On average, Android users go through 870MB of data per month


For those still a bit miffed about the gradual phasing out of unlimited data plans by carriers such as AT&T and Verizon, check out a new study by NPD Connected Intelligence. According to their research, the average Android users goes through 870MB of data per month, less than a gigabyte and within the realm of what most service providers offer as their base data tier. The explanation is simple: the same study found that each user, on average, blows through 2.5GB of data via WiFi.

The stats breakdown shows that younger users between the ages of 18-24 are responsible for the majority of cellular data usage, though even then the average only comes to 1.05GB per month. All other users typically consumer 0.8GB per month.

Data was collected by SmartMete, an app that monitors data usage and reports the results back to NPD in exchange for incentives. The study was small, however, surveying a mere 1,000 Android users. Still, the results suggest that only the most hardcore truly feel the pain of data caps and tiered pricing plans. The average user should feel fine saving a few bucks and signing up for a lower data tier.

[via DroidDog]

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  1. Anyone who uses their mobile connection as their sole mobile and home connection are to blame for the limited packages we see now. The people who use a few gigs a month aren’t the issue it’s the people who think they should be able to use a hundred gigs for the same price that are to blame.. in other words most the people who complain are to blame. While the rest of us that end up on vacation using extra data and all of a sudden now can’t because some douche took advantage in the past.

    1. I’m sure they’re part of the reason, but I think the carriers are genuinely greedy too and that they would have implemented these craptastic shared data plans at some point anyways.

    2. I think its also a lot of Greediness, if those people were the only reason to blame than the limit would be much higher than 2GB, maybe 5 or 10GB.

  2. I have 18gb of data right now, no idea how much in wifi, and I still have 12 days more in my cycle. With netflix you could easily hit 5gb in 2 days. I switched plans on the day t-mo released their unlimited 4G data and I will never go back.

  3. Hmm… I use an average of 2.5GB. But that’s because Sprint’s network sux and I don’t really use it. And I have WiFi at school and home. =.P

    On Tmo, I was averaging 3-5GB per month. So yes some months I was getting throttled. Once Tmo wasn’t throttling me, even though they said they did and I hit 30GB from Netflix that month. =.D

    Good times.

  4. On average that last 3 billing cycles I’ve used 33.09 GBs on the Sprint 3G/4G (mostly WiMax). In August alone, because of the Olympics I used 48.72 GB. right now I’ve been using about 25 GB/month. In same time I’ve used an average of about 4 GB on Wifi. I can use the Wifi at work if I want but I have great network network speeds to watch ESPN and any soccer game I want, so I use all I want, plus I don’t want my employer to tell that I’m slowing the office network down. I love unlimited and I wouldn’t switch because I like to use what I pay for. And I love Sprint specially when I have good WiMax coverage. I can’t wait to try their LTE!

  5. quaint. I’m usually somewhere around 15GB, but that’s because I cant get broadband where I’m at, and Sprint is actually unlimited (I pulled 29GB one month, no complaints from them). On the other hand, living in the middle on nowhere still sucks.

  6. I dunno. I have unlimited data and rarely go over a gig.

    1. *cough*20-30gb*cough*

    2. you give me your plan noWW! :)

      1. I have unlimited everything for $40 a month right now a few more months and its going to drop to $35 a month. On top of that I am stuck on edge most of the time so I use wifi mainly becuase of it and only time I use data is when apps update or if I stream music via slacker/google music.

  7. limits and crap service. thats why people dont use much.

  8. Since I’m usually on WiFi either at mine or a friend’s house, I barely hit…… 500MB on my 5GB plan. Yeah, that’s pretty embarrassing >.<

  9. This is an average reading, for all those who use mnay gigs per month, there is probably someone on the other end of the spectrum that uses less than 20 MB, my sister has a 4GB data plan and has never used more than 200MB, this is how we arrive at an average of .8Gigs

  10. I’m at 29.20GB on T-Mobile Unlimited 4g with one day left in the month. If people weren’t so worried about getting throttled or charged overages then they would use much much more.

  11. I was averaging between 5 and 8 gigs a month before I had wifi at home. Data caps are the carriers excuse for a reason to rob you and make more record profits l. In all reality instead of what they should be doing is building a better network to accommodate and keep up with technology

  12. I don’t use that much data when i’m out, but i use WiFi 24/7, and i can easily use 15-20GB in a month.

  13. To rephrase what Jerry Hildebrand over at Android Central stated a day ago: “Programs that track you and display ads, after telling you they will track you and display ads, are not [spyware].” Note: he used malware in place of spyware, but the quote still stands.

    1. anything that tracks what you’re doing and reports it to someone else is spyware. Whether or not you agreed to let it do that in the first place is irrelevant. Spyware and malware are not the same thing.

      A group of 1000 people who were willing to install a spyware app is an inherently biased sample with no statistical validity when projected to the general population. A random sample of people on unlimited 4G data plans might tell a very different story about customers’ true data use preferences.

      1. From the wikipedia article on spyware: “Spyware is a type of malware (malicious software) installed on computers that collects information about users without their knowledge. The presence of spyware is typically hidden from the user and can be difficult to detect.”
        Let me reiterate certain key points, “without their knowledge” and “typically hidden from the user”. How you get “spyware” from an app that a user has to install through the Play Store and is (I assume) quite visible in the app tray is beyond me. Or do you label all software that gathers statistics on its users “spyware”? Under that logic you might as well say Android is spyware since Google and your carrier know what device you’re using and to some extent, what you’re doing with it. Do you want a tin hat? -_-

        1. Perhaps two tin cans with string, to go with that hat.

        2. #1 are you joking? Wikipedia isn’t remotely close to being an intellectually valid reference for the definition of spyware, or anything else for that matter. For one thing, the authors of wikipedia articles have been openly advertising their services for hire.

          #2 spin and deflect however you want, a small collection of people who agreed to install a tracking app is not a representative sample of the general population, and only those with a business interest in selling limited data plans with a low cap would perceive or present it as such.

          1. 1. Are YOU joking? Try googling “what is spyware”, go to any legitimate/credible website that comes up, and show me just 1 definition that is not remotely like the one from Wikipedia. Just about every single result on the first page makes mention of “without user’s consent”, “without user’s knowledge”, or “self installs on a computer”. Even Merriam-Webster has one of these key phrases. Is that “intellectually valid” enough for you?
            2. In my first comment, I said absolutely nothing about a “representative sample”. I was merely addressing your uninformed labeling of this app being “spyware”. How can I “spin and deflect” on a topic I never addressed?
            But to finally address the topic, yes, a sample of a 1000 people isn’t very informative when trying to compare it to the whole US. But, as others have said, this is merely an average. Some people use a lot more, some people use a lot less. That’s why it’s called an “average”. Should we look up the definition of that word too?

  14. If its true that average consumers dont use so much than why cap in the first place, they should just let it be. Imagine if internet providers used data caps

    1. Here in the US they do and Comcast has a 250GB cap and others have as low as 10gb a month if you go with ADSL.

  15. I’ve spend between 2 and 10 Gb of data per month… have unlimited data service here.

  16. Seriously? How do they figure?

  17. Yea and a lot also don’t stream a damn thing. That’s why its called average.

  18. I must not be average, I feel so special now 30GB a month.

  19. I use Sprint and I never switch for WiFi.
    I know people with limited plan and always are switching. I think the kind of plan you have make you more confident with you data plan.

  20. I’ve never understood how so little data could be used. I literally only stream songza and Pandora on my phone while I’m driving and browse the web when I’m bored and I use close to 3 gigs a month. My fiancé uses 1 to 1.5 doing even less than that. I just can’t fathom how someone possibly uses less data.

  21. I use 6 to 8 gigabytes a month with my grandfathered unlimited data. Their new data plans suck.

  22. i go thru at least 50GB of data a month.

  23. The limits I see are the 300mb plan which is no data and the next up is 2GB which is double what the author said is being used. Where is anyone limited to 1GB?

  24. How hard is setting up Wifi?????

  25. This isn’t the point. We should still be pissed. Problem is data consumption will only increase. They set the limits now and wait for us to hit them like a brick walls later. Tiers should be based on speed’ not consumption if at all.

  26. I would love to see more statistically relevant information on this. What’s the median, standard deviation, etc…? Without those parameters, saying the average is X is pretty much meaningless if not misleading.
    Someone who does science for a living.

  27. if verizon and AT&T brought back unthrottled 4G data these averages would skyrocket.

  28. i got unlimited on VZN, but hardly reach 1gb per month and im switching to att next month with 3gb per month. still plenty for me haha.

  29. And why would you download that over the cell network?

    1. Gotta take advantage of my VzW unlimited data :)

      1. take advantage of ≠ abuse

        1. Hey, i’m not the one that came up with the idea for unlimited data. It was VzW idea, im just the consumer. I signed up for unlimited, and i sure as hell will be using as much of it as possible.

        2. No such thing as abuse in technology. Or else my wifi router would revolt!

  30. Well if we had more than 2 gigs a month we would use a lot more. We have to be careful not to go over and that usually makes us use way less than our allotment

  31. Then why not bring back the unlimited data for AT&T if these statistics show we are barely using their network. Although I really doubt this is an accurate measure of what people really use on a monthly basis.

  32. If this average were true than why on earth would carriers limit data usage??? It’s because the average user would download more than the limit if they could.

  33. Everyone I know, including me, uses around 8GB a month.

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