ABI: Verizon will become data traffic leader in 2011

ABI Research's latest analysis of the mobile data market sheds some interesting light in the wireless carriers and their device roadmap. ABI reports that AT&T's (NYSE:T) network had the most data traffic in 2009 and that will likely continue to have the most data traffic in 2010 thanks to the iPhone and AT&T's large number of smartphones on its network. But by 2011, ABI predicts that Verizon (NYSE:VZ) will overtake AT&T and become the data traffic leader because of increasing penetration of Android devices and other similar high-data use smartphones.

Dan Shey, ABI's practice leader, warns that operators need to adjust to this trend by increasing cell site coverage, improving backhaul, re-allocating spectrum, and using in-building distributed antenna systems. He adds that there are other methods, including data offloading, using more efficient mobile browsers and experimenting with different pricing schemes, that will also help operators handle this additional load on the network.

The report also predicts that smartphones and connected devices (i.e. laptops, netbooks and tablets) will account for more than 87 percent of total mobile data traffic for U.S. operators by 2014. Currently smartphone users are the biggest consumers of mobile data but that will change by 2014 when connected computing devices will overtake smartphones.

In addition, the company predicts that Android, iPhone and other smartphones will cause average smartphone traffic levels to grow by 48 percent by 2014.

For more:
- See this IntoMobile story
- See this ABI Research press release

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