Who to blame for the bandwidth crunch?
The average smartphone user is nearing 1 GB of usage per month in the US (some data), and in the US nearly the majority are on smartphones (trend), so it’s no wonder that operators are freaking out. Part of the uptick is that they have lowered prices for data (“unlimited”).
But the other part is they are using Android and iOS which use tons and tons of data.
Why do they use so much data?
Because they are connecting to the Internet and Internet engineers are data hogs.
Consider this: Google just increased their max app size to 4 GB, from 50 MB. Giant apps = giant data usage.
Check out Airtel’s data usage calculator. If you use a bit of email (this matches my personal usage), they expect you to use 591 MB of data per month.
The reason for this problem is Internet engineering doesn’t match the needs of mobile.
On the original Peek, which was hyperoptimized in 2008, we did 3MB per MONTH for unlimited email. Now, on our Android edition, we do 30 MB for a similar usage profile on the bigger screen, more attachments, richer formatting.
So if the bandwidth crunch is the problem, software engineering is the solution.