One per cent of consumers are generating half of all traffic. The top 10 per cent of users, meanwhile, are consuming 90 per cent of wireless bandwidth. Arieso the UK consultancy documented the statistical gap when it tracked 1.1 million customers of a European mobile operator during a 24-hour period in November.
The gap between extreme users and the rest of the population is widening, according to Arieso. In 2009, the top 3 per cent of heavy users generated 40 per cent of network traffic. Now, Arieso said, these users pump out 70 per cent of the traffic.
Michael Flanagan, the chief technology officer at Arieso, said the study did not produce a more precise profile of extreme users. But the group, he said, was probably diverse, with a mix of business users gaining access to the Internet over a 3G network while travelling, and individuals with generous or unlimited mobile data packages watching videos, the main cause of the excess traffic.
The Arieso survey found that 64 per cent of extreme users were using a laptop, a third were using a smartphone and three percent had an iPad.
Meanwhile Arieso also reveals that iPhone 4S users are using nearly double the amount of data than they were when operating an iPhone 4 and on their iPads, and one of the main causes is Siri. Flanagan told Bloomberg: “Voice is the ultimate human interface. As you lower the barriers consumers will use their smartphones’ functions even more often.”