Huge thanks to Sami Makelainen, who's posted a fascinating link on Forum Oxford. It's a presentation done by someone at the Helsinki University of Technology, about mobile data usage in Finland, based on an analysis of 4m users' traffic patterns.
Slide 17 jumps out at me.
92% of mobile packet data traffic comes from PCs
Now I've been saying for some time that I was expecting that in 2008, most developed-market operators would see PC-based traffic become more important than that from handsets. And I've written before about the growth of 3G dongles in places like Austria and Sweden (where, unlike Finland, the most popular devices are apparently now Huawei dongles, not Nokia phones).
But I hadn't realised how far this had already gone. And this data is from Sep/Oct 07, and in the last 6 months the real growth in 3G modems has taken place.
This has huge ramifications for how operators buy spectrum, design their networks, think about femtocells and so on. It also means that 3G "mobile networks" are being used mainly for fixed/nomadic purposes. I wonder if that should impact the relative importance and value of IPR around "mobility" vs. "bandwidth".....
One other data point worth noting is that traffic to/from the Internet is 95% of the total. Is it really worth bothering about all that complex QoS, prioritisation, differential pricing, IMS etc for the remaining 5%?