Top 1% of Mobile Addicts Use Half the Bandwidth

And the gap is growing, new report finds
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2012 11:47 AM CST
Top 1% of Mobile Addicts Use Half the Bandwidth
Shoppers download an app on their smartphones in this file photo.   (Getty Images)

The most voracious mobile users are hogging the majority of the world's mobile broadband traffic—and the gap between them and non-power users is growing, according to a new report. Arieso, an English company that advises mobile operators, believes that the top 10% of mobile users generate 90% of the traffic, and the top 1% alone account for half of all traffic, the New York Times reports. Of those heavy users, 64% used laptops, while one-third used smartphones and 3% used iPads.

"I've already heard comments about 'Occupy the Downlink,'" says Arieso's chief technology officer, but he doesn't think it's time for a protest. "The mobile situation doesn’t break down along socioeconomic lines," he notes. And the gap is natural, another analyst adds, given that most mobile users are still using 2G phones, and doing nothing but calling or texting. As ubiquitous as smartphones may seem, they represent only 13.2% of the world's cellphones. (Read more broadband Internet stories.)

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