Home - - Study Shows Unlimited Data Plan Users Consume More Cellular Data Over Wi-Fi

Study Shows Unlimited Data Plan Users Consume More Cellular Data Over Wi-Fi

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The numbers do not lie. The latest Connected Intelligence report from research firm NPD Group shows that unlimited data plan customer's cellular data consumption is 67% higher than that of users with limited data plans.

It actually makes a lot of sense. Limited plan users rely more on Wi-Fi access than cellular data as NPD's Smartphone and Tablet Usage report shows.

The survey used data collected over the last three months. During that period,  limited plan users used an average of 8% more Wi-Fi data than unlimited plan customers.

Looking at it from the viewpoint of operating systems, the study showed that iOS users tend to consume more cellular data while Android smartphone users rely more on Wi-Fi connections.

As more and more smartphone users access videos, music, social media and other apps on their devices, it's easy to understand why there has been a rise on Wi-Fi and cellular data usage. During the study period, the average U.S. smartphone user used 31.4 GB of data per month using both Wi-Fi and cellular data. Comparedwith last year's 25.2 GB, that's an increase of 25 percent.

According to an industry analyst from NPD Connected Intelligence, the de facto offering in the market has become the unlimited data plan. Putting into consideration the consumption of unlimited and limited plan users, this can be an alarming note for mobile carriers. Whenever a user shifts to an unlimited plan from limited data plan, they to use more cellular data.. This is because they no longer have to look for Wi-Fi connectivity when they need to access data since they no longer have to worry about expensive data overage fees.

The study also reveals that video streaming is the largest driver of cellular and Wi-Fi data consumption. Video accounts for 83 percent of  data used by smartphone owners. Video usage is growing too. During Q3 2017, 67 percent of smartphone users reported  accessing video content through an app at least once per month, compared with 57 percent in Q2 2017.

Source: NPD

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  1. That makes sense. Who is NPD anyway?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Indeed "the numbers do not lie," but only if you are looking at them, raw. After reading this, I do not understand the main point of what the data are showing.

    I can't figure out the beginning of third paragraph. Among other issues, it incorrectly compares a multiplicative factor (8) to a percent difference (18).

    It would not be news that unlimited plan people use more cellular GBs than limited plan users. Yet that's exactly what the 1st paragraph seems to be trying to say.

    Is the main point supposed to be that most unlimited plan users consume more GBs over cellular than Wi-Fi? That'd be something worth reporting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "the study showed that iOS users tend to consume more cellular data while Android smartphone users rely more on Wi-Fi connections."

      Main point of the data is that MOST unlimited data plan users (as well as Appleheads in general) are less likely to pay attention to their surroundings (most of us are around Wi-Fi 70%+ of the time) & are less conscientious of considering other peoples data needs on bandwidth.

      DATA HOGS!!

      Delete
    2. "data hogs" Accurate but our forum regular will arrive shortly and tell you they want proof and that if the data was paid for then the user is not a hog.

      Delete
    3. Nothing wrong with data Hogs. They pay full price for all they use, and what they do does it impact anyone but themselves. Perhaps those who are whining and complaining should keep their nose out of others businesses and police their own data usage.

      I'm waiting for the Forum regular to show up who calls those who use the data that they paid for and nothing more than that thieves and sheets.

      Delete
    4. "...ess likely to pay attention to their surroundings (most of us are around Wi-Fi 70%+ of the time) & are less conscientious of considering other peoples data needs on bandwidth."

      Your last part of your statement makes a false assumption. When someone pays for unlimited plan and uses it, it has no impact on other people.

      Conscientious or not or whatever, their usage only affects their own data allotment and their own budget.

      Delete
    5. Prices could be lower for everyone if people were more responsible in the amounts they were using. High data users cost companies money. Companies need to evaluate their plans & just get rid of unlimited plans to stop the red ink.

      Delete
    6. Mobile data is not unlimited. Neither is the amount of available mobile spectrum. However, network management is the carrier's responsibility not the users'. It's never the user's fault if a carrier oversells their network capacity.

      Delete
    7. "It's never the user's fault if a carrier oversells their network capacity."

      That's a reasonable statement Dennis. So why do we get that same troll who time and time again says that the users of ringplus destroyed that company, instead of ring plus management policies doing it instead?

      Delete
    8. "Prices could be lower for everyone if people were more responsible in the amounts they were using. High data users cost companies money."

      Not at all. There is no connection. Repeating the same baseless assertion over and over does not make it true. High data users pay for what they receive. They are not subsidized. Whether or not they get rid of the unlimited plans does not affect you whatsoever if you aren't participating in them.

      When you repeat these baseless assertions, you come off merely as someone who is upset that someone else has data needs are different from your own personal needs, and you feel a need to go on some sort of moralizing crusade against these others and make baseless assertions of condemnation.

      Why not just Live and Let Live? It's really not your business anyway.

      Delete
    9. "Prices could be lower for everyone if people were more responsible in the amounts they were using. High data users cost companies money."

      This is demonstrably false. On T-Mobile, 4 lines of unlimited are cheaper per user than 1 line of unlimited. So why aren't the 4 paying as much per line--if not more --than the single line?

      And do you have a short memory that you forgot how much data plans used to cost back in the day, before unlimited was even a thing?

      Delete
  3. From the NPD press release: "According to the latest...report, cellular data usage among consumers with unlimited plans is 67 percent higher than those with limited plans."

    That's totally different from "67 percent of data plan users who are under an unlimited plan have a higher tendency to consume data over those using a limited plan."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Half of cell phone users have above-average data usage. How dare they, the data hogs!

      They should change plan/sales policies so all users have below-average data use.

      Delete
  4. Knowingly or not, I'm glad postpaid T-Mobile customers are doing this and pushing the de-prioritization limit up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, exactly. Binge, binge binge! We all end up the better for it.

      Delete
    2. "Knowingly or not, I'm glad postpaid T-Mobile customers are doing this and pushing the de-prioritization limit up!"

      Evidence of how decently high data usage benefits us all.

      Delete
  5. In other news, diners at all-you-can-eat restaurants consume more food than diners at restaurants paying a-la-carte prices for their meals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And in a related story, restaurants charge people different rates for ala carte versus all-you-can-eat based on the profits that they make relative to this. Just like cell carriers.

      I wonder if there are angry diners at the restaurants who get in the face and insult and berate those who actually make use of their all-you-can-eat dinners. I do Wonder. Because we get these busy bodies in the carrier field all the time.

      Delete
    2. Yes, if those who "actually make use of their all-you-can-eat dinners" use their dirty utensils to sling more slop onto their dirty plates (i.e. using data whilst ignoring their perfectly free/safe WiFi ((which would be be CLEAN plates & utensils freely available))) which then results in EVERYONE enjoying the buffet (limited mobile spectrum) no matter if they paid for one plate or unlimited plates.....

      If they are guilty of HOGGING & ruining the buffet (limited mobile spectrum) with their dirty plates/utensils.....I WILL GET IN THEIR FACE!

      When you are around perfectly safe WiFi, USE IT!

      Delete
    3. Sorry, you are feeding us baloney. Those who use unlimited data aren't doing anything to those who aren't. Nor are they ruining anything.

      Must you whinge and whine about those whose data needs are larger than yours... and whose data use doesn't impact you at all? Get a life, MYOB.

      "I WILL GET IN THEIR FACE!"

      Is there a padded room available?

      "When you are around perfectly safe WiFi, USE IT!"

      Or if you have a perfectly safe unlimited plan, use it. It's their choice... and not yours.

      Get a life.

      Delete
    4. Unlimited plan guy at the all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet: has 4 chicken wings on his plate.

      "Data whinger" guy has 3 chicken wings on his plate. They are quite cold, since he got to the restaurant when it opened and hasn't had time to eat, since he has been keeping an eagle eye on what all the OTHER diners are eating.

      The data whinger spies the unlimited plan guy with the 4 chicken wings on his plate. He charges over there, and GETS IN HIS FACE, and dumps the unlimited plan guy's table over. And the whinger rants and rages accusing the unlimited plan guy of ruining the whinger's lunch by eating more than the whinger has on his plate.

      No folks, you won't find a more spot-on analogy. Nope, never.

      So let's relax, and run our own lives, shall we?

      Delete
    5. I think "Data Whinger" guy would have no problems with anyone having 4 chicken wings on their plate AS LONG AS THEY USED THE FREELY AVAILABLE CLEAN PLATES & UTENSILS (i.e. - WiFi)
      I see a consistent pattern of people missing the point of unlimited data mentalities not paying attention to their surroundings.
      Anon @ 840 AM didn't even read the buffet analogies & is even lazier in misinterpreting a rant against it. VERY consistent to the narcissistic behavior of those who disturbingly continue to ignore the perfectly free & safe WiFi they are around most of the time.
      I think the 4-chicken-wing-person-using-dirty-plates-guy/gal is the type of the sycophant looking forward to having a 5G minitower in his/her frontyard, place of employment, & their child's school playground. ( I am NOT the ANTI-5G PERSON! )

      Delete
    6. Where are you finding all this fast, safe WiFi. Even here in the tech heavy San Francisco Bay Area, public WiFi is almost always slow, unreliable and insecure.

      I'm on a very limited data plan, but outside of my home, I rarely use WiFi, it's not worth the hassle.

      This whole data hog debate seems like a pointless waste of time. Network management isn't the user's responsibility and no one's going to use less data because an anonymous stranger tells them to.

      Delete
    7. Especially an anonymous stranger with bad manners.

      Yes... if you have an unlimited data plan, the cellular data is safer than wifi as well as being simpler to use and more abundant.

      And come to think of it you're right. About any situation. Even if you don't have unlimited data. A lot of the time it makes sense to use cellular and not bother with the wifi hassle.

      Delete
  6. I do not understand why people get upset with unlimited plan customers. If they PAY for their data they have every right to use as much as they need. Data is not a fossil fuel, there is MORE than enough to for everyone who pays for unlimited. If one pays less for a limited plan and needs to use less for whatever reason that is ok too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those who get upset are obsessed with other people's lives, and try to get involved in matters that aren't their own concern.

      They have no concept of people's rights.

      You make great points. But actually there's more than enough fossil-fuel :-). It is quite abundant and sustainable.

      So go ahead drive a big car. And use a massive amount of data on your unlimited plan. You are paying for it, and the busy bodies are not paying for it. Enjoy!

      Delete
    2. Apparently someone cares because they did a study on it. They wouldn't have had to do a study if they just raised the prices on the high data users so that the remaining customers are not left holding higher monthly charges to compensate for the unlimited users.

      Delete
    3. There is no need to raise prices. You are making a very fallacious connection. The high data users pay for what they use, it is rather silly to assume that anyone else is paying for it.

      Delete
    4. Sprint and Tmo already raised unlimited plan prices and will do it again. Soon AT&T and Verizon will too. The prices were too low and too many people signed up, slowing nets and hurting revenue. The market will decide what the prices should be and whether unlimited plan get dumped.

      Delete
    5. "Sprint and Tmo already raised unlimited plan prices and will do it again."

      I doubt they did it with any concern about the rants and reasons given by trolls angry that some need more data than they do.

      Delete
  7. If you are paying for an unlimited plan, you are actually irresponsible and foolish not to make the most use of your purchase that you can. So go ahead and John! Enjoy Netflix. Stream, stream, stream.

    ReplyDelete
  8. In this world, there are those who binge...

    And there are those who whinge about those who binge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CEO Whinger:

      “And if you are allowing unlimited usage, you just run out of gas.”

      -Lowell McAdam, former Verizon CEO

      Delete
    2. I don't think McAdam ever ran out of gas.

      Delete
    3. Right. Because he wouldn’t allow unlimited plans.

      Delete
  9. ""Prices could be lower for everyone if people were more responsible in the amounts they were using."

    Prices could go down if the carriers institute a hefty whinge tax on those for whom "irresponsible data use" means "anyone who uses more data than I do".

    ReplyDelete
  10. Pretty obvious which of the posters here use a lot of data and they make it so terribly obvious over and over and over and over.

    This site has really went down hill over the last year. IMHO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What is wrong with someone using data that they pay for?

      You send me talking as if someone using the data that they pay for something to be ashamed of.

      Whinging again, I can see.

      Delete
    2. I do not believe anyone above said you can not use the data you paid for. I see someone says be more responsible in it's usage so it would seem to me that the one whinging is you.

      Delete
    3. "I do not believe anyone above said you can not use the data you paid for. I see someone says be more responsible in it's usage so it would seem to me that the one whinging is you."

      1) That is what the data whinger is saying all the time.

      2) There's nothing irresponsible about using the data yo pay for (and if anything, it is irresponsible paying for it and not using it).

      3) I think you are the data whinger obsessing over other's lives, when it doesn't impact you and is none of your business.

      Delete
    4. To Anon 01/04 @ 0819 AM:

      No one in this string is the Data Whinger.
      We are like the BORG.
      We are EVERYWHERE.
      YOU WILL ASSIMILATE!

      Delete
    5. It's easy to tell who the data whinger is. He's the only guy who will start screaming and throwing furniture through the windows when someone says that they're going to watch all of "Stranger Things" over the weekend on Netflix.

      Delete
  11. Instead of a data use study they should have done a study on predictions which mvno will be the next to shutter, that might have been more interesting. I'm curious why are all articles posted here always 1-2 days behind everyone else--copy and paste don't take that long.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think I am going to stream Netflix off of two TV's tethered off my unlimited mobile plan. For a few hours at least.

    I will turn the TV screens to the wall. Why? Because the very idea of me doing this while make this data whinger guy stamp, shout, and throw dishes.

    ReplyDelete
  13. anybody wanna bet the "I must quote everyone person" is someones X lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That must surely be the case for Anonymous @ 3:22 AM. I can't imagine a marriage surviving his family dinners.

      Delete
    2. I think the guy who whines and complains about other people's data usage might end up needing an unlimited data plan to take into account all of his comments on the subject.

      Delete
  14. I can't wait until their study on whether or not grass is greener than dirt.

    It should be real eye opening.

    ReplyDelete
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