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Cellphones Communications Handhelds The Internet Wireless Networking

Average Cellphone Data Usage Is 145.8 MB Per Month 107

destinyland writes "For the first time, the majority of cell phones are accessing data services — 53 percent, compared to only 42 percent last year, according to a new study by Validas. And each user downloads an average of 145.8 MB per month (the average was just 96.8 MB per month in 2009). The heaviest users are Verizon smartphone owners, averaging 428 MB per month (338 MB on average for iPhone users). In fact, Verizon users were twice as likely as iPhone users to exceed both 500 MB and 2 GB each month."
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Average Cellphone Data Usage Is 145.8 MB Per Month

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  • by samkass ( 174571 ) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @11:37AM (#33095570) Homepage Journal

    This survey only covers billed 2G/3G data. As an iPhone owner, I know the data I user per month on AT&T networks has declined recently as AT&T wi-fi hotspots seem to be proliferating everywhere. From Panera to McDonalds, it seems like most lunch spots have free wi-fi, and my home and work certainly does. I don't know how good Verizon's phones are at dealing with wi-fi, or whether they include 802.11b/g/n like the iPhone. In addition, as apps are often more efficient than sites at communicating over the network, some of the reduction is almost certainly due to "there's an app for that" reduction.

    In short, I really don't think the MB/month over 2G/3G is necessarily indicative of how much internet is used on a phone anymore.

  • so little? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by simp ( 25997 ) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @11:39AM (#33095584)

    That's on average less then 5MB per day. If I read a few 400 comment threads on slashdot or fark I already have to download that much html. What are these people doing with their phones?

  • by ClaraBow ( 212734 ) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @11:43AM (#33095604)
    Good point! As an iphone user, I often use wifi and AT&T does have a great wifi network. The iphone connects automatically to AT&t wifi networks so it's transparent to to user! AT&T wifi is free for iphone users! I think that need to be counted in the data usage, as it is part of the data plan.
  • Statistics fail. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kurokame ( 1764228 ) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @11:50AM (#33095650)

    This is not useful data. The average data usage per month for all cell phone users includes (from the article) the 47% of all cell phone users who are not data users at all. This is like trying to find the average upload & download per month for broadband users by finding out the total bandwidth used by broadband subscribers then dividing it by the entire population of Earth.

    Now that we've established your level of mathematical competency, could I interest you in a few lottery tickets?

  • Re:so little? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by somaTh ( 1154199 ) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @11:56AM (#33095678) Journal
  • Re:It just goes on (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @12:06PM (#33095754)
    It's the natural result of allowing for an informal cartel to form. Sort of like how around here you can't get DSL that's actually reasonable in terms of latency, bandwidth and price. Since Qwest owns the last mile the investment in that part of the infrastructure seems to be pretty much non-existent requiring them to add 32m for that first hop for error correction. Comcast was even worse last I checked. And while people seem to really like Sonic where it's available, we can't choose them here because they don't have the ability to sell it here.

    Likewise, none of the cell phone providers here are particularly great. AT&T being pretty unreliable and seeming to express no interest in upgrading capacity.
  • by Ryokurin ( 74729 ) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @12:10PM (#33095788) Homepage

    I didn't see it listed in the article, but around 43% of Verizon users use data, compared to the 71.2% of at&t users that the article did mention. Even with the wifi network at&t may have the bigger burden due to more users.

  • Re:so little? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MoonBuggy ( 611105 ) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @12:11PM (#33095792) Journal

    On the other hand, though, I'm continually surprised at just how heavy the average web page seems to be. My phone has a little bandwidth ticker in the corner, and often the front pages for company sites, or the pages for single newspaper articles come in at over 1MB. Switching off images seems to be a thing of the past, so I'd think most users are getting hit with that full page weight.

  • by tronbradia ( 961235 ) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @12:24PM (#33095854)
    I'm on TMo and my plan is unlimited. I never switch on my Wifi card, ever. I don't observe any speed difference when I do, and I have no financial incentive. I bet Verizon is the same way. I should mention I live in NYC where 'free wifi' is pretty much unheard of anywhere where you would actually want to use it.

    It sounds to me like what you're actually saying is that AT&T's plans and network are so crappy you don't even use them.
  • by Draek ( 916851 ) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @01:07PM (#33096128)

    ...a lot about the usability of the iPhone OS - obviously it offers something fundamentally different in online experience and usability than the other smartphone environments.

    Fundamentally different and inferior compared to other Verizon smartphones, you mean?

  • Re:Not suprising (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, 2010 @03:55PM (#33097148)

    So they do a test that shows AT&T sucks bigtime, then huge AT&T adds show up all over their magazines and 2 months later suddenly AT&T kicks everyone ass everywhere? Really? Are you sure?

  • by Pollardito ( 781263 ) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @06:06PM (#33097856)

    In addition, as apps are often more efficient than sites at communicating over the network, some of the reduction is almost certainly due to "there's an app for that" reduction.

    Actually lots of apps will request data refreshes without user intervention, so they probably ultimately use more data than the browser. Android apps are able to do more operations in the background than iPhone apps are, which might explain the fact that Verizon users average more data usage.

  • by spauldo ( 118058 ) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @08:33PM (#33098626)

    After buying my iPhone, I found a number of "features" on it that pissed me right off. Granted, I should have researched more, but I was on a limited time frame.

    In any case, I decided I'm not going to pay a dime to the app store. I'm not sending any more money to Apple.

    Because of this, I don't have that many apps on it. I browse the 'net a bit, and use Google Maps quite a bit, but other than that I don't really do much. I could pretty much replace the thing with a $30 phone, a GPS navigation system, and a book to read while I'm waiting on my food at truck stops.

    My next phone will be an Android (probably second-hand and unlocked, since I doubt AT&T will start selling them any time soon) and I expect my usage will go up quite a bit.

    (For those curious, a small sample of my problems with the phone includes the crippled bluetooth, the requirement for itunes to do anything to the phone, the lack of jailbreak ability (this has since been solved, but wasn't when I got the phone), the lack of flash support, and the insane way you have to go about converting mp3s to ringtones, among other nitpicks. All these are related to how Apple wants to control my use of the phone. The killer was when, shortly after I got the phone and had everything set up on it, my one machine with windows on it crashed, and after I reinstalled it insisted I erase my phone in order to resync it. I'm not a violent man, but I came really close to crushing my phone with my truck when that happened.)

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.