If you ever see a Finn staring at his mobile phone, chances are that he’s watching a video. According to figures from GlobalData, users in Finland churn their way through 13.3GB per SIM every month, nearly six times the European average and more than 18 times the data usage of Slovakia, the least data driven country.
The figures are slightly misleading, however. Some countries, such as France and the UK have low monthly mobile data figures because of the large numbers of low data-intensive M2M cards that are bringing down the average. In the UK, for example, average monthly mobile data usage is 1.98GB, but smartphones use up to 2.6GB and connected data devices 2.8GB; only the 291MB of the M2M brings down the average.
Users from all countries are increasingly turning to data, often driven by high usage of video. A survey last month from OpenWave Mobility found that the high volumes of HD video was not only adding to the data being used but was causing operators to struggle to cope.
But some operators are doing their best to encourage this high use and that can lead to some rather unusual countries being known as heavy users, even though they’re not countries with traditionally large mobile computing history. This is generally down to operators offering unlimited data packages. These countries include Austria with 5.7GB per SIM, Poland (3.7GB) and Russia (3.5GB).