How bandwidth hungry is your iPhone?

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Pretty much anywhere you live, it would appear that the iPhone consumes at least 50% of all mobile data traffic. Whereas the Android has a little catching up to do with just 11% of that mobile data bandwidth consumption.

Of course, the iPhone entered the restaurant first and is already on pudding while Android devices are still nibbling at the starters so to speak. Still, that's more than RIM (BlackBerry) on 7% and eclipses Windows Mobile phones which consume just 3%.

Only Symbian devices are seriously in the bandwidth consumption fight on 25% (a drop of 4% from the previous figures) which could be important if you use this as a metric of real world popularity of smartphones. The Palm Pre dropped 5%, for what it is worth, to 5% of traffic.

The figures come from a new report by AdMob, a mobile advertising specialist, which has billions of adverts on more than 15,000 mobile websites and uses the data from its ad-serving network to produce the figures.

Of course, the numbers might show that iPhones are popular but also that they consume a lot of bandwidth thanks to the success of all those apps. And that is proving to be problematical for some networks which are struggling to cope. Here in the UK, by way of example, O2 has recently announced that it will be building 1500 new network sites across the UK in 2010 with a total investment of hundreds of millions of pounds.

Derek McManus, Chief Technology Officer for O2 in the UK, says "In the past 12 months the mobile industry has seen an unprecedented change in demand. To put this in context, watching a YouTube video on a smartphone can use the same capacity on the network as sending 500,000 text messages simultaneously. We are now aggressively accelerating our network growth programme to ensure we have significant headroom for the future..."