Data upload traffic on the mobile network of UK operator EE has exceeded downloads for the first time ever at a number of major events, according to new research from the operator.
“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,” said Fotis Karonis, EE’s (Hatfield, UK) chief technology officer.
“4G users are intuitively taking advantage of increased upload speeds,” Karonis added. “We predict data volumes over social media sites will increase tenfold by 2015.
The finding comes from the operator’s recently launched 4GEE Mobile Living Index, which combines statistics from EE mobile network with a survey of 4GEE customers.
Another headline finding is that 4G availability has encouraged much greater usage of mobile video services, with one in three customers streaming more video over 4G than they did with 3G.
BBC iPlayer, Netflix and Sky Go have proven to be the most popular video-streaming services.
“The way of 4GEE customers are using their mobiles and tablets has evolved significantly since we brought superfast 4G to the UK just ten months ago,” said Pippa Dunn, the chief marketing officer of EE’s consumer division. “It lets them share more, stream more and spend more while on the move.”
According to the research, 4G users are on average about five years younger than 3G ones; and while men were the first to adopt 4G in the months following its launch, women now make up nearly half of EE’s new 4G customers.
EE says that video downloading, uploading and streaming now makes up 26% of network traffic over 4G, and also claims that 4G availability has led to a fall in the usage of public WiFi and home broadband services.
Some 43% of survey respondents told the operator they use fewer or no public WiFi hotspots since turning to 4G, while 23% said they use their home broadband services less.
EE became the UK’s sole provider of 4G services in October 2012, when regulatory authorities allowed it to use existing spectrum licenses to provide the technology.
Other operators had to wait until an auction of 4G spectrum earlier this year, but both Vodafone (Newbury, UK) and Telefonica UK (Slough, UK) are due to launch services at the end of this month.