Nielsen Report Tells Us We Don’t Really Need Unlimited Data…Yet

The latest Neilsen report concerning mobile data is out and it sheds light on how much data smart phone users are consuming.  They find that usage has increased 89% across the board for smart phones.  Among the heaviest users of data, your typical Android consumer gobbles up roughly 582 MBs per month.  Yeah, you read that right. Barely one half of one gigabyte.  And all this time you were worried about unlimited data plans.

The findings do show, however, that the top 1% of data hogs have increased their usage by 155 percent.  Whereas last year in Q1 they would blow through 1.8GB in a month, today they are hitting an average of 4.6GB in a month.

Now, we know that our readers are not “typical” users and that many of you would argue the need for more than, say, 5GB a month. On the other hand, this report confirms what a lot of carriers have been saying for a long time.  You are a heavy user.  Your aunt is “average”.

Looking at the charts, we see a trend that could put the average Android user well over 1GB come this time next year.  And as for you heavy 1%-ers, well, you’re probably going to melt cell towers.

About author

Scott Webster
Scott Webster 6582 posts

Scott has been running AndroidGuys since 2007 and loves nothing more than reading up on the latest smartphone rumors. His other mobile efforts can be found on Android Update (CNET) where he covers Google's mobile platform.

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  1. Anonymous
    June 17, 18:48 Reply

    I guess I’m in that 1%. My only internet connection is tethering my phone, so I can do 2GB in a day easy. 

    • Rumplestiltskin
      June 18, 09:21 Reply

      Get some grown man Internet. You’re driving prices up for everybody else.

      • Anonymous
        June 18, 09:29 Reply

        Sure thing. You come lay the hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of
        fiber/copper and I’ll pay you 40 dollars a month for your grown man
        internet. Sound fair?

  2. Mister Anonymous
    June 17, 19:49 Reply

    Yeh, but TMo UK’s unlimited went from unlimited (no fair use) to unlimited with 3GB and then 500Mb…

  3. Seth Aaron
    June 17, 20:29 Reply

    My wife isn’t a power user, but since she got her Thunderbolt with LTE she’s at 1.3 GB 23 days into the month. That’s with the random reboots and no Netflix. I’m not sure what she’s doing that would be contributing to that much usage, but I can assure you she’s not tethering since she doesn’t even know it can do that.

  4. Anonymous
    June 19, 19:08 Reply

    I think the writer is ignoring the fact that many of us would be in that 1% IF we didn’t get throttled.  I know I would.  I don’t even come close to it for that reason.  I would love to be able to tether, watch Netflix and other streaming movies but I’m not given the opportunity.  Throttling will fck everything up including the small usage like browsing the internet or even syncing!!!!  They should not market all this stuff like Netflix and Google music if they are going to hammer you with higher prices or throttling.  My final point… Tmobile has tmobile TV and charges you $10 a month, but will also throttle you if you use it too much!  How much sense does that make?

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