According to Ekholm, the growth in the number of users of video-calling services is also noteworthy.
In terms of traffic, five minutes of 3G FaceTime video calling uses up to 15MB of data — a small amount. However, Ekholm says as there are many users, the collective total amount can be large.
In addition, mobile music streaming can easily generate hundreds of megabytes of data, but this varies greatly between mobile music apps — for example, a user actively listening to music on Spotify may consume more than twice as much data as a user of Pandora.
Consequently, what should CSPs and mobile app developers do to harness this growth?
“The amount of time consumers spend on the Internet, whether via mobile phone, tablet or PC, will continue to increase,” Ekholm adds.
“CSPs will need to focus on creating new pricing with a focus on data access, such as shared plans.
“They will also need to refine the services they already provide, with a focus on creating richer, more immersive and more personalised experiences, to increase their customer numbers.”
As the mobile app market matures, Ekholm believes app developers will have to sharpen their focus on the marketing and transparency of their apps, in order to retain customers.
Gartner's research indicates that although affluent people and traditional early adopters are the leading users of new technologies and devices, younger, less wealthy people make greater use of mobile apps.
Young people's greater acceptance of apps and mobile content will require app developers to adjust their techniques to address the differences between user groups.
“The future will be tough for CSPs and mobile app developers that decide not to upgrade the user experiences they deliver on their services and products,” Ekholm warns.
“The winners will be those providers best able to satisfy consumers' demand for high data use, while maintaining their margins.”