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Mobile Data Usage Nearly Doubled Over Past Year, Will Data Usage Continue To Rise?

Data usage continues to soar, nearly doubling over the past year

  • U.S. mobile data usage hit 1.2 GB in 2013, up from 690 MB

  • Worldwide mobile data usage rose from 140 MB to 240 MB

  • New study names faster cell networks and bigger phone screens the culprit

Mobile data usage

Mobile Data Usage Soars
Image at Pit Box

In the U.S., consumers’ average mobile data usage nearly doubled this past year, jumping from just 690 megabytes per month in 2012 to 1.2 gigabytes per month in 2013.  The world average, according to a study published by Chetan Sharma on Monday, shows the average mobile data usage up to 240 megabytes per month from 140 megabytes per month.

This massive upswing in mobile data usage is reportedly due to smartphone screens getting bigger, cell networks being faster, and the ability to take advantage of the 4G LTE network with faster phones.

Chetan Sharma states that some of the jump in mobile data usage from using LTE service may be due to the fact that this service is reportedly 10 times faster than 3G.

Although this mobile data usage is still within the lower tier of data plans, what could that mean for the future of mobile data usage?  As networks become faster, and Internet surfing, streaming, downloading, and uploading become easier to do will our average mobile data usage continue to rise?

One megabyte is typically the amount of mobile data used to download one photo or one minute of a song.  So in retrospect, the average mobile data usage per month in 2013 is similar to downloading 1,200 photos, or approximately 400 average length songs per month.

The good news?  Some wireless carriers allow you to jump back and forth between different data packages to avoid overage charges in case it looks like you might be straying over that line of mobile data usage.  The bad news?  How much are we going to end up paying as mobile data usage continues to soar?  Perhaps its time that cellular companies reassess their data packages.

About Katana Sohma