97 per cent of 3’s traffic is data


All but three per cent of 3's network traffic is data, according to the network giant.

The comms firm revealed it saw a 427 per cent increase in data usage on 3 for smartphone customers between June last year and September 2011.

"Downloading apps, streaming movies, getting around town with Google Maps, even checking in on Facebook it all adds up, and you're doing it now more than ever," said Phil Sheppard in a blog post.

"Back in 2003 when we began our journey as a 3G network, it felt at times like the technology we had at our fingers tips was a bit Tomorrow's World Fast forward to today, in a market flooded with tablets and smartphones, and there can be no denying the importance of a reliable, powerful network like ours. Just look at the stats."

3 is one of the only providers to offer unlimited data plans in the UK. It is hoping to have some success in the 4G spectrum auction, which is due to take place next year, although has been hampered by delays thanks to industry in-fighting and Ofcom wavering.

When Ofcom pushed the auction back by a quarter last month, 3 raised concerns it would suffer most as it was running out of spectrum. It claimed other operators had spare spectrum which they can allocate thanks to a decision in January allowing them to re-use 2G spectrum for data services.

"Any significant delay risks impacting this and will further weaken competition to the detriment of UK consumers," said David Dyson, chief executive of 3.

"Refarming 2G spectrum without any of the reallocation seen across Europe created an incentive for those gifted spectrum to delay the auction. Ofcom and the Government need to ensure their plans are not undone by narrow self interest."

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.