Data usage: Smartphones vs dongles

Over the last twelve months the data consumed by smartphones increased tenfold on the Vodacom network while data used by dongles only showed moderate growth.

This is one of the surprising revelations made by Vodacom CEO Pieter Uys who addressed the media at an event in Sandton.

Uys revealed that the average data consumed by mobile broadband dongles grew from 500MB to 550MB year-on-year.  This translates into a 10% yearly growth in data usage on dongles.

Smartphone data usage in comparison grew by 100% over the same period – up from 40MB per month to the current 80MB per month.

Another interesting statistic is that the ratio of dongle/smartphone data usage on the Vodacom network changed from 80/20 last year to the current 60/40.

The reason for this strong smartphone data usage is twofold: there are far more smartphones on the Vodacom network and smartphone users are consuming significantly more data.

Vodacom currently has 1.1 million data dongles on its network, up from 1 million a year ago.  In comparison Vodacom has 4.1 million active smartphones on their network.

Uys added that he expects the strong growth in smartphone uptake to continue, especially with the price of Android devices dipping well below R1,000 each.

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Data usage: Smartphones vs dongles