According to a release this morning, Three’s four million contract mobile phone customers have more than doubled their monthly data use.
The average amount of data used by these customers has shifted from 450 megabytes last summer to 1.1 gigabytes.
This seems to point to a shift in user habits. When provided with access to the Internet on mobile phones, it seems that more people are likely to log in or check information than before.
As we reported earlier this year, mobile accounts for 10% of Internet usage worldwide and the rise in demand has been linked to the number of tablets and smartphones that are entering the market.
The results are not entirely surprising though. Three has been pushing data deals toward its customers for a while now. Last year, pay-as-you-go customers were able to access unlimited data. In March, the company abolished ‘out-of-bundle’ data charges with a 250MB allowance to avoid overspending and just last month, Three UK started offering unlimited roaming data for £5 a day.
This type of change, especially when it means saving some money, means that users relax somewhat when it comes to their usage and habits on the mobile Internet. You’ll try something more often when you know you’re not going to be stung in the pocket on the way.
In today’s release, Three says that its customers who use iPhones and premium Android smartphones are already eating up almost 1.5GB per month in data.
Dave Dyson, chief executive officer, Three said: “With 95% of our smartphone customers using data on a daily basis, everyone is relying more than ever on their handset to do all the stuff they used to do on the internet at home or work. And there is no sign of this slowing down.”
Of course being able to get online is also a huge barrier to entry. You’re less likely to try if your past experience is one where you were unable to access the Internet.
Graham Baxter, chief operating officer at Three, who is responsible for Three’s network said: “Since 2008 we have invested over £1 billion in almost doubling the size of our network and boosting its capacity and quality in order to handle this data traffic explosion. Today we have an award-winning network and it’s the only network in the UK that’s built specifically for the mobile internet. We cover 98% of the UK’s population and it’s great to see that our customers are doing so much more of the things they enjoy on their smartphones.”
The investment in network provision and stability as well as a handful of deals to tempt customers seems to be working for Three. That said, it is likely that all mobile operators are seeing a rise in mobile Internet use as we copy our peers who check in, log in and update wherever they go.
Image Credit: Menno van der Horst