New global research on LTE usage from Mobidia

Demonstrates 4G’s positive impact on MNOs’ business usage

Data from Mobidia’s mega-panel shows increased cellular usage and migration to larger volume data plans by LTE subscribers in leading LTE markets

Press release

Mobidia Technology,¬† a leading provider of mobile usage data, in collaboration with Informa, a leading London-based analyst firm, today released new research, and the latest update, to their popular White Paper series, ‘Understanding Today’s Smartphone Users‘. The White Paper offers new insights into LTE usage from an extended analysis of the leading LTE markets of the USA, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Korea, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and the UK.

The analysis, which was based on a data set spanning the full 12 months of 2013 and covering LTE markets with the majority of current LTE subscribers, indicates a positive impact for the more than 100 mobile operators that have deployed LTE.

For instance, LTE subscribers are shown to use more data and buy larger data plans.

Additionally, the data demonstrates a continued decrease in the number of subscribers with unlimited plans and a higher utilisation of plans for those subscribers on metered plans.

The data also reveals the continued reliance on Wi-fi networks by smartphone subscribers – a trend that has been significant over the last few years.

Operators continue to be challenged with preventing erosion to mobile data business from Wi-fi, while better integrating Wi-fi with other mobile and fixed broadband offerings to enhance the user experience.

The analysis highlights the following trends: -

  • Across the markets studied, 4G subscribers consumed dramatically larger amounts of data than 3G subscribers. In Dec 2013, the average 4G subscriber consumed 1.9GB while 3G subscribers consumed only 894MB
  • Wi-fi continues to be a primary means of connectivity for smartphone subscribers, both 3G and 4G. Globally, Wi-fi usage represented 78 per cent of all data consumed on smartphones for all data subscribers in the markets studied
  • Despite the growing Wi-fi usage, 4G subscribers are buying larger plans. In Jan. 2013, 61 per cent of 4G smartphone users have plans larger than 1GB compared with only 31 per cent of 3G smartphone users. While the percentage declined slightly by the end of 2013, the data clearly shows 4G users are buying and utilizing larger data plans. More 4G subscribers are exceeding data plan limits relative to 3G subscribers. This trend increased throughout 2013, suggesting users are more likely to upgrade to larger plans – a big benefit to mobile operators
Global share of Android 3G and 4G smartphone users using over 100 per cent of monthly data limits, by plan  [January -Dec 2013]

“Mobidia’s mega-panel of LTE subscribers offers the most comprehensive global view of LTE usage trends and provides insights that are just not available anywhere else in the industry,” said Chris Hill, senior vp for marketing at Mobidia.

“Our latest data set, shared in this White Paper, points to some very positive trends for mobile operators that have invested in LTE upgrades and roll-outs.”

With a global set of data provided by millions of smartphone users, Mobidia is able to provide the mobile industry ecosystem with detailed and unique insights into real subscriber behavior surrounding data and application-specific usage on all the networks to which smartphones and tablets connect, including mobile cellular (and LTE), roaming and Wi-fi.

The data also includes both aggregate data amounts consumed by, and time spent in, specific applications and services.


Mobidia analyzed data collected January 2013 through December 2013 from hundreds of thousands of Android users in 10 of the leading, global LTE markets to analyze LTE usage trends. This data was collected on a strictly anonymous and optional basis from a sample of millions of users who have downloaded Mobidia’s smartphone application – My Data Manager.

About Mobidia Technology

Mobidia is a leading mobile analytics provider with the largest global sample of smartphone and tablet users. Mobidia’s mobile analytics and metrics platform provides unique insights into mobile usage trends on mobile applications and mobile networks. Real usage from real users on both cellular and Wi-fi networks provides a comprehensive and unique understanding of what people do and value in the mobile world. Mobidia is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia with local presence in the USA and Europe.

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