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Video streaming drives increase in 4G data on EE mobile network

Thursday, May 14th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

4G data has overtaken 3G traffic on EE’s mobile network for the first time.

The operator now has more than 10m customers using 4G across Europe and has seen a huge growth in data usage.

EE’s 4GEE Mobile Living Index, which has measured 4G mobile data use on the network for the past two years, also found that the amount of data used in rural areas has increased dramatically.

Data usage in rural parts of Scotland is up 60%, usage in rural Wales is up 50% and in the south west of England by 49%.

EE is predicting that by 2018 at least one exabyte of data – the equivalent of streaming 38,000 years of HD films – will be carried across its network per year.

The network says that this is three times the amount of data handled today and 16 times the amount carried over the 3G network in 2012.

The increase in data is being fuelled by video and social media, which now account for 51% of data on the network.

EE’s CEO Olaf Swantee said: “EE pioneered 4G in the UK and we’re determined to keep the country at the forefront of innovation.

“We were the first to launch 4G+, and the first to introduce wi-fi calling in the UK.

“We are bringing our 4G network coverage to where it is needed most – enhancing the quality of life of people who live in the most rural and underserved parts of the country.”

'Unlocked'

He said advances in EE’s network have “truly unlocked the power of the mobile internet”.

“So much so that customer usage is doubling and we predict our 4G network, built for capacity, will comfortably handle more than an Exabyte of data per year by 2018,” he added.

“People are using 4G to change how they live and work, and one of the most exciting areas to watch is healthcare, which looks set to be transformed by access to superfast 4G.”

The 4GEE Mobile Living Index shows a 63% rise in the use of health-related apps, with nearly one in four customers using some form of health monitoring.

It found that the most popular streaming service was YouTube, which drove 67% of all video streaming.

PlayStation had the biggest percentage of network gaming traffic at 37% followed by Steam on 28% and Xbox Live on 19%.

Microsoft’s email services (MSN and Outlook) make up 45% of all email traffic while Apple maps are the most popular source of GPS, representing 73% of traffic. Google maps follows at 21%.

Almost half (44%) of all music streaming is via Soundcloud, well ahead of Spotify (29%) and Deezer (10%).

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