4G going beyond early adopters


Users of 4G kicking Wi-Fi to the side and getting into data over the mobile network

Half of UK 4G users on the EE mobile network state they browse the web more on 4G than 3G, and over one in three say they download apps, use GPS services and access social media more with 4G than 3G.

Findings from the 4GEE Mobile Living Index show that two in three 4G users say they are using the mobile internet over 4G at least an hour a day, with 23% saying they are online via their 4G mobile devices more than three hours a day.

Nearly 50% say they browse the web more on 4G than 3G, and over one in three say they download apps, use GPS services and access social media more with 4G than 3G.

Additionally, 43% say they use fewer or no public Wi-Fi hotspots since having 4G,and 23% say they use their home broadband less since moving to 4G.

The research showed that while men were the initial early adopters on 4G, nnow EE's subscriber base for 4G is almost 50% female. Also, 4G users on average are five years younger than 3G users.

Half of all 4G customers (49%) own tablet devices alongside their smartphones. People are streaming more over devices with big screens like the iPad and Samsung Galaxy Note 2, which drive 60% more streaming of video data than smartphones.

Video downloading, uploading and streaming makes up 26% of network traffic over 4G, with YouTube accounting for 14% of traffic alone. One in three users are streaming more video over 4G than they did using 3G, with BBC iPlayer, Netflix and Sky Go the favourite TV services.

Fotis Karonis, chief technology officer, EE said: 'A large proportion of activity on our 3G network is web browsing. But on 4G customers enjoy traditionally fixed line activities such as shopping, watching movies and catching up with TV on their mobiles. It is a real evolution, with a quarter of our customers now spending more than three hours a day on the mobile internet.'

Streaming peaks during morning commute, lunch, evening commute and especially throughout the evening. People are using 4G devices as second screens or switching to tablet devices in their downtime. A wave of people streaming the Wimbledon Final resulted in the busiest day ever for EE's 4G network, 20% higher than ever before.

Finally, 71% of people are shopping on their 4G smartphone or tablet, with men three times more likely than women to spend over £200 a month on their mobile.

Karonis added: 'What is really interesting is that with 4G upload speeds five times faster than home broadband, we are seeing social media use becoming more mobile and transforming faster than had been imagined.

'For the first time in the UK, the amount of data uploaded onto our network has surpassed downloads at major events such as the London Marathon and Baroness Thatcher's funeral,' continued Karonis. '4G users are intuitively taking advantage of increased upload speeds. We predict data volumes over social media sites will increase tenfold by 2015.'


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