Report Excerpt: The Mobile Data Explosion

June 1, 2010

Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from our most recent Sidecut Report, The Mobile Data Explosion, an in-depth look at the reasons behind the recent surge in wireless data usage, and where devices, networks and service plan charges are headed in the near future. The following excerpt takes a look at the reasons behind the recent surge of data usage, and why it caught even the biggest service providers by surprise. (To download your free copy of the report, click here.)


How did such a shift in data usage catch an experienced provider like AT&T so unaware? Part of the blame might be the fact that there was a sort of perfect storm hitting the mobile data arena the past few years, radical shifts that might have been manageable had they happened alone — but hard to predict or plan for when they happened all at once. The introduction of “superphones” like the iPhone, combined with faster wireless broadband speeds and new addictive applications like Facebook and Twitter gave people the ability and reason to increase data use rapidly — far beyond than what had ever been seen before rx tadalafil.

“AT&T is managing [wireless data] volumes no one else has experienced,” CTO John Donovan told the Wall Street Journal in an interview regarding the stress caused by the iPhone.

Why did the iPhone change the wireless data game so radically? When it was first made available to the public in June of 2007, the most paradigm-shifting thing about the iPhone was its touchscreen interface, an innovation that eliminated keyboard buttons in favor of a screen that was immediately much larger and sharper than that of any previous handheld device.

While the touchscreen was in and of itself a cool toy — making its users easily identifiable as iPhone owners with their telltale finger swipes — the combination of a larger screen size and an advanced browser was the real game-changer, providing for the first time an interface that could mimic a full-page website with enough clarity to make iPhone-version applications immediately understandable.

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