For Most Mobile Users, 2 Gbytes is Tanamount to 'Unlimited' Usage

By Gary Kim August 01, 2011

New data suggests one fact mostly ignored by observers worried about the adequacy of capped mobile broadband access plans, namely that for most users, there is no functional difference between an "unlimited" plan and a "capped" plan, at the levels mobile service providers now are using.

Although the average amount of data consumed each month by smart-phone owners appears to be on the rise, many data users eat up far fewer megabytes than you might expect, according to statistics provided to Consumer Reports by Valida, which supplied data from 23,000 consumer smart phone bills.

Read more here.

Average smart-phone data use in the February 2010 to February  2011 bill sample ranged from 274 MBytes to 449 MBytes per month, depending on carrier.

The median smart phone data user (half of consumers consumed less data, half consumed more) consumed 48 MBytes at T-Mobile to 158 MBytes at Verizon Wireless.

The data is consistent with prior data. In fact, even on fixed networks, typical usage is not all that heavy, historically.

See also here.

For most users, whether they have an unlimited plan or one that has a 2 GByte limit is moot, since their typical monthly data use is well below that data limit. And some would argue there actually is not a "bandwidth hog" issue, either

Gary Kim is a TechZone360 contributor who leaves unused some 90 percent, or 1.8GB, of the data he paid for.


Gary Kim is a contributing editor for TechZone360. To read more of Gary’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

Contributing Editor

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