Data Usage

Here's a piece of information that probably isn't surprising to most of us. According to data collected by Strategy Analytics, 60-percent of smartphone owners in the U.S. would prefer if they could customize their plans. It's no secret that carriers structure plans in a way so that you're overpaying for data, calls and texts you're not actually using. Considering that truly unlimited data is only a reality (grandfathered plans aside) on two of the four big carriers in the U.S. -- T-Mobile and Sprint -- it's not surprising that users with tiered plans would prefer more options to get the most out of the money they're paying for service.

Interestingly, slightly fewer users -- 56-percent -- in the U.K. would prefer more customizability of plans. Users in china were much higher at 76-percent wanting customization. If you could design your own plan, what would it look like?

Source: Strategy Analytics


Reader comments

60-percent of U.S. smartphone owners want to customize their plans


Unlimited data where I can stream music from Google Music without the lag, around maybe 200-500 minutes with nights and weekends or rollover, unlimited text, and included tethering.

I'd like the old VM plan on any network....300 mins, unl text, unl data(2.5gb throttle)for $25 a month.

I want to stop paying for minutes I never use because I rarely call people. That's why I'm planning on switching to the $30 100 minute, unlimited text, 5GB data plan on T-Mobile as soon as I can order my Nexus 4. Great value at a great price. Goodbye $100 monthly AT&T bills!

Since Voice is really data now, it doesn't matter how many minutes you have, it is and should be part of your data plan. If they were truly separate, I should be able to surf and talk on any carrier. Our phones are really VoIP devices and will soon be VoLTE. I believe in the model. I am currently on a Sprint Contract, but have phones for my twins on Ting. Pay for what you use, don't get charged exorbitant rates for overages, just move me to the next higher Tier for the billing cycle.

I'd want to keep my unlimited data or they could cap it at 2Gb since I never use that that much mobile data anyway. Lower my minutes to say 200 since I rarely talk on the phone and keep my unlimited text. I think $50 a month would be more than fair.

Give me 500 mins, Unlimited messaging, and 5GB data with free tethering. Do it for $60 a month. Make it happen

That plan exists from T-Mobile ;)

You can do that on T-mo prepaid for $70 per month $30 for the 100 minutes plus unlimited messaging and 5GB of data plus 400 extra minutes at $0.10 per minute.

Voice and text are a joke. To be a fair price, you should pay per data usage. It's obvious that the unlimited data packages were around long before smart phones were so user friendly.

There are still unlimited data plans floating around for $10 with VZW. I see them all the time.

They are obviously discontinued, but that's because they were fit for the industry at the time when there wasn't much chance the user was going to download 20-30Gb per month. VZW doesn't offer them anymore because the industry is becoming SO much more data intensive.

When you think about it, almost every phone released now has 8MP 1080p camera that can immediately upload to...wherever. That's a lot of information to be using when you think about it, and it's crazy to think unlimited data can go on forever given this market direction.

Not saying anything against unlimited, I still have one, and I'd love to keep it forever.

A fair plan (for the carrier and the client) would be pay per Gb, nothing else.

Unlimited data (no throttling), unlimited text, unlimited voice to any north American number, $70 per line. No charge for tethering.

Be great if you have a baseline for calling/texting and start at a baseline for data. As soon as you hop over the limit of that cap you pay for the next tier. No overage but you just pay for the next 2G or 1GB jump. The next month you start over. Seems simple to me, but at least VZW has is so you are penalized if you have your data allowance too low.

I would have Verizon's unlimited LTE. Don't need a voice or text plan because I use google talk and google voice. I'd pay $100 even for it.

BYOD and a fair price for unlimited data accessible by multiple devices operating on a single account/single #/one person (not family share).

KISS method. $50/month for USING A SMARTPHONE TO DO THINGS A SMARTPHONE IS DESIGNED TO DO!!!! I don't want to guess how many minutes I need, how many texts I'm going to send or how much data I will need. Don't throttle me or send me nastygrams about data usage. Don't charge extra to allow me the "privlege" of using MY phone as a hotspot.
Oh, one more thing; stop selling your navigation app to people that don't know better.
And another thing; don't disable features on MY phone that don't fit your buisness model. i.e. wallet.

Not really surprising. The plan I chose has 100 minutes talk and unlimited text and data. Honestly, I do occasionally use the phone to make an actual call :), but I mostly use it for text and data. I'm with cardfan. Can I get a data only plan (and use Skype and Bobsled for when I need to talk and text)?

I remember when I first got a cell phone AT&T had rollover minutes. In an age of data, at the very least they should start doing rollover data (unlimited would be best, but lets be realistic). If I only use 1.5GB one month, I should be able to use 2.5GB next month.

I agree, I have unlimited now with Verizon and when I was on 3G it was faster to connect to Wifi so I only used maybe 1GB a month. Now that I have a 4G phone I tend to use more data but would still be willing to switch to a Family share if I could roll over the data. This would allow me to be connect to Wifi for the advantage of using my data during a time where Wifi is not available (such as on vacation).

The other issue is that switching to a Family share with 1GB would be more expensive then my current plan WHICH MAKES NO SENSE!!!! I have two phones sharing 700 minutes and each paying for 250 text messages and both have unlimited data. The price for giving up Unlimited should not cost more then I currently spend.

I gave up unlimited data on Verizon, because on top of not being able to afford the $100 a month on a smartphone, i would be forced to buy crappy verizon phones, that are the slowest carrier phones to get updates at full retail.

I can live within 2-5GB, I currently use straight talk which gives about 2GB but their limits are kind of a moving target based on market.
I myself would like to keep the unlimited talk and text.
I'm pretty happy with the plan, but I'd like the option to buy additional GB's of data when I go over their limit.

Probably switching to solevei, for $4 extra you get conditional call forwarding, roaming and an understandable bandwidth limit 4G speeds up to 4GB and throttled afterward.
That's just about the sweet spot for my usage.

Unlimited data, no data slow downs, free tethering, no blocking video chat features(I'm looking at you AT&T, thank goodness Tango works), unlimited text and talk all on a reliable network for under $60 a month. And NO bloatware on phones either! It will never happen from the Big 4 though. Would be nice though.

for the tethering, get a gsm nexus, it comes standard.
As long as your no using massive amounts of data and staying within your cap, you'll be fine.
I use it all of the time for light tethering, working when on business trips or as a backup internet connection. I just avoid watching a lot of video and only do work video conferences when I really have to, and it's all good.
Even on prepaid cariers I've never had an issue.