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When Brits are resting, their phones are idle too

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Staff writer |
Ericsson Mobility ReportEricsson Mobility Report provides both similarities and differences when comparing network usage around the globe, from London to New York to Hong Kong.


Citizens of London vary their usage a lot depending on the day of the week, and also take a vacation from mobile networks during holidays. On the other hand, the pace in New York and Hong Kong does not change as much. This suggests that New York has more in common with Hong Kong than London when it comes to network usage, despite cultural differences.

Nevertheless, with lower usage during the night than the day, people's daily routines follow a familiar pattern in all three places, and thus share a common pulse.

The data used in Ericsson Mobility Report was collected between December 10, 2012 and January 8, 2013, from mobile networks in London, New York and Hong Kong. It shows where and when people accessed the networks to make voice calls, to use data and to send text messages (SMS). The study shows that there is an activity drop during weekends and holidays.

Another interesting point revealed in the data is that the activity drop is more evident in the city centers than in the suburbs. Most dramatic is the reduced activity in London's financial center, which can likely be explained by the large number of people commuting out of the area after work hours.

What is visible in the graph is that in general, New Yorkers maintain a level of mobile activity at home, both for voice and data, similar to that at work. In Hong Kong, while voice traffic declines in the evenings, the pattern of data activity continues into the night. People in Hong Kong use mobile broadband to access the web and watch video clips and movies during the night.

In Greater London data is frequently used earlier during the day than voice and SMS. Voice activity usually begins around office hours at 8am, while data activity begins earlier at 7am, when people commute to work, checking messages, emails or weather reports. SMS, however, tends to be used later than both voice and data, except for Christmas morning and New Year's Day.

On the 31st of December, New Yorkers and Londoners wish friends and family a happy new year with an SMS. This causes a predictable SMS storm. In Hong Kong, the Chinese New Year has an even larger impact on SMS traffic (however this takes place over several days in February).

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