted by the platform’s breadth of deployment, some high-end Android handsets have already seen ATPU of more than 200MB/month.

Arieso’s founder Shirin Dehghan featured in’s feature on the most influential women in the mobile industry, compiled earlier this year.


  1. Avatar David 09/12/2010 @ 9:12 pm

    where is the spectrum coming from ?

  2. Avatar Stu 10/12/2010 @ 7:11 am

    This is partly because droid 2.1 makes it hard to completely shut off data when in a public/3G environment. 2.2 makes it a lot easier to restrict packet data and should reduce the average traffic from these handsets.

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