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3G networks are straining to support the demands of punters as their shiny new smartphones demand more and more information from the internet, says a report by British firm Arieso. iPhone 4S users use twice as much data as iPhone 4 users, and three times as much as iPhone 3G users.

Arieso, a mobile network management software company, measured the data consumption of 1.1 million mobile internet customers in Europe, the US and Africa over a 24-hour period in November and found disparities in internet consumption according to the devices used. The iPhone 3G was taken as the benchmark.

Users of the HTC Nexus One, the HTC Desire and Samsung Galaxy phones downloaded more data than users of Nokia phones or BlackBerry handsets. HTC owners seemed to be the biggest data uploads: HTC Desire S users typically shifted out 3.23 times as much data as iPhone 3G users.

Increased ease of use, more data intensive background apps and efforts to stick more content in the cloud have pushed data consumption right up. And faster phones with more functions chomp through more megabytes. Michael Flanagan, CTO of Arieso, said that the biggest single factor pushing the rise was likely to be the move towards device synchronisation and sharing content between devices:

Looking at the iPhone 4S there are a finite number of differences between it and the iPhone 4, so we can look at it and assess the impact of the new features. And it appears to be the cloud based features of the iPhone 4S that make the difference. For example, the cloud based sync of the iPhone as it syncs content with Macs.

The report also noted that on the day measured 1 per cent of "extreme" users were responsible for 50 per cent of mobile data downloads. Considering that the results included dongle users, it's likely that these will be torrent downloaders on laptops with no-limit internet SIM cards watching films. ®

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