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By Chris Clackum

(NBC) - Smartphones have quickly outpaced other mobile devices in the duel over data.

Analysts estimate the upward trend in mobile data use among smartphone users will outpace network capacity in the next three years, meaning connection speeds could soon slow to a crawl.

"The congestion for the networks is very real," warns Kurt Roemer of Citrix.

Roemer says that as more people use smartphones the way they use tablets, computers networks will suffer congestion just as physical roads do during rush hours.

He blames mobile video-watching.

"People are uploading videos and pictures quite a bit, because that's how they're documenting their lives and that's how they're sharing with other people what they're doing," said Roemer.

Others, like Arieso's Michael Flanagan, say smartphones are also gobbling up network space because of convenience.

"People will for the most part keep their tablet switched off until they get to a WiFi hotspot," Flanagan explains. "In contrast, my boss could be calling me at any time on my smart phone so I always tend to keep my smartphone on."

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