iPhone data use measured, carriers want Apple to pay for network upgrades

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
As a new study shows the iPhone 4 to be a heavy bandwidth-consuming mobile device, European carriers are attempting to get Apple and other companies to invest in network improvements needed for data-heavy services.



Study finds heavy bandwidth use for iPhone 4, Android users



Arieso, a company that specializes in optimizing mobile networks, released a study on Wednesday that shows iPhone 4 owners use considerably more bandwidth on their handset than the more than two-year-old iPhone 3G.



The study found that iPhone 4 owners make 44 percent more data calls than those with an iPhone 3G. They also download 41 percent more data, and spend 67 percent more time connected to their wireless network.



The study used Apple's iPhone 3G as a baseline benchmark used to compare other, newer handsets in terms of bandwidth consumption. Arieso's tests found that devices running the Google Android mobile operating system used even more bandwidth than the iPhone 4.



In fact, Android handsets used more bandwidth than any other phones tested, including the BlackBerry Bold 9700. Android users scored highest in terms of data call volumes, time connected to the network, and data volume uploaded and downloaded.



Specifically, Samsung Galaxy users were found to upload 126 percent more data than the average iPhone 3G user. Those running the HTC Desire were also found to use 41 percent more data than the iPhone 3G.



Arieso's study also found that voice calls per subscriber are roughly flat, regardless of what device they own. The company asserted that the findings suggest customers are using their devices first and foremost for data consumption, not phone calls.



The popularity of the iPhone and the large amounts of data its users consume have cased problems for AT&T's network in the U.S. The strains placed on the carrier have cased dropped calls and other issues that contributed to Consumer Reports readers ranking AT&T the worst carrier in a survey revealed this week.



In 2009, the data consumption of the iPhone and its effect on the AT&T network was profiled in The New York Times. That article famously referred to the iPhone as the "Hummer of cellphones," referring to the gas-guzzling vehicle.



Carriers want Apple to pay for network improvements



European wireless operators, including France Telecom SA, Telecom Italia Spa and Vodafone Group Plc, are promoting a new deal that would require content providers like Apple to pay fees linked to bandwidth usage.



According to Bloomberg, Stephane Richard, CEO of France Telecom, believes that companies like Apple, Google and Facebook are "flooding networks," and those companies have "no incentive" to help carriers cut costs. Richard and others believe that a system should be put in place to charge content providers based on usage.



Wireless executives in Europe believe it is unfair that companies like search giant Google, or Apple and its iTunes store, can serve data over their networks for free.



The overseas argument is similar to the "Net neutrality" debate that continues to wage in the U.S., where carriers like Verizon and AT&T, along with Google, have argued that mobile networks are fundamentally different from broadband, and should be free of any federal regulation. American carriers have also taken steps to cap data plans, as AT&T no longer offers unlimited plans to new customers.



The report also classified Apple as a "frenemy" to wireless carriers, as the iPhone maker is believed to be interested in an embedded SIM in its future handsets, allowing customers to choose between competing carriers and activate their device right from the Apple Store. However, it is rumored that Apple abandoned those plans after European carriers threatened to stop offering subsidies for the iPhone.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 135
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    I’m sorry.
  • Reply 2 of 135
    enohpienohpi Posts: 103member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    As a new study shows the iPhone 4 to be a bandwidth-consuming mobile device,



    That is a truly unexpected thing for the study to show...
  • Reply 3 of 135
    Aren't telecom's already charging customers for some form of capped usage (minutes, bytes, messages, etc.)? How do they justify wanting to be paid twice for the same service?



    If their networks can't handle the service, they probably shouldn't be selling it.
  • Reply 4 of 135
    According to carriers, part of what we pay for service goes to cover network upgrades, that's their defense for charging so much. Now they want handset manufacturers to pay for it too? Sounds like they are trying to accomplish a little double-dipping.



    Laptop computers with 3G cards can consume even more bandwidth. Will they start shaking down laptop manufacturers too?



    This is why regulators need to step in with a very firm hand and put these companies on a very short leash. They should be regulated just like other public utilities who provide essential services.
  • Reply 5 of 135
    Hmm, according to this Reuters article, it's Android that's the bandwidth hog AND Android is on more phones from more vendors, with better options and more price points appealing to more people, especially men who are more tech savvy, with women preferring the iPhone more.



    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6B721X20101208





    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...sen_finds.html





    Guess it's both, time to build some new infrastructure and people needs jobs, especially in the construction industry.
  • Reply 6 of 135
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,795member
    Google should pay because the Android OS allows tethering easily. The cell phone carriers can not disable it.
  • Reply 7 of 135
    If it really is a hardware generation thing, the next rate plans will have yet lower caps, which is as it should be.



    Of course, those of us that may exceed the caps will be more likely to switch to a carrier that has unlimited service...
  • Reply 8 of 135
    This is asinine. The carriers have no shame.
  • Reply 9 of 135
    dluxdlux Posts: 666member
    Quote:

    Wireless executives in Europe believe it is unfair that companies like search giant Google, or Apple and its iTunes store, can serve data over their networks for free.



    'Free', as in 'monthly customer charges'?



    I thought the carriers in the U.S. were a bunch of crybabies. Now it appears to be a bit more global.



    Just imagine a world where radio frequencies weren't the limiting factor deciding how many carriers can co-exist. In such a world, the existing entities of today would be scorned into bankruptcy while newer upstarts would figure this out.
  • Reply 10 of 135
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,884member
    Another load of BS from carriers.



    All they have to do is charge customers by the megabyte of usage and consumers will adjust their usage. They can then fiddle around with the price until they get bandwidth supply and demand in equilibrium.



    As soon as I switched to AT&T's $15, 200 MB data plan, I made big changes in my usage. Most significantly, I turned off push e-mail, and made sure to do most of my e-mail synching when in wi-fi areas. It turns out that there are a lot of things that I don't absolutely have to do RIGHT NOW that I can postpone until I have wi-fi (like take a picture and then send it later, rather than immediately).



    Does nobody understand economics?
  • Reply 11 of 135
    In a related story, BP is asking federal regulators to require Ford to help pay for new drilling platforms because Ford continues to sell V-6 engines which use more gasoline than four cylinder engines.
  • Reply 12 of 135
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I?m sorry.



    Apology accepted. It's about time someone took responsibility.
  • Reply 13 of 135
    When they're comparing it to a Nokia phone running Symbian then, yes, the iPhone 4 consumes a lot of bandwidth. So, shouldn't the iPhone 4's data usage be the new baseline?
  • Reply 14 of 135
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,067member
    Pretty much all mobile data tariffs in Europe are metered, only broadband DSL or cable is normally "flat". They try to have the cake and eat it, all while Donna Summer left it out in the rain a long time ago...



    They all want the following: charge you for data, plus charge you for content and services (music, video, news, navigation, etc.) offered by them ? the term "value added" is quite revealing. People at large hate carriers, they want them to be a dumb pipe. We buy from Apple/iTunes, Amazon, etc. and the carriers have to learn that budgeting data tariffs (and bidding idiotic amounts of money for frequencies in a few places) based on imaginary value added sales was an utter failure.



    If countries do not like the own history, they find historians to change it. If people can't stand that their believes lack any logic, they will find some creationists with a degree. These things do work, because you can always count on large groups of people being all too willing to buy them. But carriers, pretty close in acceptance with the tax office, hiring shills to "prove" that people should pay twice? Desperate.
  • Reply 15 of 135
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MarkJones View Post


    Hmm, according to this Reuters article, it's Android that's the bandwidth hog AND Android is on more phones from more vendors, with better options and more price points appealing to more people, especially men who are more tech savvy, with women preferring the iPhone more.



    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6B721X20101208





    Guess it's both, time to build some new infrastructure and people needs jobs, especially in the construction industry.



    Perhaps it's just misleading sentence construction and you don't really mean this, but there's nothing in the article beyond the data hog bit. The rest is just breathless fanboy gushing.
  • Reply 16 of 135
    This is ridiculous. Wireless providers are getting FAR too greedy.
  • Reply 17 of 135
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Carriers want Apple to pay for network improvements







    "Me? Pay to make YOUR network better? You guys are great; I'm sure you'll get your timeslot on TBS."
  • Reply 18 of 135
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tzeshan View Post


    Google should pay because the Android OS allows tethering easily. The cell phone carriers can not disable it.



    Wrong.



    Actually, carriers can disable tethering on Android. Since Android is open, the carriers can change any part of it that they like (and the often do).
  • Reply 19 of 135
    If that's the case then content providers might as well buy the carriers..
  • Reply 20 of 135
    If you really want to save on your phone bill and your not a high volume talker.



    1: Google Voice



    2: MagicJack



    3: TracPhone: uses AT&T networks! (look for the special with free double minutes over the life of the phone)





    Keep a netbook in your car or purse and a list of nearby wifi locations.



    You only pay for what you use on the no contract phone, yearly fee for the MagicJack is $20. With the Magicjack hooked up like a regular phone to a desktop or stationary laptop machine it's rather easy to use than grabbing the cell every time, especially since you know it's a free call.



    Slow months on the cell can be as low as $10, high use can be around $40



    Some carriers are now offering Android phones with unlimited voice and limited data for only $45 a month. MetroPCS for one according to what I hear.



    Google Voice gives you a number that calls all your phones, or customizable depending upon the callers.
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