Both AT&T and Verizon have recently been expressing woes that their smartphone users consume too much data. As such, AT&T has already imposed tiered-data plans to its 3G customers. And many ultimately believe that by the time LTE rolls out (mid-November is our best guess), Verizon will do just the same. So how much data are Verizon and AT&T customers really consuming? Is it such an outlandish figure that would eventually bring these networks to their knees? And finally, how does Verizon smartphone customers compare to iPhone users in data consumption?
Validas, an independent research firm, tackled these questions in their latest survey of the four major carriers. Between 2009 and 2010, the amount of data users went up from 42% to 53%. Also, the average data usage went up from 96.8 MB to 145.8 MB. Verizon Wireless customers showed the largest percentage increase in data usage, from 48.2MB to 147.2 MB per user. And the amount of data users increased from 33.4% to 42.9%. On the other hand, AT&T led the four major carriers with 71% of users consuming data, up from 58.4% last year; the average AT&T user consumed 149.6 MB per month.
So that's for all phones in general. What about smartphones, specifically? Validas discovered that Verizon smartphone users on average "are consuming more wireless data than AT&T iPhones by a ratio of roughly 1.25:1." Real world values have the average Verizon smartphone user consuming 421 MB, as opposed to iPhone users averaging 338 MB, per month. Also, "nearly twice as many Verizon Wireless smartphone users are consuming 500MB to 1GB per month compared to AT&T iPhone users." Verizon, are you really crying over the fact that the average user consumes 421 MB per month? Give me a break.
So, in conclusion, Verizon Wireless smartphone users consume 25% more data on average than their iPhone counterparts. What does this signify? AT&T users rely more on WiFi because of reception issues? Verizon users tend to stream media more often? We can't say for sure. What we can say, that Verizon Wireless will surely use figures such as these to validate a move to tiered data pricing.
Image courtesy of Mobile Tech World