U.S. Mobile Data Growth Predicted To Slow Due To WiFi Use

July 11, 2016 - Written By Justin Diaz

More and more smartphone owners are using mobile data these days, and that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise given the increase in popularity of smartphones over the years and the numerous plans from carriers around the globe with a goal to connect their subscribers. According to a recent Parks Associates report, the revenues from mobile data use around the globe are going to increase quite a bit. Mobile internet is still a business, and business is booming, with revenues expected to rise from the recorded $386 billion last year, up to $630 billion by 2020.

Part of this growth could end up being a result of the budding Internet of Things market which mobile carriers see as a large opportunity for increasing revenue of mobile data, according to the report. While global mobile data use continues to climb, however, the report also notes that the growth of mobile data use is likely to be slowed here in the U.S. compared to other parts of the world due to consumers looking towards Wi-Fi for a connection more often than mobile data plans, in an effort to keep their cell phone bills as low as possible.

The U.S. is not the only region where mobile data use is expected to grow at a slower pace, as the report highlights North America as a whole as well as the Western part of Europe, but the U.S. is specifically mentioned as having slower growth most notably due to the growing use and increasing interest of Wi-Fi.¬†How interested are U.S. mobile users in Wi-Fi? The report states that the percentage of wireless carrier subscribers tiptoes at around 70 percent that are interested in data plans that are focused on Wi-Fi only. This interest may only continue increasing as cable operators in the country continue to market their Wi-Fi hotspots as an alternative to mobile data packages making it possible to have data on the go but not attached to your actual cell phone plan. Both Comcast and Charter Communications have showed continued and renewed interest in entering into the wireless market, and although their entry may not offset major wireless carriers on a massive scale, it’s possible that they could agitate the mobile data market to some degree.