Smartphone users are generating two-thirds (65%) of total mobile cellular traffic worldwide even though only 13% of mobile subscribers use smartphones, according to the latest report from Informa Telecoms & Media. The iPhone is the highest-traffic-generating device followed by Android devices.
As these smartphone users spend more time on the Internet, their average traffic per user (ATPU) will increase by a staggering 700% over the next five years. ATPU per smartphone currently averages 85MB per month.
iPhone will continue to lead the smartphone ATPU. Because the iPhone will continue to target premium users with high ARPUs, it is likely to remain leading the ATPU worldwide with an estimated value of 196MB/month in 2010.
In the North America, 86% of mobile data traffic is currently generated by smartphone users. Smartphone ATPU for North America is forecasted to reach a staggering 776MB/month by 2015.
In contrast, smartphones remain a status symbol for the majority of users in emerging markets who still use cellular networks largely for voice and SMS rather than to access mobile data services. As a result, ATPU in these regions is not expected to exceed 43MB/Month in 2010 and could be as low as 13MB/month in some African countries.
ATPU is a new metric devised by Informa Telecoms & Media to help the mobile industry measure the potential of new services and revenue streams such as mobile advertising. ATPU could also be used by operators as a key differentiating parameter for judging the popularity of different OS platforms and related ecosystems.