DNA's customers keep world's most data hungry crown, with Wind Tre making waves

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DNA customers are consuming almost 20GB of data per month and remain the most data hungry in the world, new research has found, with Wind Tre emerging as Europe's biggest overall carrier of gigabytes.

The latest report from Tefficient, assessing global data consumption for the first half of 2018, found 3's Austrian, Danish, Swedish and UK businesses within the top 10.

Three Austria was in second place across Europe with 18.4GB per customer per month consumed. Finland's Elisa and Telia were third and fourth respectively.

The only non-Finnish or non-Three operator in the top eight for Europe was Telenor Sweden in eighth place.

DNA's data growth was 33 percent on the same period in 2017 and the operator said its average consumption per customer hit the 21GB level last month.

[Read more: DNA looks to strengthen core network ahead of 5G launch]

Jarkko Laari, Director, Radio Networks, DNA, said: "In our sales selection, monthly subscription fees include unlimited data.

"In addition, networks and terminals keep improving, which means that customers are enjoying more video content. Videos and TV shows are now an everyday feature of the world of mobile devices."

The report highlighted the hugely competitive Free in France for its data performance. The Iliad subsidiary has a cap of 100GB per month, which Tefficient said led to it having one of Europe's fastest data growth rates.

Data consumption was just under 6GB by the end of June, up from just under 4GB a year ago.

It also emphasised the performances of Plus and Play from Poland, T-Mobile Austria, Tele2 Sweden and Denmark's TDC, all of which passed the 5GB per month mark.

Given the highly populated nature of other global markets, it is perhaps no surprise that the highest ranked European operator in the total data consumption charts was at number 28.

This was Wind Tre at just over 800GB in total. However, the report found that Italy was a data hungry market overall, with Vodafone Italy at number 11 for data consumption and TIM at 13, which it said was down to the disruption of a new player's entry in 2018.

The report said: "There’s generally good growth in the Italian data traffic which can be attributed to the market entry of Iliad in May this year.

"The Italian operators have upped the mobile data allowances – and lowered the price points – to mitigate Iliad’s ability to disrupt."

While Three UK fell from its previous top spot position, Tefficient said its performance amounted to "quite an achievement" given it only holds around 14 percent of the UK's subscription base.

While DNA had the biggest data consumption per customer, it was Elisa that had the biggest total GB draw in Finland. It sat in fourth place in between Poland's Plus in third and Play in fifth.

The report also revealed the total mobile service revenue per GB globally with Proximus in first place at €26.70, followed by Orange Belgium (€24.20) and Vodafone Greece €23.20).

Overall, China Mobile was in first place with 12219PB of data consumed in the first half of this year, overtaking India's disruptive Jio during the past 12 months.