How much data do we really use? Are we paying too much?

Posted Apr 27, 2012 at 9:03 pm in Threads > Smartphones & Tablets

I’ve seen no less than three articles today saying that the average consumer is paying too much for their smartphone plan. And it just may be true. This article by consumer reports states that the average ATT user goes through 300MB or less each month.

Meaning they could drop from the $30 plan to the $20 plan and be fine. That would be $120 savings a year. Spread over two years, $200+ to spend on an upgrade phone might not be bad.

But here at Androidandme we’re not the “average user” are we? How much data do you use? I’m on Sprint. I average about 2.5GB per month, and the most I have ever used is 4GB.

What do you use? Could you save money by switching to a tiered plan?

And most importantly for the average user… is it more clear that the carriers are charging too much? Verizon doesn’t even offer a plan for less than two gigs. But if the average user is going through 10% of that… then they are far overpaying aren’t they? What should data cost then?


    heck yes we are

  • booyootoo

    I live in the Netherlands and I have a 1GB limit. For this reason I only try to download (also from the play store) at home, or somewhere else, via WIFI. I also never stream music for this reason.

    I only use my apps en internet, whilst on 3g. This way I only use up around 250-300MB every month.

    Last month and this month by the time the month is coming to an end (like now) I start using my 3g connection all the time, even for viewing youtube videos. So now I use up around 500-750MB

    The only way to do this is have a proper data counter. Since I am switching roms all the time I use titanium backup and Onavo data counter, to make sure I never exceed my maximum limit.

    • booyootoo

      Forgot to mention that I pay €5 for the 1GB per month. I dont know if this will be €10 now, since this was a discount rate for the period of my contract wich ends this month. I renewed, but it wasn’t very clear whether I would continue to pay €5 of €10 a month.

      Nevertheless OVer here €10 is not that expensive, since all carriers decreased the data cap/limit and thus effectively increasing the price per MB.

    • rayne milez

      is your particular apps for the a Onavo /data countter or the titanium backup

  • SGB101

    i have unlimited data, its bundled with my contract, and i use about 200mb per month lol

    ive just looked at my usage 31st march to 28th april, data is 179MB, and my wifi is 10.98GB.

    at the start of my next billing Cycle i may try and limit my wifi, to only when needed, and see how much data i can use

  • professandobey

    I used over 16GB in January, and started getting throttled by Verizon. I have since used Llama to turn on Wifi whenever I’m at home, and dropped it down around 2GBs per month (they stopped throttling me a week ago. I live in a place where home internet speeds peek out at 6mbps, but my LTE gets an average of 12mbps. My wife is also frequently using the desktop computer, and without real need to use a conventional PC, I just use my phone to do almost all my browsing, music streaming, and YouTube watching. I do not download a bunch of stuff or watch Netflix on my phone.

  • professandobey

    I think we do pay too much for our data plans considering how instrumental they are becoming to our world nowadays. With more and more cloud services, our data usage is going to grow exponentially. We need a set up for our mobile data that is much more flexible like our home and office internet connections.

    Yes, I know building out more network capacity is expensive, but the carriers are still able to do it while cutting a large profit.

    I think the solution is for the carriers to quickly build up their networks to be able to support 100% VoLTE coverage, then they can cut off the dead weight of old spectrum such as GSM and CDMA. However, I think this is unlikely anytime soon.

  • redraider133

    Yes we are and it is all because people are willing to pay it and the carriers know this so they charge the prices they do. it’s not like they aren’t making killer profits but it’s all about how much you can bring in so sadly I can’t see data prices going down anytime soon.

    • SGB101

      its not that your willing to pay for it, its you have to, if you want the shiny toys.

      as i said above, the prices in the UK are falling, to the point that all mid to top contracts include unlimited data. im not sure how this will stand up once we roll out 4g though.

      however, if you just want a 3g dongle, the price of data is stupid, 5gb for £15. was discussing on another forum and thet was saying everyone should ditch there landline and go 3g.

      my broadband usage averages on 175gb per month, at £15 for 5gb that would be £525pm ($855) that is slightly more expensive than the £20 ($32) a month i pay atm.

  • ZzX44

    If you aren’t on Sprint you’re paying too much.

    • mercado79

      I think this is kind of the OP’s point. We’re paying for more than we need / use. Whether it’s for all you can eat (Sprint) or for tiers (other carriers), perhaps we’d be better served by having cheaper non-unlimited options.

  • Ves

    Use about 800MB to 1,2GB. Pay €42,50 a month for that including 200 minutes or texts. After 1 GB my speeds gets dropped and I can reset it if I pay 5 or 10 euros.

  • Raycer Fleming

    I use about 20 GB’s per month on my Verizon 4g network and am grandfathered on unlimited for $29.99. But on there current plans I would be paying $180 per month. Crazy is what it is. It’s my phone I should be able to use as much I want/need to at a fair price.

  • Ironzey Lewis

    1.5-2GB/Month is around what I do. Occasionally, I’ll get close to my 5GB limit but that is only when things are slow at work. I don’t use much because when I get home WiFi comes on automatically. I don’t use my phone much at home because I have more comfortable options. When I’m away from home I use the tethering feature quite a bit though.

    I guess I’m paying for more than I use, but it’s nice to know that if I need it it’s there. I was throttled once and it was very painful.

  • DroidPower

    i use way less than 2gb a month, spend most of the time of the phone on wifi. i think for some people who have wifi access, 10 bucks for 500mb/mo. would be a great entry point.

  • TAM_the_MAN

    I spend a good about of time on wifi because it’s faster. There is no point to burn through a lot of data unless you are always on the go. I stay at places for a certain about of time.I would agree that $10 for 500 sounds ideal.