A new paper from NPD Connected Intelligence shows that Android smartphone users, in the US, on average download about 870 MB of data per month on cellular networks and around 2.5 GB per month on Wi-Fi networks. By Mike Dano.
The data is noteworthy in light of recent network and pricing strategies by wireless carriers. AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless currently charge customers on a per-MB basis, where prices decline as subscribers add more data to their monthly allotment. Elsewhere, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA offer unlimited smartphone data services.
NPD's figures, from this month's data, show that smartphone users generally prefer to conduct most of their data communications on Wi-Fi networks - a finding that lis likely to please wireless carriers that are working to generate revenues from their cellular networks without overloading them. Indeed, most wireless carriers are embarking on various strategies to encourage users to offload more of their communications onto Wi-Fi networks.
For example, AT&T operates around 30,000 public Wi-Fi hotspots across the US, solely for that purpose.
NPD obtained its findings through its SmartMeter software, which is installed on around 1,000 Android smartphones (participants get "incentives" to install the software on their devices). The company says it is soon to expand its SmartMeter-powered tracking service to iOS users. The addition of iPhones to NPD's survey is more than likely to change its findings in future; prior research has found that iPhone owners generally download more data than Android users.
Interestingly, NPD's cellular v. Wi-Fi usage statistics are broken down by age and show that 18-24 year olds usethe most cellular data of any age group, at 1.05 GB per month. Users aged 55 or older use the least cellular data, 750 MB per month.
On the Wi-Fi side of things, users between the ages of 25 and 34 download the most data over Wi-Fi, at 3.01 GB per month. Those users 55 and older used the least, at 1.42 GB per month on Wi-Fi.
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