Up to 60 percent of mobile data traffic is generated by consumers watching video, with owners of Apple's iPhone driving the demand, according to a company that specializes in traffic management.
Bytemobile, which helps operators manage and condense traffic, said the overall data demand was also likely to intensify as 90 percent of the total data traffic was currently generated by just 10 percent of mobile data users.
The company said video watched on iPhones generated 58 percent of data traffic, with phones on the Google operating system Android on slightly less at 52 percent, as smartphones now copied the usage patterns of laptops
Mobile operators have been taken by surprise in recent years by the intense demand for data services, as consumers opt to access the Internet and video on the go.
Some analysts and investors have also doubted whether the operators can fully profit from the change, as they have to invest in their networks to support the demand.
Continued aggressive growth in mobile data -- fueled by video and application usage over faster networks and more powerful, user-friendly devices -- has created a formidable traffic management challenge for carriers, said Ronny Haraldsvik, vice president of Global Marketing at Bytemobile.
Bytemobile, which produces a report on the changing trends in data traffic, said demand stayed strong from midday to midnight and those users with access to better networks watched videos for longer.
(Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)