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Mobile Data Consumption Doubles

CBR recently reported that consumers’ utilization of mobile data has doubled in the UK from 2011 to 2012. In the US, Techradar reported similar results; that data consumed by mobile users in the US in 2013 almost doubled compared to 2012, from an average of 690MB per month last year to 1.2GB.

Industry consultant, Chetan Sharma wrote in his year-end report, “As smartphones approach the two billion mark [globally], the data appetite of consumers showed no signs of abating.”

The swift rise of mobile data consumption, commerce and communications is nothing new. But, from a mobile data management and application development point of view, there are a couple of important observations to make:

1. Scaling to meet the demand for mobile data consumption. If consumers’ utilization of mobile data doubled… yes, doubled, what is the outlook for the next 12 months? My guess is that by the end of 2014 it could well have doubled again. This has the potential to seriously strain mobile and data networks, and impact not only service delivery, but IT infrastructure costs and complexity.

2. Consumer consistency of service is key. Dissatisfaction over network performance and mobile service consistency is unacceptable in the age of the customer. Yet, according to this Ofcom report, a fifth of rural customers are not happy in this respect. This will not only mean missed revenue opportunities, but will also seriously threaten existing customer relationships.

In the workplace (and as consumers) we demand an instant experience with our web and mobile apps. As our usage goes up, so too does our impatience. Consider for example my experiences. After watching a TV program about a restaurant, I grabbed my smartphone to look at the site for location details. Well, apparently many people were doing the same thing as the site didn’t work.

And you never know when you could be the next big thing – just think of Flappy Birds. The game went viral and the creator was making $50k per day! (And yes it is down now so we are all left wondering why?!). You never know when you’ll need to scale to meet demand and also what impact that will have on the user experience.

I believe this all relates to data and the need for it to be immediate. There are three data distribution capabilities developers need to launch successful web and mobile applications including speed and performance, efficiency and scalability. To read more about these three capabilities, read our whitepaper on instant data gratification.



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