EE has predicted that it will carry one exabyte of data on its network in three years time, as it signed up its 10 millionth LTE customer.
The UK operator said 4G traffic has overtaken 3G for the first time. By 2018, it will carry three times what is on its network in 2015 and 16 times what was on its 3G network in 2012. The operator said an exabyte is the equivalent of streaming 38,000 years of films.
EE said the growth in 4G usage has seen surges in rural areas, with LTE data consumption in rural Scotland up 60 percent, in rural Wales up 50 percent and in the south west of England up 49 percent.
In the operator’s latest Mobile Living Index, it found YouTube continues to be the most popular video streaming service, accounting for 67 percent of it overall. Apple Maps is well ahead of rival Google’s location service, with 73 percent of GPS queries through iPhones and iPads.
EE CEO Olaf Swantee commented: “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.”
The operator will now turn its attention to VoLTE, with plans to introduce the service by the end of 2015.