SEOUL, Mar. 7 (Korea Bizwire) — The monthly data usage by smartphones surpassed 400,000 terabytes (TB) for the first time in January, led by increasing use of streaming services and other mobile apps, government data showed Thursday.
The wireless data traffic reached 403,812 TB in January, up 1.5 percent from the previous month, according to findings by the Ministry of Science and ICT.
The January figure increased 28.7 percent compared with a year ago, and was a 17-fold increase from usage in January 2012, the ministry said.
Data traffic on smartphones that support 4G LTE (long term evolution) accounted for 99.8 percent of the total in January, with the average traffic per subscribers standing at 8.1 gigabytes.
4G LTE smartphones contributed to the sharp rise of the wireless traffic as more users opted for unlimited data plans to enjoy streaming video services and mobile games on their smartphones.
Traffic by the top 10 percent data users took up more than half of the total usage in December.
Market watchers expected a continued rise in wireless traffic on the LTE network for the time being, despite the launch of 5G smartphones later this month, as it will take a couple of years for the new devices to become commonplace.