Mobile networks will begin taking measures next year to promote smartphone brands that place the smallest strain on their networks, according to CSS Insight.

"The exponential growth in data traffic is placing enormous strain on network capacity. For many years operators have complained that some devices use considerably more data than others," the research firm said in its 2011 predictions report.

"We predict that in 2011, operators will begin to differentiate their tariffs and device subsidies to prompt users to consider less data-hungry devices and operating systems."

Furthermore, GSMA chief executive Rob Conway revealed that global mobile penetration is on track to reach 100 percent in 2012, where mobile subscriptions will match global population figures for the first time. This means that demand for mobile data is higher than ever.

According to Rysavy Research analyst Peter Rysavy, BlackBerry devices are more efficient in using network bandwidth than any other mobile platform. They use five times less bandwidth for email, two times less for web browsing and 2.5 times less for social networking.

"The CCS Report discusses a very real issue, which needs to be addressed by the entire mobile ecosystem. There is only a finite resource in mobile bandwidth, and we see it as the responsibility of all vendors to design and build products which are as efficient as possible in their use of this scarce resource," said Stephen Bates, managing director of RIM, which manufacturers BlackBerry devices.

Bates added that as BlackBerry devices use less bandwidth than other operating platforms, "You can have three BlackBerry users in the same wireless spectrum as any other smartphone.

"As a consumer you can do more in your data bundle," he added.

See also: The 10 best BlackBerry apps for travelling