We Love Unlimited Data, But Is It Necessary? New Study Says Maybe Not.

I believe it goes without saying that the prospect and return of an Unlimited Data plan to T-Mobile excites us to no end. Perhaps it’s psychological, but the comfort of knowing you won’t be throttled is both exciting and makes us remember why we’re happy our beloved underdog carrier had a change of unlimited data heart.

Even with the return of Unlimited Data, the question turns to how many of us truly need it? According to a new report from NPD Connected Intelligence, the “vast majority” of people do not. The company installed an app on 1,000 Android smartphone volunteers spread among the big four carriers and tracked how much data each volunteer used each month.

The majority of customers on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon don’t even use 2GB of data per month, well below all the current data caps afforded by each carrier. According to NPD data, T-Mobile does have the most data hungry users, with more than 11% of customers using more than 3GB per month of data, versus 4% for AT&T and Sprint and 3% for Verizon.

NPD analyst Eddie Hold told Tech News Daily: 

“T-Mobile consumers tend to be younger,” said Hold. “Younger demographics are the ones we find hit the network harder by doing a little video and music streaming.”

Even while Sprint customers have unlimited data available right at their fingertips, they don’t take advantage of it as much as we might believe:

“In general, Sprint’s usage is the same as the other networks and less than T-Mobile,” Hold said.

T-Mobile’s numbers aren’t that surprising, especially given their recent June report that showed customers with smartphones running on their HSPA+ 42Mbps network use an average of 1.3GB of data per month.

All these stats and data aside, T-Mobile will rack up a marketing win with the ability to call out Sprint for no longer being the only one with unlimited data. Add that to their HSPA+ 42Mbps network, Sprint’s slow LTE roll out and with T-Mobile’s refarming opening up the door to hundreds of unlocked handsets, they should be prepared to fire a shot across the Sprint bow later this year.

Fierce Wireless via Tech News Daily

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  • Mloudt

    1) I just saw the first ATT shared data commercial yesterday lol but they called it share mobile or something lol. 2) David you write all these articles so I would think by now u would stop glorifying t-mobile’s refarm. I mean yea it will be great because people can use i-phone at 3g speeds and yea we will be able to use more unlocked devices at 3g/4g hspa speeds that is great. but stop making it seem like to your readers that it is about to happen. last time I checked you only had one article about an i-phone getting 3g on t-mobile network a few months ago on one street in San Francisco or somewhere like that and it was only because it was like some event so it worked in one location. 
    People wake the hell up t-mobile told us this earlier this year so we wouldn’t jump shit. Just like they told us we will have lte next year. Dumbasses that jump on this site and keep saying when we get lte early 2013 it will be so fast and good; well were not getting it early next year. In 3days it is going to be Semptember  we won’t see any refarming effects then or October, and probably not November. Do you get my point people the refarm and lte was a spin by t-mobile usa so we don’t jump ship and so that we hang around; use your heads dumbasses if sprint just released lte in june 2012 we more than likely will release it around the same time next year. and before anybody voice their opinions think about it how many sites phonearena phonescoop are there stories of people around america reporting they are seeing the effects of t-mobile’s refarm? yeah that is what I thought not many! people t-mobile by the end of the year yea some spots might see effects of the refarm and next year some spots might get lte but it won’t be many my point is don’t think your area is going to get it right away because if you are not in a major market good luck waiting. i am in Houston so I will be one of the first, so my point is David stop gloryifiying the refarm and how about seeking stories where people actually see the effects of the refarm but good luck with that one seeing as nobody has seen the effects!As for this article goes months ago i read a report and the stats were the same saying most people average about 1.9g monthly. also it stated that about 15% of people go over their data limit this is why ATT and Verizon months ago was kicking abusers of data off early and throttling them months ago when that was a big deal. so the biggest worry people have again is will this slow down t-mobile network like sprint’s network and the answer is no! as i stated in prior articles sprint has 56 plus million  t-mobile has 33 plus million. sprint whore’s its network out to anybody as an mvno so they have even more people using their network through roaming agreements and mvno partners. t-mobile has some mvno partners but it is like only a few million more people so it can handle them. lastly this plan will only be offered to classic, value, and new 2 year agreement customers not prepaid customers. and prepaid accounts for about 7.8 million of t-mobile usa’s total 33.4 million customers so basically the 26 million contract customers will be the only one using this new plan which means even less people to clog the network so we will be able to handle this and remember we got a lot of spectrum coming our way Verizon deal Leap deal and ATT failed deal!

    • http://tmonews.com David

      Ok, so it sounds like you have absolutely NO clue about how the refarm works, what the timetable is, why it’s beneficial to the network as a whole or pretty much anything regarding the refarm. Also, you have no idea what T-Mobile’s network capacity can hold currently, I do, and it’s at least double the current customer base. Also, you don’t seem to recognize the improved coverage of the 1900 band without even considering the handsets. 

      Also, there isn’t a single, article, tweet, facebook comment or Google+ post where I don’t see end of year is the likely timeframe for the rollout. 

      Fact checking is your friend. 

  • Frankvallynot

    That’s a bunch of crap I’m always using my data for GPS and music streaming ive already hit 4gigs and my data doesn’t refresh till the 25th of this month

  • Guest

    honestly they should have a qualification for unilimited data, if you dont use as much depending o your account, then you stick to a capped plan, if your a heavy iternet user say if you hit probably 12GB per month, u qualify for unlimited data