EE UK Predicts Mobile Broadband Users to Eat 1 Exabyte Per Year by 2018 - ISPreview UK
Mobile operator EE reports that their 4G (LTE) customers have now passed the magic 10 million mark and related Mobile Broadband traffic has surpassed 3G, with rural areas seeing some of the best benefits. 4G usage in rural parts of Scotland has increased 60%, usage in rural Wales is up 50% and data in the South West of England was up 49%.

In terms of what people are actually doing with all that data traffic, some 30% goes towards browsing websites and email, while 28% relates to online video (video streaming, downloads etc.) and the selfies culture is also driving 23% of traffic in terms of social media (uploading pictures). EE also offers a breakdown of how this usage is spread between specific services.

Video streaming:

YouTube rules the roost as the most popular service, driving 67% of overall video streaming.

Mobile mapping:

Apple maps remains the most popular source of GPS, representing 73% of traffic. Google maps follows at 21%.

Mobile gaming:

PlayStation wins battle of the consoles, securing 37% of network gaming traffic. Meanwhile Steam and Xbox Live follow with a 28% and 19% share respectively.


Microsoft email services (MSN and Outlook) are the clear favourites, garnering 45% of overall email traffic.


Almost half (44%) of all music streaming is via Soundcloud, well ahead of Spotify (29%) and Deezer (10%).

As a result of all this EE now predicts that its network will carry 1 Exabyte of data per year by 2018 (1,000,000,000,000,000,000 Bytes), which is triple the amount of data the network carries today and 16 times more than over the 3G network in 2012.

Olaf Swantee, EE’s CEO, said:

EE pioneered 4G in the UK and we’re determined to keep the country at the forefront of innovation. We were the first to launch 4G+, and the first to introduce WiFi Calling in the UK. We are bringing our 4G network coverage to where it is needed most – enhancing the quality of life of people who live in the most rural and underserved parts of the country.

Our network advances have truly unlocked the power of the mobile internet, so much so that customer usage is doubling and we predict our 4G network, built for capacity, will comfortably handle more than an Exabyte of data per year by 2018.

People are using 4G to change how they live and work, and one of the most exciting areas to watch is healthcare, which looks set to be transformed by access to superfast 4G
At present EE’s 4G network covers 87% of the United Kingdom’s population and it’s due to reach around 99% 4G population and 85% geographic data coverage by 2017 (the 4G population target may well be achieved within less than a year).