Mobile data use is up one fifth, driven by video

According to the latest smartphone and tablet report from NPD Group, mobile data usage among consumers with unlimited plans is 67% higher than those with limited plans whom rely more on Wi-Fi access. Over the last three months, limited plan users consumed eight percent more than their unlimited plan counterparts, with a spike of 18% more Wi-Fi usage in October. When looking at data and Wi-Fi consumption as it relates to a user’s smartphone operating system, iOS users tend to consume more cellular data, while Android users look to Wi-Fi.

  • The average monthly data usage per person climbed to 31.4GB this year, according to the report, up from 25.2GB last year.
  • Of the total amount of data smartphone users consumed this year, 83% was video content.
  • In the third quarter of 2017 (April to June), 67% of smartphone users said they accessed video content via an app on their phones at least once a month, up from 57% from the second quarter of 2017.

When users migrate from limited plans to unlimited plans, their consumption behavior shifts in favour of using cellular data more regularly. Users on unlimited plans don’t regularly seek Wi-Fi connectivity for data-hungry transactions such as video streaming, application updates, and downloads as they are not concerned about data coverage fees.

Brad Akyuz, director, industry analyst for NPD’s Connected Intelligence


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