Data Usage Chart

A joint study by Fierce Wireless and NPD Connected Intelligence has been tracking data usage of Android (and now iOS) users across the big four carriers in the states. Shown above is the chart of the average data usage of the tracked users over the last 6 months. T-Mobile (after a short drop) and AT&T have both been trending upwards, while Verizon and Sprint (strikingly so) have been trending consistently downwards. Average usage in September was 1.09, 0.89, 0.57 and 0.68GB on T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, respectively.

T-Mobile offering unlimited data is enough to explain the increase in usage, and AT&T has started to move to generally data-friendly shared plans as well. It's interesting to see Verizon data usage going down considering its expansive rollout of LTE, but let's also remember nearly all recent Verizon phones have software built-in to force help users choose Wifi more often. Sprint as of late is well-known for extremely slow 3G data speeds -- and the LTE network isn't really there yet -- so it's not surprising to see data usage trending downwards on the Now Network.

Source: FierceWireless


Reader comments

Data usage on the big four: T-Mobile and AT&T up, Verizon and Sprint down


ECON 101. Charge more for something, people will consume less of it.

You don't bring it to market, people cannot buy it.

Well people are forced to use wifi so they will use less data on verizon. Higher prices make people use it less.

GSM call quality is far superior than CDMA, at least where I'm at. AT&T wins hands down. We get the best phones, and can pretty much use any GSM phone on our network. Verizon and Sprint people can't.

I always laugh when I see someone trying to justify Verizon or Sprint. Call quality,... please.

At my house, every AT&T call drops, and 3G signal won't hold on any phone I've used, or a friend has brought over. It also doesn't get signal in more than a couple of the places I go frequently.

T-mobile signal is so crappy where I work, you have to walk INTO the street to make a call.

Verizon gives me none of those problems. That's why I use them.

It's nice that GSM works well for you, but you are not everyone.

Apparently your not everyone either. Out here in the Big Apple Verizon is garbage can't hold a signal, poor reception, and horrid battery life on 70% of all it's LTE DEVICES. On Tmobile it's GSM HSPA PLUS 42MPS NETWORK has great reception perfect signal strength and excellent battery life on every handset it sells. Cdma is overrated and overpriced period. Tmobile bitch slaps Verizon all day long in the Big Apple and At&t is no contest either with it's crappy data plans and slow 3g network.

I don't know where in the big apple you are, but where I live Verizon kicks ass. Even when I visit my parents in NNJ, ATT/T-Mobile has awful coverage.

Well, To be fair my reasoning that Verizon would have the absolute best call quality where I live is completely justified seeing as there is a Verizon tower roughly... 30-40 feet behind my house. But I do agree the freedom of GSM is better then proprietary CDMA/LTE tech.

Just wait till the Nexus 4 comes out next week. TMO and ATT are going to shoot through the roof.. LMAO.. Cya VZW and your LTE! In Dec/Jan, this poll will be awesome!

big thanks to everybody for staying off my network and keeping my 4g speeds fast!(vz grandfather unlimited here)

I'm also VZ grandfathered unlimited...and my LTE speeds have really suffered lately. Way too inconsistent. I just did a speedtest...2Mb/s down. I average maybe 6-8 now. Nothing like the 30Mb/s down I was getting less than a year ago.

I got my Sprint Galaxy S3 11 days ago and have since burned through 2GB of glorious LTE here in Atlanta.

This jibes with my own experience. I went from a Sprint phone (Evo 3G) to an AT&T phone (Note) because I could actually get 4G speeds on the AT&T network. Now, I've gone to the Note II on T-Mobile with a pre-paid plan because I can get unlimited text and data for $30 (Caveat: New activations only, data is unlimited, but only the first 5GB is at 4G speed (not a problem since I only use about 2GB/mo)).

Only the first 5GB's is HSPA+ speeds on Tmo, huh? Then what, you get dropped down to EDGE speeds for the remainder of your billing cycle?

No thanks, I'll keep my unlimited Vzn LTE, LTE speeds all 30 days of my billing cycle!

And for only 3 times the price! 100 minutes, unlimited texts, and unlimited data (5GB @ HSPA+) is only $30 with no tax.

May is when the Sprint 3G speeds went to unusable speeds, so of course data usage is down.

But it's not for people not trying to use data; it's the fact that the network wouldn't let us.

Sheesh, so glad I am still on AT&T's unlimited plan(grandfathered). I've used 3.4 GB in 15 days. If they decide to do what Big Dread did and make people buy phones outright to keep unlimited, I will too. $30/month is worth every cent.

New activations may use less data than existing users, after the "honeymoon" period at least. Especially considering that new users are getting capped data plans.

On Verizon, with people being able to add more devices cheaper, you may see "per device" usage drop, while "per customer" usage increase or stay the same.

So the graph is pretty useless...

unless i'm reading the graph looks like t-mo is the only one to have an didnt have as sharp of a decline as the other two, but a decline is still a decline