Hutchison's 3UK said that almost all the traffic on its network--fully 97 per cent--is now mobile data. The company also confirmed that the amount of smartphone data traffic flowing across its network increased 427 per cent between June 2010 and September 2011.
Phil Sheppard, director of network strategy at 3UK, wrote in a company blog post that 3UK's focus has been on users' online experience and that its 3G network was made for mobile data.
"Downloading apps, streaming movies, getting around town with Google Maps, even checking in on Facebook--it all adds up, and you're doing it now more than ever," he wrote.
3UK, which has championed the use of 3G data, continues to push ahead of the competition by offering "all-you-can-eat" data tariffs for just £15 a month on a pay-as-you-go basis. Other UK networks are typically offering between 500MB and 1GB for a higher monthly charge.
However, this focus on attracting data-heavy subscribers could cause 3UK problems given the company lacks any 2G spectrum to reallocate to 3G services. 3UK is the fourth-largest operator with nearly six million UK customers
3UK CEO David Dyson recently highlighted this worry by claiming that its network was at risk of running out of capacity because of the ongoing delay over spectrum allocation. "There is a huge financial incentive for rival operators to delay the auction," Dyson said in late September. "We are worried that the other three will attempt to squeeze us out of the market."
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Article updated Nov. 3 to reflect that the 427 percent data traffic increase 3UK observed referred specifically to smartphone data traffic.