Smart phones are becoming an increasingly significant driver of mobile data traffic, which is rapidly overtaking voice as the primary growth strategy for mobile operators globally, most would agree.

According to a recent report from Ericsson, total smartphone traffic is expected to triple during 2011, while traffic generated by advanced smartphones is forecast to increase 12-fold to roughly equal mobile PC-generated traffic by 2016. Operators experiment with new data tariffs

On the other hand, O2 UK said it found that fewer than 0.1 percent of its customers (around 22,000 people) were using 30 percent of the total network data traffic, “which was adversely impacting on the experience for the greater majority.” In contrast, 97 percent of its customers use less than 500 MBytes a month.

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But usage tends to grow over time. Ericsson forecasts a 10-fold increase in mobile data traffic by 2016. The report is based on measurements the company recorded over several years in live networks covering all regions of the world.Ericsson mobile bandwidth forecast

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