Cellular traffic on Android devices in the United States increased by 60-percent annually over the first quarter of the year, Strategy Analytics unit AppOptix reports as part of its latest U.S. Network Quarterly Brief. The data, based on a representative sample of 4,000 Android handsets, suggests an increasing number of consumers are now embracing unlimited plans and are finding uses for them, primarily those related to high-quality video streaming. Even compared to consumers who already had unlimited plans in the first quarter of 2017, the same demographic is now using 37.1-percent more data — both cellular and Wi-Fi — a year later.
Every mobile service provider in the country saw its infrastructure become busier over the first three months of the year compared to the same period in 2017, with T-Mobile's customers still being the most active data users, averaging some 18.8GB of total traffic per month. AT&T's user base was the most conservative over the observed period, with its average subscriber using 15.1GB of data per month. Even outside of the scope of unlimited plans, consumers with monthly data caps increased their mobile online activities by thirteen percentage points year-on-year, as per the same report. AppOptix found that owners of Samsung's smartphones are using the most data on average, with the top usage tier amounting to people who rely on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S7 series, as well as the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy Note 8. The Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S6 lineups followed suit, the study found.
The advent of 5G is expected to lead to even higher cellular speeds and more opportunities for data-intensive smartphone applications, primarily in the social and entertainment segments. Advertising company Mobile Posse recently called for a "smarter phone revolution" meant to capitalize on the latest emerging technologies and address the ever-growing consumer need for high-quality content. Large-scale 5G rollouts in the U.S. are scheduled to start next year.