Unlimited Data Plan Customers Use More Data Than Capped Allowance Customers
In news that is not surprising, customers with unlimited data plans are using more data than those with capped data plans. According to information and analysis specialists, NPD, users migrating from a capped data allowance plan to an unlimited data plan start to use a lot more data compared with using Wi-Fi networks. NPD state: “Users on unlimited plans don’t regularly seek Wi-Fi connectivity for data-hungry transactions such as video streaming, application updates, and downloads as they are not concerned about data overage fees.” This change in behaviour is reflected in the average data use increasing from 25.2 GB per month for 2016, to 31.4 GB per month for 2017.
As to what’s been driving up the amount of mobile data being consumed, the answer is obvious: streaming video. A massive 83% of data used by smartphone users in 2017 was video content. More and more people are regularly streaming video on their smartphones than ever before, free of the worry of being presented with a big bill from their carrier. Those customers on a capped data plan used more Wi-Fi, and as an overall, iPhone customers used more data than Android customers.
This news should not surprise anybody, but what is more interesting is not the 25% increase in monthly data use – it’s that customers were using an average of over 25 GB per month for 2016 and that despite the two larger carriers offering unlimited data early in 2017, the overall average data use is only up by 25%. Sure: some customers will have dramatically increased their data use, free from the shackles of Verizon and AT&T’s ridiculously high overage charges. But many customers may have simply renewed their plans and are using a similar amount of data as they were before.