Monthly mobile data traffic jumped 80% year-over-year in 2013

Douglas Soltys

January 29, 2014 9:42 pm

Internet content delivery network Akamai released its quarterly State of the Internet report for Q3 2013. The report, which includes mobile data sourced from Ecicsson, states that the global monthly mobile data traffic (uploads + downloads) for Q3 was about 1800 Petabytes, an increase of 80% from Q3 2012. For reference, it takes 1048576 Gigabytes to make 1 Petabyte, so that’s a lot of cat photos and selfies uploaded to Facebook. Unsurprisingly, voice data remained relatively flat year-over-year.

In a survey of 74 mobile carriers, Ericsson also provided Akamai with an interesting look at the countries with the best mobile connection speeds. Russia topped the list, with one carrier offering an average connection speed of 9.5 Mbps, with a peak of 49.8 Mbps(!), well over the averaged carrier rate of 1 Mbps. Where did Canada fall? The one (unnamed) Canadian carrier in the survey had a 5.8 Mbps average and 16.7 Mbps peak, placing it relatively middle of the pack.

Akamai also had some compelling data for those interested in the ongoing platform war between iOS and Android. While Android’s Webkit’s browser regularly saw a higher percentage of requests across cellular networks in Q3 2013, Mobile Safari had the higher percentage of requests across all networks (see graphs below). In both instances, the second place browser cut into the leader’s position by the end of the quarter. It will be interesting to see if the counter-intuitive trend continued in Q4 2013 or if the numbers harmonize in Akamai’s next quarterly report.

akamaiwebtraffic

ViaTNW

  • silver_arrow

    “So that must mean that we need to offer smaller and smaller data plans”
    -Canadian carriers

    • HeyYoWL

      You forgot higher pricing. Basically if you were to put it mathematically, “the cost and cap of data plans is inversely proportional to the average data usage by customers”.

    • L Joel

      Ya 150meg and 500meg plans are epic SLAPS in the face. Should be illegal to sell a plan that is designed for you to get overage charges in the first week of each month!!!!! :)

    • ScooterinAB

      Most people pay for far more data than they are using. Blame the carriers all you want, but it’s the customers who are paying for unused services.

  • marorun1982

    The unnamed carrier is Telus. May not achieve same top speed in downtown but it’s much faster all around else. Most reliable network for sure. Still I agree data cost way too much.

  • Thrasher

    Mobile data usage went up 80%, that’s why Canadian carriers decreased data from 6GB to 500MB in a plan in the same price range.

    • ScooterinAB

      Again. Compare in market to in market. No 6GB data plan has ever been offered by anyone for the price of a 500MB plan as an in market, non loyalty or promotional plan. You can only compare the prices of things if everyone can get that price.

  • D Kup

    Data prices in Canada is just outright crazy. But thanks to Wind!

    • Walter

      For as long as Wind exists.

    • Columbo

      Agreed, but on the same note, it’s no wonder WIND is bleeding money these days. They’ve always offered cheap unlimited data plans but one look at that graph shows you that the average guy using data in 2009 (when they were founded) versus today is vastly different. We’re talking about roughly 20x higher usage, that’s got to be an enormous tax on their smaller network. Yikes.

  • Scazza

    Hurr Canada prices suck. We get it commentators. Every damn article. It isn’t too bad compared to Verizon, their share everything plan for 2gb starts at 100$US. So 15 more than any canadian carrier…
    verizonwireless com/wcms/consumer/shop/share-everything.html

  • hi

    MS won’t post my article. HTC has delayed one’s 4.2.2 update by at least two weeks. Canada and US included.

  • Tim3Tripp3r

    Well I guess this just shot a big fat hole the the carrier propaganda that “we” Canadian’s demand the best of the best wireless networks (i.e. speed) and that’s why “we” end up paying thru you know what for data.
    Another myth busted, all we get is screwed.
    And somehow the government meddling isn’t going to achieve squat for you & me.

    • Anaron

      The sad and unfortunate truth is that Canadian wireless customers continue to pay these companies. The Big 3 know that a lot of people either need or want wireless service. They can get away with charging customers a ridiculous amount of money for data overages because people pay up. They increase their profits by setting low monthly limits for data too so that people are more likely to exceed them or pay for a plan with more data.

      Screw the Big 3. I’ve been with WIND from December 2010 to January 2014. I switched to Koodo because of their $55/month unlimited talk, text and 5GB data plan ($49.50 after 10% BYOD discount). I know they’re owned by Telus but all I care about is how much I’m paying and which features I’m paying for.

    • ScooterinAB

      Customers continue to pay the Big 3 because they are the only providers who are actually providing service. I keep saying the following, and no one has ever been able to refute it. If Wind was so good, why are they failing in the market? If Wind was so good, why have the super-majority of Canadians not left their baby-eating carriers?

      I’m also getting tired of everyone forgetting that we have some 10% of the population density of almost every other country on the planet. With such a low population over such a large area, it is expensive to offer wireless service.

      Downvote me all you want, but people with much bigger brains than any of us and an actual understanding of how telecoms and business work are constantly pointing our that Canada’s wireless market is both saturated and charging appropriately for what we are demanding of them.

    • Anaron

      There are a number of factors that prevent WIND from becoming the fourth player: 1) Spectrum. WIND uses AWS (1700 MHz) for voice and data. That kind of spectrum doesn’t penetrate walls as well as 850 or 900 MHz. It’s also incompatible with the majority of devices out there. 2) Marketing. People see WIND as a budget brand. The kind of company you go to when you want to save money and with that mindset comes the association of “cheap” or “value-branded” with WIND. 3) Money. WIND doesn’t have the money to compete with the Big 3 on a large scale. That’s why they dropped out of the 700 MHz auction and, in my opinion, that’s why they’ll end up like Mobilicity.

      If WIND had stronger marketing and used spectrum that was compatible with devices from the Big 3, then they’d be in a much better position now. The same goes for Mobilicity.

    • ScooterinAB

      I completely agree with you on everything except the last part. In order to be in a better position, Wind would need some sort of wishing pod or powerful magic. It’s true that they are viewed as undesirable due to a lack of funds, spectrum, and positive marketing. But their business model is unsustainable, their operations a joke, and they offer nothing that customer cannot get from more reliable providers.

      Wind is failing because they lack the perfect set of conditions needed in order to form and sustain a network. And there is significant doubt among business analysts and technical specialists that those conditions ever could have been met.