Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Cellphones Networking The Internet United States

U.S. Mobile Internet Traffic Nearly Doubled This Year 71

Posted by Soulskill
from the how's-that-2GB-plan-treating-you dept.
An anonymous reader sends this news from the NY Times Bits Blog: "Two big shifts happened in the American cellphone industry over the past year: Cellular networks got faster, and smartphone screens got bigger. In the United States, consumers used an average of 1.2 gigabytes a month over cellular networks this year, up from 690 megabytes a month in 2012, according to Chetan Sharma, a consultant for wireless carriers, who published a new report on industry trends on Monday. Worldwide, the average consumption was 240 megabytes a month this year, up from 140 megabytes last year, he said."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

U.S. Mobile Internet Traffic Nearly Doubled This Year

Comments Filter:
  • Ads? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Animats (122034) on Wednesday December 25, 2013 @08:12PM (#45784527) Homepage

    What fraction of the increase was ads?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      What fraction of the increase was ads?

      Even though ads might seem to be the obvious "consumer of bandwidth", ads are not the biggest consumer of bandwidth. Take some time to sit around an airport, bus, or train for a few hours and watch how people use their phones as "data devices". I don't mean watch them talk or text. I mean watch them. If they don't have their laptops tethered to their phones, they are probably watching video clips from "wherever". Why do they watch video clips on their phones, mostly phones with decent displays like iPhones

    • I don't know, but the latest tumblr app update now downloads inline gifs automatically raher than just a preview you have to click on.

      So that will add needlessly, you can't even disable that "feature" (which also would be nice because fast scrolling chokes it and the app resets itself all the time now. POS-class atm.)

  • by paiute (550198) on Wednesday December 25, 2013 @08:12PM (#45784535)
    Yes, this huge volume of traffic totally makes their overage charge of $1.99 per MEGABYTE if you go over your 2 GB monthly limit. Why do I fucking pay 15 dollars per gig for the first 2 and then 2 thousand dollars for the next one? Is it to lull me to sleep and then ram a huge charge up my ass? Because it feels like it.

    Did I mention fuck Verizon? I went into a store, but the guy said there were no more iPhone 4s available anywhere. I should get a 5 - all the 4s had been sent back to Apple. Went home, found a 4s on the Verizons website for 99 cents. Do the stores and the website belong to the same organization? Because it doesn't feel like it.

    The only bright spot about dealing with Verizon is the followup quality control call which lets you scream obscenities at the corporation for a few minutes.
    • by PingXao (153057)

      That is their new business plan. Verizon is dumping all their old POTS copper wire business in regions where they (previously) offer landline service. They have stopped rolling out FiOS fiber-to-the-home pretty much everywhere. Their stated reasoning, believe it or not, is they can make more money on wireless overage charges. It's not a matter of POTS landlines and FiOS not being profitable. It's a matter of them not being profitable enough.

      • POTS and FiOS are NOT profitable at all. I work for a phone company. What are you willing to pay for the fastest internet their is? $50/month? $100 even? It costs nearly a million dollars a mile to lay fiber. $3 million for a remote. They serve, on average, 1000 people. In city centers it'd be tens of thousands. Any investment to improve your service would take over a year to recoup even if you had 100% customer uptake, 0 churn and you excluded all maintenance costs. By the time it would be paid off their w

        • by rolfwind (528248)

          How come can small communities in Scandinavian countries and those here in the states (that regularly get attacked by an incumbent utility) come together and afford to lay it?

        • by gl4ss (559668)

          a million dollars? where the fuck? in new york in the case it needs a new hole in the ground?

          over a year to recoup? OMG HOW SHITTY INVESTMENT /s.

          aanyhow, these averages still sound pretty high for average mobile consumption, I wonder about their formula and they probably count all data traffic on the wireless networks for this to get it so high and count per person and not per device connected to the network..

          I mean, sure, in some countries you can just run torrents all month long on 4g for 9.99 a month, bu

        • Any investment to improve your service would take over a year to recoup...

          If you require your return to reach 100% in under a year, it's not really fair to call that an "investment".

    • by ewieling (90662)
      I pay something like $15/gig for overages on Verizon's 6/gig/month "Mobile Broadband" service. Looks like the days of 3G/4G on phones being cheaper than 3G/4G on USB dongles is over. I am a bit surprised overage prices for phone data are so high. Are you sure you are not on an old plan where overage charges were sky high?
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by Ol Olsoc (1175323)

      Yes, this huge volume of traffic totally makes their overage charge of $1.99 per MEGABYTE if you go over your 2 GB monthly limit. Why do I fucking pay 15 dollars per gig for the first 2 and then 2 thousand dollars for the next one? Is it to lull me to sleep and then ram a huge charge up my ass? Because it feels like it.

      We think of limits as some sort of communist plot, hatched by the president and the Democrats in dark vegetarian only rooms.

      Yet there is a problem here. I hate to say this to digital people, but there is a limit to bandwidth when run outside of wires or fiber.

      This is a big problem, because people want to look at their porn and watch movies on their smartphones. But that is a lot of data, if we dare call it that.

      But we will reach saturation pretty quickly at this point.

      And the same old solutions will

      • by Ol Olsoc (1175323)
        Troll?

        Let me put it in a manner that own't upset people.

        There is only so much available bandwidth, and there is no more. Lower frequencies are not applicable to Data transmission due to atmospherics and propagation. Higher frequencies are mostly in use. Shannon's limit for data transmission is in effect, and some methods have been attempted that could in theory prove it wrong, but the needed transmit power heads to infinity in pretty short order. Since we don't have transmitters that powerful, if we wa

    • by mjwx (966435)

      Yes, this huge volume of traffic totally makes their overage charge of $1.99 per MEGABYTE if you go over your 2 GB monthly limit. Why do I fucking pay 15 dollars per gig for the first 2 and then 2 thousand dollars for the next one? Is it to lull me to sleep and then ram a huge charge up my ass? Because it feels like it.

      Its because there is a maximum bandwidth the network can handle before it becomes overloaded. So having no limits is an ideal way to make sure that the towers are maxed out 100% of the time. So what they do is give you a portion cheaply but charge excessively for anything beyond that because they want to discourage people from using up all the towers bandwidth. The high per MB cost is a disincentive.

      I've seen this in third world nations where they simply dont care. You can basically forget about mobile inte

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Its because there is a maximum bandwidth the network can handle before it becomes overloaded. So having no limits is an ideal way to make sure that the towers are maxed out 100% of the time. So what they do is give you a portion cheaply but charge excessively for anything beyond that because they want to discourage people from using up all the towers bandwidth. The high per MB cost is a disincentive.

        But the carriers want to have it both ways. They want to sell you on all the Netflix and ESPN you can watch on their amazingly blazingly fast LTE network but don't want you to actually use the network to stream anything. And it means that the three people hitting my Verizon tower in Bumfuck, SC, get screwed over with data rates built for users in Manhattan.

    • We don't care. We don't have to. We're the phone company.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Mostly Facebook garbage probably.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Kinda off topic but i feel out of place because i am still using a dumb phone from 2004. It is an old flip style phone with GPRS internet and 900 MHz 1,900 MHz capability. It doesn't even have the 800 MHz or 1,800 MHz band. It does not come with a VGA camera either. I haven't seen the phone roam on another network in the United States of America.

    I hardly send text messages using the numberic keypad. Push 1 three times to type C. I turn predictive text off.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      if it's gprs from 2004 it probably runs j2me apps so it fills all the smarpthone tickboxes the same as a wp7/8 phone.. soo.. HA!

  • by ls671 (1122017) on Wednesday December 25, 2013 @08:37PM (#45784649) Homepage

    consumers used an average of 1.2 gigabytes a month over cellular networks this year,

    At current cellular network rates, it's a cash cow.

    I'll wait until rates get lower a bit before I start using it. Eventually, it should be just about as low as wired connection rates. Just wait a few years yet.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      The crazy rates are great for profit taking and the basic physics of too many users and the limits of any mobile network.
      The consumers are trained to pay more, the bandwidth use is controlled and sold in tiny fractions at great profit. The older hardware in place can still function under the load.
      The options are to free up more spectrum, build out more expensive hardware vs limit the number of users or their bandwidth.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Where is the concern for microwave radiation? Ignoring ICNIRP the insane, standards have been lowered by 200 to 1,000 times over the past few years yet I've measured levels of 24,000 micro watts/meter squared half a block from my house [biological effects occur in humans above 4 uw/m2]. Wireless routers put out regular-as-clockwork spikes of 22,000 uw/m2, when Salford et all (1997) [safeinschool.org] found that 25,000 uw/m2 "damages the blood-brain barrier". DECT (cordless) phones are almost as bad, and modern baby monitor
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Those people and what they are doing with their shitty smartphones doesn't deserve to bear the name of "Internet".

  • It is only the cellular companies pricing models that are keeping this segment from exploding. And yes AT&T, I'm pointing the finger at you! You are still so stuck in a pricing model that wants to profit for each minute people spend communicating with each other. Perhaps another break up is needed?

  • by antdude (79039) on Wednesday December 25, 2013 @10:18PM (#45785169) Homepage Journal

    I still don't own a mobile smartphone because of this. I want to have affordable one like landline uncapped fast ones.

    • Define "affordable". My landline costs ~$15.00 per month. I have no long distance carrier associated with that landline, meaning I do not / cannot make long distance calls. The only real use that I have for the landline, is the DSL that comes into the house on the same line. DSL is definitely over priced - $75 for less than 1 MB connection. If I lived in a city, a bottom tier offering would be cheaper and faster. I'd be happy to get rid of DSL, if wireless could supply my needs/wants. Unfortunately,

      • by antdude (79039)

        Ouch, that's expensive. Do you live in rural area. Affordable like $50 for fast, unlimited, etc.

        • Yes, I definitely live in Outback, Nowhere. Fast affordable internet is available as close as Texarkana, about 40 miles away as the crow flies. There is nothing fast out here, in the sticks.

          • by antdude (79039)

            Ya, that what sucks about rural areas. I would never be able to do that. Satellite Internet is too slow, capped, and expensive. :(

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Verizon and AT&T are an oligopoly - pure and simple.

    And undoubtedly, this is so government sanctioned tacitly. "Cooperate with us on these surveillance matters ... and we'll cooperate with you on these pesky little matters of regulation/price control etc.. " *wink wink*..

    On a side note, to many who might say, you don't have to do business with Verizon/AT&T ::: I say, you're either ignorant or underestimating the pathetic state of quality of Sprint/TMo etal in many areas of country.

    Case in point ---

    • by Ol Olsoc (1175323)

      Verizon and AT&T are an oligopoly - pure and simple.

      And undoubtedly, this is so government sanctioned tacitly. "Cooperate with us on these surveillance matters ... and we'll cooperate with you on these pesky little matters of regulation/price control etc.. " *wink wink*...

      Tell us about the laws of physics in your universe.

      Managing to turn a available bandwidth problem into corporate malfeasance and black helicoopters and tinfoil hats?

      Ah what the heck Well played sir, well played.

      • I think it has something to do with the 40%+ profit margins. As in, if the government were regulating the industry in the intrest of the people, while permiting the oligopoly to exist, it wouldn't be happening.

        I think the idea diverges from reality in the fact that they can just buy the regulation and legislation they desire. They have no need to colude with government to get the special treatment that they just buy at fair market price.

  • by Chas (5144) on Wednesday December 25, 2013 @11:55PM (#45785621) Homepage Journal

    Carriers are trying to get their customers off old, grandfathered "unlimited" plans by offering nominal "savings" based on what they use NOW. Never mind that the usage is increasing rapidly...

    Had my company's Sprint rep try that on us. We very politely told him to fuck the hell off.

  • I've had an unlimited data plan since the iPhone 3G and I've yet to break 1gb/month. I travel a lot and use google maps often, so I don't know.

    No streaming video; maybe that's it,

    • My wife's iPhone has a grandfathered unlimited plan and we've been averaging 3 GB a month with occasional throttling. This is mainly in 10 minute increments as kids get driven to after school activities. One could only extrapolate what it would be should we ever take a serious car trip. I've a non-unlimited 4GB/month tethering plan on my iPhone and that runs about $15/GB for overage, and the usage on that varies wildly some months are less than a GB some are nearly 5GB. When I'm providing Internet to 2 iPad
      • by reikae (80981)

        Driving the kids to some place around the corner while they watch movies on iPads. Sounds so stereotypically American that it's funny!

        Also it somehow makes me feel kinda old and I'm only 31...

  • I'm so glad I have an old, unlimited account from Verizon. LTE would be pointless with a cap. It'd be like having a Porsche I could only drive a hundred miles a month.

  • 64-bit (Score:3, Funny)

    by dwater (72834) on Thursday December 26, 2013 @02:33AM (#45786273)

    It's because people moved to using 64-bit instead of the old 32-bit. Right?

    • by Hillgiant (916436)

      No no no. That doesn't result in more bits. Each bit is twice as wide. Pretty clever when you think about it.

  • because it's is a direct function of the rates and plans offered by the carriers. If they back off the caps some more, we'll see another article like this in another year and be all, "Cellular data usage increased again ZOMFG!!!" Big whoop.

Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth. -- Nero Wolfe

Working...