Like all new technologies 4G has taken some time to become widely accepted, but as more and more users experience the benefits that 4G can bring, the uptake of 4G – as well as the use of 4G data – has begun to soar. All networks have seen an uplift in the use of 4G data – let’s take a look at O2 and EE as examples.
4G Data on O2
This summer marked the one year anniversary of the launch of O2’s 4G network, and the stats were pretty impressive. After a year of providing 4G, O2 reported that around a fifth of all data used by its customers was on 4G and that uptake of 4G services has been double that of 3G services.
Within the first year the network carried 5,400 terabytes of 4G data, which is equivalent to streaming around eight million hours of High Definition video. It isn’t just personal users that benefit from 4G on O2. The network’s 4G Pop Up Office, which creates a 4G mobile hotspot capable of connecting up to 10 devices, is also proving popular with small businesses. The network has launched in more than 240 towns and cities across the UK, and is committed to providing indoor coverage to 98% of the population within the three years.
According to Derek McManus, COO of Telefónica UK (O2), “We have spent the past year rolling out our 4G network so we can connect customers to the products and services they are passionate about in today’s digital age. It’s been the fastest build of any new network in our history – just one year after launching 3G we had reached 16% of the UK population and, in the same timeframe, we already reach over 45% of the UK population with 4G. Our £1.5 billion investment in our network over the next three years will mean we will help the UK to become a truly connected nation. As well as continuing to bring 4G to even more places, we are upgrading our 2G and 3G services until we cover 98% of the UK population indoors by 2017.”
4G data on EE
We recently saw that EE is on target to reach 6 million 4G customer by the end of the year, so what has been happening on the 4GEE network? The latest Mobile Living Index shows that 4G is being increasingly used to replace more traditional internet connections. While only 3% of customer have actually cancelled their home broadband altogether, 30% say they are using less home broadband and 54% say they are using fewer public WiFi hotspots than they used to – or not using WiFi at all.
The Mobile Living Index also showed that there has been a 66% increase in data usage of the average 4GEE customer during the last year and that the 4GEE network has overtaken the 3G Orange network in terms of overall data used. Social media is one of the most common activities performed using 4G, and now accounts for a quarter (25%) of all 4G data used – largely due to an increase in picture and video uploading and downloading. The biggest peak in network traffic came during the FIFA World Cup, when Tim Cahill’s spectacular goal had viewers watching it over and over again on social media and TV replays.