2.5 exabytes a month is how much mobile data the world is consuming, according to Cisco Systems – and a new report from Amdocs shows who among those billions of users is consuming the most.Amdocs found that just 10 percent of mobile users are consuming 80 percent of the world’s mobile data traffic.
Amdocs, a telecom equipment maker that specializes in billing and network operations, calls these folks the “Technorati,” and it’s easy to figure out who they are. They’re the consumers sporting not just advanced smartphones and tablets but often multiple connected devices.
Those numbers aren’t simply reflecting a split between wealthy and poor countries. Amdocs’ State of the RAN (industry shorthand for radio access network) reported on 25 million voice and data connections in major cities around the world, all with lots of smartphone usage, and found that power users are often using as much as 10 times more data than the average mobile subscriber. And since the average mobile data user consumed 100 percent more data between 2013 and 2014, Amdocs found, the data growth what for these Technorati is even more amplified.
Amdocs found not just a demographic split in data use, but also a geographic one: 20 percent of cell sites were generating 80 percent of all mobile data traffic. These areas tend to be the urban hot zones where people congregate, but those areas are also increasingly indoors. Amdocs discovered that 80 percent of all data funneled to mobile devices is being consumed indoors, and that means a large portion of it is hitting Wi-Fi, not cellular networks.
So going by Amdoc’s numbers, what we’re seeing is a very stratified network as mobile data takes over – much more stratified than when voice was the dominant mobile service. A handful of people are consuming the vast majority of all data and they’re doing it in very specific locations of the network.
And Amdocs isn’t the only company that’s seeing these trends. Cisco’s Visual Networking Index focused on overall global carrier trends, not just major cities, but it found the top 10 percent of users consumed 65 percent of all traffic. Furthermore, by Cisco’s calculations the highest 1 percent gobbled up 18 percent of all of the world’s mobile data, with each averaging 15.2 GBs per month. Apparently there are even more elite tiers within the world’s data elite.