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Summary:

This probably won’t shock you, but tablets connected to 3G and 4G networks consume a lot more data than their smartphone equivalents. However, on Tuesday video optimization vendor Bytemobile reported exactly how much: iPads eat up three times more data than iPhones over the cellular network.

lots of tablets

lots of tabletsThis probably won’t shock you, but tablets connected to 3G and 4G networks consume a lot more data than their smartphone equivalents. However, on Tuesday video optimization vendor Bytemobile reported exactly how much: tablets eat up three times more data than smartphones over the cellular network.

Bytemobile, which collects anonymous data from the 130 global carriers that use its optimization products, also found that tablet users tend to have much more involved Internet sessions. In the second quarter, the typical iPad session spanned 33 different Web pages, while on iPhone that number was 20 Web pages. Tablet users also seemed to be more engaged in the sites they did visit, possibly through viewing richer media or more direct interaction with site features. Bytemobile said the typical iPad session consumed 160 percent more data than an iPhone session.

Again, the conclusions seem obvious, but it’s interesting to see the numbers attached to them. Cisco Systems’ latest Visual Networking Index report found that the average U.S. smartphone users consumed about 201 MB per month in 2011, while the average tablet consumed 382 MB per month when connected to a 3G or 4G network. Bytemobile’s numbers appear to be high, but then again, Byte is measuring usage nearly six months into 2012, and data usage patterns are changing quickly. According to Cisco, average consumption over all connected devices almost tripled in 2011 alone.

If tablet users are now consuming 600 MB or even 800 MB a month, then they’re not yet bumping into the boundaries of their data plans. That doesn’t necessarily mean there isn’t demand for more capacity on a tablet, but it could be a sign that even while tablet customers are increasing their cellular activity, they’re doing so conservatively to avoid hitting their caps.

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  1. Martijn van Dorst Thursday, May 17, 2012

    Indeed, no shock, it is important to know how the users can operate without self-awareness. Can we do this with seamless roaming on multi-techniques and providers? And will we do this on top of complex networks or just at the client side? I think the last-one is the coolest one. Of course we have some challenges on both and/or combined solutions ;)

  2. chromeronin Friday, May 18, 2012

    Well, Duh, I tend to use my phone to snack on content, a few minutes here and there, apps that only get the data they need.
    I use my iPad for a full internet meal, and use the browser much more.
    For a 7 course internet dinner though I turn to my desktop 8)

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