Verizon is reportedly using Android to beef up its network in preparation for an onslaught of iPhone customers. The latest CDMA iPhone rumor assumes that Verizon will debut the device early next year and is preparing now for this highly popular smartphone from Apple. Unlike AT&T, whose network has struggled under the load of millions of data-hungry iPhone users, Verizon is reportedly being proactive and has worked on increasing capacity thanks to its Android users who gobble up data faster than their iPhone counterparts.
According to data compiled by senior analyst Matthew Goodman of Majestic Research, Verizon has 9 million Android users, while AT&T is estimated to have 16.5 million iPhone customers. While AT&T may have an upper hand when it comes to subscriber numbers, there is a disparity in data usage. Data obtained from Validas, a company that specializes in analysing usage from mobile phone bills, suggests that Android customers use an average of 485MB of data per month, while iPhone owners consume 344MB per month.
Note that this 485MB figure is based upon non-BlackBerry smartphone usage on Verizon, the bulk of which are Android handsets. Actual Android data usage could be higher as this average includes the presumably lower data consumption rates for the Palm Pre Plus, Palm Pixi Plus, and Windows Mobile handsets.
Verizon knows that the world will be watching its network performance very closely to see how it performs when (if?) the rumored CDMA iPhone makes its debut. Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi sums it up when he says this about Big Red’s post-iPhone network performance:
“failure to deliver strong performance could undermine our projections—significantly.”
With a potential to add 13 million iPhones over a two-year period and a concomitant increase in data consumption, Verizon better be ready for this increased network load or it may be forced to relinquish its self-proclaimed status as the “Nation’s Largest And Most Reliable 3G Network”.
[Via the Wall Street Journal]