A study on the data consumption trends of wireless carrier subscribers for the 1st quarter of 2017 has been released by Fierce Wireless, with the help of its partner P3. The study observed the mobile data and Wi-Fi usage patterns of carrier subscribers along with the app usage habits and demographics of the subscribers. In this study, the partnership of P3 and Fierce Wireless observed an increase in the use of Wi-Fi data in the first quarter of 2017 in the metrics of the frequency of app use and the average usage time per day. Meanwhile, mobile data use actually decreased in the same metrics except for Verizon which saw an increase for mobile data in both average usage time and frequency of app use. The decrease in mobile data use in the first quarter of 2017 is somewhat surprising given that it coincides with the launch of unlimited data by the national carriers.
The study also observed which apps are used the most, both in terms of data volume and app usage time. The app that consumed the highest data volume in the first quarter of 2017 is YouTube. Facebook, which previously held the top spot in data volume consumption in some carriers, now occupies the second place in this metric while Chrome took the third place across most of the carriers except for mobile data users on AT&T and Sprint where Netflix occupied the third place. Video streaming applications leading the list of apps consuming the most data is somewhat expected, given the high bandwidth needed for streaming video. In terms of app usage time, Facebook topped the list, like what happened in the last breakdown by Fierce Wireless, but it no longer is the case across all the carriers since Sprint subscribers spend most of their time either accessing Chrome on mobile or YouTube while connected to Wi-Fi.
Also, younger demographics tend to consume more data than older generations, though it is not always the youngest demographic that tops this metric. Internet users below 25 years old consume the most Wi-Fi data across the carriers while for mobile data, subscribers between 26-35 used the most amount of data in AT&T and T-Mobile while in Sprint, it is the 36-45 subscriber demographics that consumed the most mobile data.