Mobile Analytics

It was interesting to read about mobile analytics this week and Cisco’s Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update. While many of the statistics didn’t surprise me–like the fact that smartphone usage grew 81 percent in the last year–a few nuggets of information, in particular, got my attention.

The first was that Android devices now make up higher mobile data usage than Apple devices. Also a surprise, 161 million laptops on a mobile network, generated seven times more traffic than average smartphones. And the amount on non-smartphones increased by 35 percent. Were you surprised by any of these factoids? Why or why not?

Cisco also provided 10 trends for the growth of mobile data traffic:

1. Device Diversification

2. Growth in Average Traffic per Device

3. Mobile Video

4. Traffic Overload from Mobile Networks to Fixed Networks

5. Mobile Network Connection Speeds to Increase 7-fold

6. Impact of 4G Connects on the Increase

7. The Impact of Tiered Pricing-Shake-Up at the Top

8. User Applications Driving Mobile Data Consumption

9. The (Mobile) Internet of Things

10. IPv6-Capable Mobile Devices

Of these predicted trends, a few stood out to me. First, the increase in mobile video popularity. If you have a smartphone, there’s probably a good chance you’ve viewed a video from YouTube on it, or maybe you watch Netflix streamed shows and movies on your tablet. This technology is only going to become more popular and as Cisco’s cites by 2017 mobile video and streaming will make up 84 percent of total mobile data traffic. That’s an impressive number, and service providers will have to adapt to user demands for more capabilities to use this type of media.

The other trend that stood out to me was the impact of tiered data packages. Service providers are moving away from unlimited data plans and that’s no surprise to me. In fact, last month was the first time I went over my data usage and I was not happy when I received my bill from Verizon. But having a limited data plan doesn’t really stop me from seeking mobile data. At least, not yet. Maybe a few more expensive bills and I’ll change my tune. I think service providers recognize this and will adapt data plans accordingly. As users, we’ll need to take responsibility for our data usage or pay the price. Here again, I was surprised to learn Android data consumption was 38 percent higher than that of Apple devices. Everyone I know has an iPhone, but I guess I don’t know that many people, if Android devices are so much more popular. Just because I’m curious… Have you made the switch from an Apple device to an Android device? What was your reasoning and are you happier with the Android device?

I wasn’t too surprised by the applications that are driving mobile data traffic, including video streaming and consumption apps, information apps (i.e. Google maps), and that more people are using their smartphones to access social network apps. 

I know I fall into the category of using mobile data now more so than fixed networks. It’s good to know I’m not alone, and service providers will have to adapt to the demands of users, which we know in this day and age consists of wanting instant gratification.  What do you find yourself using more, mobile networks or fixed networks? 

I’ve already blogged about QR codes and how I don’t think they are that effective. Or at least I don’t think they are being used correctly the majority of the time (by the company I work for included). But I will admit there is a place for them, if used correctly and this For Dummies article proved that. I’m just not sure, people will ever truly “get it” when it comes to QR codes. 



8 thoughts on “Mobile Analytics

  1. I play trivia every week, and actually learned last Wednesday (and correctly guessed!) that Android traffic has surpassed that of the iPhone. I guess it makes sense, considering how many more makes and models of phones support the Android platform. What did surprise me, however, is the number of laptops connecting to mobile networks. I’ve always seen these netbooks at the AT&T store or in Best Buy, and never really thought that they were very popular. I guess I was wrong about that!

    I’ve been on an iPhone for years and have absolutely no intention of switching to Android. Even now that work has forced me to start using a PC (ew) I still prefer my mobile experiences to be through Apple devices. I am currently grandfathered in to unlimited data, but when I upgraded to an iPhone 5 last month, they told me that would soon end… I’m not too happy about that.

    Despite the unlimited data (for now), I opt to run my iPhone on both my home and work wireless networks, bypassing AT&Ts data whenever I’m in either location, so I probably spend most of my time surfing on fixed. For that reason, I opted for a newer model wifi iPad over an older, refurbished 3G one. Only once in the last 14 months of owning it have I wished I had mobile access, as I’m lucky enough to have wifi nearly everywhere I need it.

    • Lenny, You bring up a good point about there being WiFi pretty much everywhere now. It makes it easy to have have devices that don’t require mobile data plans. And now I find most businesses don’t even charge for WiFi access, which is really nice. Often, at my job we hold meetings off-site at local restaurants and coffee shops. Free Wi-Fi allows us to access email and files in order to stay connected but hold a meeting in a more creative or just a different environment. So, unlimited data plan or not, it doesn’t have to impact a person’s access to information.

  2. It shocked me as well that Androids have replaced Apple products. However given there are several different companies making Android phones in Samsung, HTC and LG I can see how that would happen.

    I am still loyal to Apple products. I have two Mac computers, one given to me by work and a personal one in addition to an iPad and an iPhone 5. I did see a commercial for a “whatever proof” Samsung phone that might cause me to reconsider the switch when it comes time for my next upgrade. That being said, the new iOS looks amazing, so maybe not.

    • You make a good point about more Android devices being available. I do think Android and Apple keep it interesting by always releasing new technology. The hype is sometimes more than the reality, but it seems to be working for both companies.

  3. Oh my heart hurts when we discuss the QR codes.

    I really, really – did I say really? – want them to take off more than they have. The uses for them are so immense and really could open up a lot of creativity for web usage. Let’s wait until we all get Google glasses and QR codes will be the “next” big thing. How cool would it be to just look at QR code and be taken – via the web, not kidnapped of course – to a website or read a menu or … or …


    I’m probably just hanging on to them. In fact, I know am but until another technology ::: cough NFC cough ::: takes shape, I still like to look at those crazy little square bar coded pieces of art.

    Side note:

    To go on what Casey said, the Samsung active phone is an interesting phone. I may definitely have to look into it after my contract is up. That phone looks awesome. I can’t tell you many times I’ve almost lost my phone to water, mud and/or an adult beverage.

    • Dave, I think you’re the biggest fan of QR codes! Not that there is anything wrong with that! I think you’re right there is so much more than can be done with them, if they are used correctly. It’ll be interesting to see if they stick and transform into something more, or if they just become a thing of the past.

  4. I could never go Android after having an iPhone. One, I hate change. Trying to figure out Android’s interface is so hard! It’s like they set out to be opposite of the iPhone in every single way. And two, I love how my iPhone syncs with my Macbook and my Apple TV. It’s just so convenient. Question: do Apple and Android have simliar data plans? I am curious if that’s one of the factors pushing Android above Apple.

    I agree with your thoughts about QR codes. I know they are out there, but businesses aren’t using them correctly yet. I see the potential and benefits. It’s a cool way to get a consumer to take a survey, get a coupon, access additional information.

    As for your other question, I find myself on WiFi a lot, although it does drain my battery faster on my iPhone than the 4G network. #FirstWorldProblems

    • Lisa, I’m not sure about the data plan differences or similarities, but it would be interesting to find out if there is a big gap.

      Speaking of QR codes, I saw one in place of a real estate sign the other day and thought, now that should get some people’s attention. The only problem… it’s posted for a house on a busy street, with no sidewalk. How are people actually supposed to scan that code? And I can’t even figure out who the realtor is to tell them! haha oh well.

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