MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Verizon has announced it is the latest mobile carrier to offer unlimited data. Now, the big four cellphone companies won’t charge users if they use too much data. Instead, they’ll just slow them down.
So, how much data do we use? Good Question.
According to Nielsen, people averaged 450MB of cellular data per month in the beginning of 2011. By the end of 2016, the usage increased 20 to 30 times, depending on age. People 18-24 years old now drive much of the data usage with more than 17GB/month. Just over 3GB/month is part of their cellular data plan. People 35-44 use 12GB/month, with just under 3GB/month as part of their cellular data plan.
“We’re using a lot of data,” says Gene Munster, managing partner at Loup Ventures. “The biggest reason is the use of video and the biggest use of video on the mobile phone is Facebook.”
Other big uses of data on mobile phones are YouTube, Snapchat and streaming music.
At home, people average about 75G of data/month. Munster says 60 percent of that usage can be traced back to Netflix.
Fast forward five years and the amount of data people will use is expected to jump between 20 and 30 times. Munster attributes that to the increased usage of virtual reality, augmented reality and the 4K video. Right now, streaming one hour of 4K video uses 8GB. Streaming an hour of HD video can use between 1GB and 1.5GB.
“That’s why companies like Verizon need to go to these unlimited plans because consumers won’t stand for it because data usage is going to go up astronomically,” he says.