Analyst firm Informa Telecoms & Media calculates that smartphone traffic on wireless networks will increase 700 percent over the next five years. The research firm--which coined a new metric for measuring wireless traffic: ATPU, or average traffic per user--said that although worldwide only 13 percent of mobile phone subscribers use a smartphone, those smartphone customers spend more time on the network and have an ATPU of 85 MB per month.
The research firm estimates that in the U.S., where the disparity between smartphone and non-smartphone traffic is the greatest, about 86 percent of mobile data traffic today is generated by smartphone users. And Informa predicts that smartphone ATPU in North America will increase from 85 MB per month today to 776 MB per month by 2015.
In Western Europe, the firm said smartphone ATPU will increase from under 44 MB per month in 2009 to more than 736 MB per month in 2015.
Interestingly, Informa said the highest smartphone ATPU is in South Korea and Japan. Those countries, according to Informa, will have an ATPU of 271 MB per month (in South Korea) and 199 MB per month (in Japan) in 2010--two to three times higher than the global average.
Informa said the iPhone is currently the highest-traffic-generating device, followed by Android devices, and it expects the iPhone to retain its lead because Android devices will be spread across high-, mid- and low-user segments.
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