Featured: Maybe Unlimited Data Isn't Totally Necessary Shows New Research


While having unlimited data is a great thing to have, it's quickly gone to the wayside with just a few carriers still offering and big carriers like AT&T and Verizon moving to Shared Data plans. This has upset a number of consumers for a variety of reasons, but one big reason that you're paying more for less. Or are you exactly?

NPD Connected Intelligence released some new research that's quite interesting. They found that the average Android smartphone user only downloads around 870MB of data per month on cellular networks and around 2.5GB per month through WiFi networks. That's far from what any of us would have expected. The study also showed that smartphone owners prefer to use WiFi for most of their data use.


Here's some other findings:

  • 18-24 year olds consume the most cellular data at 1.05GB/month
  • 55 and up consume the least cellular data at 750MB/month
  • 25-34 year olds consume most WiFi data at 3.01 GB/month
  • 55 and up, again, consume the least WiFi data at 1.42GB/month

Of course, this brings up an interesting argument. Is unlimited actually needed? For many of us, myself included, believe that Shared Data plans do tend to restrict people more and definitely cost families more. However, there's also the argument from others I've talked with that they actually save money with a Shared Data plan versus an Unlimited plan.

As far as this research is concerned, it's not so cut and dry however. As was found, people consumed several gigabytes per month through WiFi, most likely because they were restricted in the first place, not because they "preferred it" over 3G or 4G.