Android smartphones are the biggest network hogs according to new study

Google Android armyAs Android market share rises, the devices that support the Google platform are also becoming the most data-intensive, according to a new study. Known for its multitasking capabilities, Android may cause networks to buckle under heavy load as applications running in the background continue to use up data. And the fact that each carrier has two or more Android devices to choose from isn’t helping, either.

Additionally, with better quality cameras and video recorders, Android devices use up more data when transferring and streaming multimedia content – a huge feature for many social networking applications.

Reuters is reporting:

The study by telecom network technology firm Arieso showed that customers with Android phones are creating more data traffic mostly due to better cameras and video recorders, and software for editing the footage.

“When more could be done, more tends to be done,” said Arieso’s Chief Technology Officer Michael Flanagan.

Carriers have been coming up with creative new ways to give consumers an incentive to use less data, but the sheer numbers of users might overwhelm networks. Whether it’s data caps or tiered data packages, the volume of users are causing carriers to worry about capacity and the ability to deliver a smooth experience.

It was a tough lesson AT&T learned when the iPhone 3G was introduced in 2008. Suddenly an influx of mobile applications and popularity in sales rendered the carrier’s network virtually unusable in some cities and areas. Now other carriers are facing the same issue since Android took this year by storm.

“What operators are really suffering from is the fact that popularity of smartphones came too quickly,” said Lance Hiley, VP of market strategy at telecoms network technology provider Cambridge Broadband Networks.

It will be interesting just how much things will change as WiMax and LTE networks gain more ground and coverage next year, but it seems that given more speed and options, users are going to eat up even more data. As capacity and speeds improve, so do the devices and apps that use them.

[Via: Reuters]

  • James

    I think this story is irrelevant and unfairly targets Android as being the problem, when in reality the problem is the telecom companies selling data packages but not having the network to back their sales up with. If they can only support a number of users on their network given the present technology, then either they need to cap their user base, or invest in their infrastructure. But the way I see it, I pay for 500MB/Month, I am going to use 500MB/Month. If they now think they can’t back that, they shouldn’t have sold it to me.

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