AT&T rebuts ABI report over mobile data traffic

AT&T Mobility is challenging a new report from ABI Research that indicates Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel delivered the most data traffic in 2009.

The report said Verizon and Sprint together transmitted 63 percent of the total mobile data traffic last year, with each operator carrying about 16 billion more megabytes of data than AT&T.

Those seem to be fighting words for AT&T, which experienced a dramatic surge of data traffic in 2009 thanks largely to the iPhone. AT&T claims it carried 50 percent of the nation's mobile data traffic last year, and that its data traffic has increased 5,000 percent during the past three years.

"It is not clear how ABI Research reached its conclusions, but I can tell you that our research and analysis of other third-party data indicates that AT&T carries more mobile data traffic than any other U.S. provider," Mark Siegel, a spokesman for AT&T Mobility, told Cnet. Siegel also said AT&T had not been contacted by ABI to provide data for the report.

ABI analyst Dan Shey said the firm used third-party data as well as data from operators for the report. Shey said the numbers include all 2G, 3G and 4G data traffic for all devices. He said the reason Verizon and Sprint were ahead was because they had more wireless laptop users on their networks, surfers who account for significantly more network megabytes.

For more:
- see this ABI release
- see this Cnet article

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