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Cellphones Communications Wireless Networking Technology

US Mobile Data Traffic Usage Exceeds Voice 71

Posted by Soulskill
from the talking-is-overrated dept.
MojoKid writes "A report just released states that total mobile data traffic topped mobile voice traffic in the United States last year, for the first time. In fact, globally, data traffic topped voice traffic on a monthly basis last year, and the total traffic across the world exceeded an exabyte for the first time in 2009. Apparently, North America and Western Europe's mobile data markets are growing so rapidly they each should exceed an exabyte sometime in 2010. Interestingly, the nations with the largest data service revenues were: the US, Japan, China, the UK, Italy, Germany, France, Australia, Spain and Korea, respectively."
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US Mobile Data Traffic Usage Exceeds Voice

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  • Your cell bill is going to keep going up, whilst QoS declines...

    • Because of contention for the airwaves or because of the backhaul?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Bearhouse (1034238)

        It's the same lie as with fixed broadband. The (mobile/fixed) operators have limited bandwidth, which is very costly to upgrade, and yet they want to drive increasing revenue through new applications. To put it simply, they don't want you actually using all the services you purchased to the full...for example:
        http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=833011 [macrumors.com]
        I love the part where the AT&T drone says "we have to educate our [power] users"; translated as "shit, they're actually using the bandwidth they

        • It's a two-fold dilemma.

          The telco/cable industries know they must upgrade to remain competitive with each other. OTOH, the industry also stands to make more money off a scarce resource by charging a premium for it. Ideally they prefer the latter, but know it's not sustainable because of the former.

  • by davidwr (791652)

    When I use voice-over-IP on my Interweb-enabled tubified G4 phone of course the voice traffic goes down!

  • I want the cell companies to drop this absurd notion of selling minutes, and provide high quality data service only - and a "DNS"-like service and effective filtering so people can find me and the programs (including VIOP) that I choose to run on my mobile device.

    We're *almost* there, but not yet. Accessing your mobile device via a phone number still works much, much better than just data plans, and SIP sorcery (to get a number for voip) isn't simple at all.

  • VoIP? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Saturday April 03, 2010 @10:44AM (#31716122) Homepage Journal
    How much if that data traffic is actually VoIP? I have a SIP client on my iPhone 3GS that gets more use than my cell many days.
  • Interestingly? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dr. Spork (142693) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @10:49AM (#31716158)

    Interestingly, the nations with the largest data service revenues were: the US, Japan, China, the UK, Italy, Germany, France, Australia, Spain and Korea, respectively.

    I don't find this all that interesting, since this pretty much a list of the world's largest economies in descending order. I'd be much more interested in per subscriber data.

    • the largest data service revenues
      Highlighted the word that made it statistically crap. Prices vary madly between these countries. And as others have mentioned most japanese people use wifi, likely south korea (I assume they didn't mean north here :p) as well.
  • by Wowsers (1151731) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @11:18AM (#31716362) Journal
    I'm speechless!
  • by Posting=!Working (197779) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @11:42AM (#31716514)

    Our mobile data demands last year were 1 Exabyte - Which is roughly the equivalent of 1/5 the words ever spoken by humans.

    No wonder everyone feels crazy. Nothing in evolution prepared us for this much information about anything/everything/everybody all the time. I mean, it's great, it's fantastic, we now essentially carry a device that not only can communicate on several different levels with nearly anyone on the planet anywhere anytime, but it's also a repository of most human knowledge and on their way of becoming capable of nearly everything (Voice, then text, then cameras, mp3, web, navigation, apps then?). True, the data and communication links aren't in your pocket, and it's far from complete. But that's a lot of information. And it's all nearly instantaneous. Now we get frustrated not only if we can't get the information, but if we just can't get it fast enough. 5 seconds of "connecting..." is enough to get us mad sometimes. Never mind that 15-20 years ago it would have involved a trip to a library or several libraries, phone calls, or maybe taking a trip and talking to locals, and take days, hours, or months to find the info we're looking for, half a minute waiting can get us angry, we need to hear what kind of music they play at specific coffeehouses in Prague right now, dammit, we're trying to plan a trip here.

    ADD isn't a disorder in this context, it's a result. It gets hard to concentrate for a while nearly everything can be looked up in seconds, nearly every desire that starts "I want to see...", "I want to hear...", "I want to tell..." or "I want to know..." can be instantly fulfilled. If it's not instantly gratified, it's quickly forgotten, and another desire takes it's place, even if it's just been seconds.

    All opinion, and I'm not arguing that ADD isn't a disease, just that our technological environment has a lot to do with it.

    • by maxume (22995)

      You are overstating things more than a little bit. Something like 1/2 of people do not have any regular access to portable communications, and many of the rest of us find current pricing quite unattractive, so we are limited to communicating over voice within a more limited region.

    • by gad_zuki! (70830)

      >Nothing in evolution prepared us for this much information about anything/everything/everybody all the time.

      Evolution doesnt prepare us for much. Fighting, fucking, and the basics. The rest is learning and culture. Today's world is just as weird as the world 500+ years ago (agrarian society) and there hasn't been a significant change in the genome. In the world 500 years ago ADD would have been undetectable. No one would know you couldn't sit down and focus on a book for very long as you weren't expec

    • by mikael (484)

      15 years ago, would be 1995 - there were search engines back then. Mainly gopher, and Windows 95 did come with Internet Explorer. You would find the file you were looking for by running a gopher search on a keyword - that would list the ftp site you wanted, and then you would send an E-mail to have the file uuencoded to you, or you could download it directly. My workplace had a 64K ISDN line to the nearest university, whose own internet access was referred to "as reliable a wet piece of string".

      20 years ago

  • 4G (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sonicmerlin (1505111) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @11:43AM (#31716520)
    The interesting thing about LTE is that its entirely packet-switched. Voice will essentially be VOIP over the packet-switched network. Although operators will continue running their legacy circuit-switched networks for several more years (if only because they've already sunk billions into it), once voice transitions entirely over to digital transmission Verizon and co. will have to come up with another pricing scheme to extract higher ARPU from their customers.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ScytheBlade1 (772156)
      That doesn't mean they won't sell minutes and bill by the meg.
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Or, more lucratively, bill by the TXT.
        (aka, "What do you mean these 160 bytes cost 4000x more than other bytes?")

  • A picture is worth a thousand words. I wonder how much a video costs...
    • Well, depends on the quality of the video. If we assume that video is 30 frames a second, that would make 30,000 words a second and 1,800,000 words a minute. A full length movie at this rate (assuming 1.5 hours) 162,000,000 words, plus dialog. This is of course high-quality video, but its pretty amazing how quickly that adds up.
  • My data traffic ( dedicated to direct communication between humans, not just idle data use like downloads or forum posts ) exceeded 'voice' communication decades ago.

  • I think it's imperative that net neutrality apply to the cell carriers, too.

    And we're quite a long way from that.
  • the nations with the largest data service revenues were: the US, Japan, China, the UK, Italy, Germany, France, Australia, Spain and Korea, respectively."

    I'm not surprised. Optus et al will charge you 55c / KB if you exceed your allotted data, and many plans don't include any. The more economical options are 300 MB for $10 (Virgin) or 1 GB for $20 (ThinkMobile), but they're rather difficult to find, so it's no surprise that they're collecting so much revenue from this.
    On the plus side, at least we're allowed to tether.

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