By Ed Oswald | Friday, June 17, 2011 at 2:17 pm
In case you hadn’t heard, we’re using more and more mobile data these days. With apps becoming ever more connected, the need to use our wireless data connections has also increased–and we’re increasingly going mobile instead of sitting in front of the computer screen.
Research firm Nielsen has numbers out today that show an 89 percent increase in data usage from the first quarter of last year to the same period this year. Where we were using about 230MB on average a year ago, that has jumped to about 435MB now.
This puts into question the need by mobile carriers to rethink their bargain data offerings. While a lot cap those cheap plans at around 250MB, it’s now evident that a large majority of us need more data than that.
Want some even crazier statistics?
Look at this chart, and especially focus at the right — which is the 99th percentile, or top 1 percent of data users. Their usage has skyrocketed, averaging about 1.8GB last year, but an astonishing 4.6GB now. Can you see why the wireless carriers are so eager about throttling and caps?
I don’t know how you can even use that much data, although I frequently use about 2.5-3GB of data a month. According to this chart, that puts me in the top 2 or 3 percent of all data users.i
Knock on wood, I haven’t gotten throttled or capped yet, but I guess from the looks of this I shouldn’t get too comfortable.
One thing might be good about more data usage, and that’s the fact that we’re getting more bang for our buck. While data costs have not changed, the effective cost per MB has been all but halved. Today’s data user is paying about 8 cents per megabyte, versus 14 cents a year ago.
How much data are you using? Where do you fall in this chart? Let us know in the comments.