New Study Shows T-Mobile Customers Used A Lot Of Data Over The Past Six Months

A joint FierceWireless/NPD Connected Intelligence study conducted over the past six months tracked the data usage patterns of 1000 smartphones on the nation’s top four carriers. These 1000 smartphones are generally Android devices, however NPD recently added 100 iPhones to its survey database.

The results are unsurprising as this is just the latest in a series of studies that show T-Mobile customers consume the most data. In fact, T-Mobile customers dipped a little over the summer but data usage has increased in the past couple months, perhaps in response to the release of the company’s Unlimited Nationwide 4G data plan.

In an interesting twist, T-Mobile customers averaged 0.19GB of data while Sprint, which actually sells the iPhone subsidized only saw customers use .072GB of data. In other words, T-Mobile’s iPhone user base which generally works on the company’s 2G network (network refarming aside) used 1/4 the data of Sprint customers. Sorry Sprint, maybe its time to really push that LTE network forward.

One thing seems certain with all of these recent studies, T-Mobile customers are data hungry and we hope the company has no plans to end the Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data plan. If you’re hungry for data, T-Mobile looks like the right place to be.

Fierce Wireless

Tags: , , , , , ,

  • I don’t even know what WiFi is anymore.

  • jake771

    I think T-Mobile users are poorer than an average AT&T and Verizon user and their phones are their main (or only) onlinedevice…

    • Rick

      T-Mobile is known for attracting low income people because of their low prices… But I partially disagree with your statement. I think the main reason for this huge data usage is the fact that A LOT of young customers use T-Mobile. When you have a lot of teenagers using a smartphone nonstop you get these results.

    • perry_f

      An argument could also be made that T-Mobile customers are smarter than AT&T or Verizon customers in that they choose to pay less for the same service.

      My data usage has gone up significantly ever since I signed up for the unlimited data plan from my old 2gb data plan. When you have a cap for high speed access you watch what you download and/or stream. When you have no cap its a different story. I find myself watching many more youtube clips than before and have actually started to stream music which I never did before. And all because I no longer have to watch my usage as I get close to the 2gb limit I used to have.

    • archerian

      Although I disagree with your statement, the participants of the study were offered “incentives” to be monitored, which makes me wonder what the pool of 1000 users were, and whether they actually closely reflected real scenarios.

      • eurohomie

        hell, who cares if someone knows how much data I’m using? as long as my personal information is safe, I’d take the incentives too

        • archerian

          if they were only interested in how much data the people under observation were using, they could have obtained an approximate value from the operator or even the users’ bills. The fact that they installed an app to measure it could mean if they not only look at total data used, but perhaps what type of data (http, email, rtp etc). It might also mean they collect data on what sites were visited. I am assuming here, we have to read the fine print to see what they actually collect.

          To my earlier point, I was not explicitly referring to the privacy issues, but whether adding an “incentive” variable might skew the results, not necessarily only from a usage perspective, but also user. I’m glad to know know you would agree to the “incentive” offer, what I’m not sure is how much the result would be affected by that choice, and by other people who follow your line of thought. Many business users (who make up a financially significant share) do not have the option to choose, especially if its a work issued device.

    • thepanttherlady

      Of the two other carriers you mention, T-Mobile is the only one that doesn’t charge for overages on their 2GB+ plans. Of course, data usage will be larger.

      Additionally, why would one be considered “poorer” because they may choose to utilize a smartphone as their only online device?

    • TMoFan

      That’s wrong on so many levels. I’m not rich, but I’m definitely not down and out and can switch to any carrier I choose. I just don’t believe in receiving a screw job whenever I pay my bill.

    • kev2684

      You can’t be classified as poor if you can sign up on a smartphone with a 2 year contract. Plus if you have a mobile phone, you’ll most likely have a laptop/computer and wifi at home too because you’ll not get a smartphone if you don’t know how to internetz. Those people will opt for flip phones instead. It’s the teen demo who’s constantly streaming music and videos and the power users who doesn’t want any limits on how much data they should or should not use are those that contributes to T-Mobile’s constant high traffic.

    • bleeew

      I see poor people on Verizon too. They are afraid to go over limits, and pay overages.

    • eurohomie

      I disagree… I have a laptop and I’m a college student. But I’m not always at home on my wifi network or at school. I use up over 5GB of data every month and I have a feeling that’s about to go up even more now that I got my Note II. Smart Money is what it is, Just because I Don’t want an iPhone and have no need for an iPhone, i’m poorer?

  • androidjunky718

    This dont matter.. i work for tmobile and guys be prepared to see tmobile lose close to 1 million subs this quarter. my store would be jam packed with customers daily since august my store bearly has business and in in manhhattan NY. most people come in and ask do we have the iphone 5 or do we have lte and they usually cancel or say there goin to sprint or verizon for the iphone 5.. thursday the quartley results come out and watch more layoff ill come. tmobile is in trouble.

    • Nick Gonzalez

      You’re absolutely right. I have been with TMo for 8 years. I will be switching to Sprint in two weeks for the iPhone 5 for LTE and better battery life.

      • androidjunky718

        Yea my store is next to a verizon and sprint store and i see droves of people goin in and walkin out with a bag.. people walk past tmobile like we dont exist. im at ork right now posting this cuz there is nothing to do.. on my brake i went in to the sprint store and asked a worker what phone they sell the most they said the iphone 5 and the gs3. i went to there demo unit and i see “Sprint lte” on the iphone i ran a speed test and wow i was impressed to see 40mbps and lte hasnt launched yet in ny from sprint but i guess the customers dont care they just ant the phone..

        • Mike

          Too bad LTE for Sprint is next to non existent, Hence the Softcell deal for Capitol to keep up with the T-Metro deal.

        • androidjunky718

          exactly it baffles me that people choose sprint over us… i just dont get.. i no they have the iphone and they will be launching 130 cites before years end but still. today a customer came in and asked about the gs3 he said he just came from the sprint store and why is tmobile selling it for a higher price.. i explained and settled him down he still left my store went to sprint and cancelled tmobile and got a the gs3 from sprint and came back to my store to tell me..

        • Mike

          I guess he wanted a slower and spotty network. My degree is in broadcasting. It amazes me how many people are uneducated about the consolidation of the wireless industry. My samsung vibrant hits speeds of 7megs up here in the chicago area. Just a HSPA 7.2 phone.

        • Mike

          The biggest issue with T-Mobile is most of the CSR’s and sales people dont have product knowledge, or knowledge of the network.

        • Nick Gonzalez

          I was looking forward to the Lumia 920 though. Damn AT&T. I have 2 more weeks till my contract is up. I have to check out the 8X before i decide to leave for Sprint.

      • Mike

        It doesnt matter. Softsprint and tmetro will eventually merge.

      • perry_f

        Well if its better battery life you’re after then you should stay with Tmo as LTE is notorious for sucking down battery life.

        And as to why anyone would want a clearly inferior phone like the iphone5 when most android handsets are much better is a mystery to me.

        I get regular speeds of 18-20 mbps on the HSPA+ network using my GSII. And ironically my GSII is almost a year old and STILL has more features that the just released iphone5 so go figure.

        • androidjunky718

          lte on the iphone 5 is differnt the chip apple created is amazing. espically with that small batter apple uses.

        • archerian

          wrong, the iPhone 5 uses a Qualcomm MDM9615M for LTE.

        • androidjunky718

          the soc chip the arm7A6 chip apple uses is the best on the market for lte..

        • archerian

          if Apple had used the A6 for LTE, it would have ZERO coverage. It’s the application processor, which does nothing for LTE or coverage. The Qualcomm chip handles signal/reception.

      • ji


      • jorge guerreo

        isheeps are so fucking retarded. hilarious lol.

      • 091169mike

        Sprint is headed for bankruptcy, be careful what you ask for. Sprint does not have the capital to buy the spectrum needed for a nationwide 4g rollout much less one for LTE.

    • Mike

      Once 1900 Mhz refarm to HSPA + is complete, T-mobile will get alot of new line sales from iphones users.

    • chris

      Hahaha T-Mobile in trouble ? I think not! the truly unlimited no data cap has helped them out tremendously.. The refarming will take it to a whole other level no need to worry things are running the way the vision is intended…Soon T-Mobile will not be the 4th Largest but in the running with Verizon mark my words!!

      • androidjunky718

        u have to be on something to think tmobile is gonna catch verizon..

        • jorge guerreo

          yeah i don’t think we are gonna catch verizon because most americans like to overpay for everything, just look at apple sales.

  • jian9007

    With recently being able to add full no-throttling, no cap unlimited for $20 on a value plan, it may go up even more. If they do officially get the iPhone, it will increase substantially. You can’t beat 42Mbps unlimited, uncapped data for $20. Once I get my Nexus 4, my data will be even higher since my current phone doesn’t do 42Mbps (only does 14.4). And having unlimited after they roll out LTE will be twice as awesome.

    • Mike

      Yes, and Tmobile LTE will be 20×20 in most areas to toast the speeds of verizon and att.

    • Matlock

      I have a Galaxy Nexus, and since T-Mo has had the $20 UNL plan, I’ve been using over 8Gb of data/month.

      i just started my billing cycle yesterday and have already used 1.1Gb streaming Watch ESPN in between classes, streaming Slacker and Play Music, and DL Podcasts, and also regular web browsing, and facebook. I cant wait for the Nexus 4 with HSPA+ 42, In my area it works very well!

      • mike

        Nexus 4 will run hspa 21

        • jorge guerreo

          wrong N4 will be hspa+ 42

  • The Other Jake

    @jake771-OUCH! Poorer? That’s a little steep…I’m no Donald Trump,but I work hard, and yes, I would consider myself on a budget like everyone else, but T-Mobile just happens to offer what I need, and a good price to boot. 500 Minutes/Unlimited Nights-Weekends/Unlimite d Messaging/2GB data; taxes and all: $54.54

    • Fish

      I have the same with the addition of the unlimited data and after taxes it is $70. I highly recommend it.

      • The Other Jake

        I forgot to mention unlimited mobile-to-mobile on T-Mo Network…does everyone else have that? It’s sort of an ancient add-on,but most of my posse on Broadway have T-Mo,so, it helps

    • werwe099

      I have unlimited anytime minutes, texts and data (2GB) for $59.99.. grandfathered plan!

  • archerian

    The study should offer two cases – one for data usage on personal plans, the other on business. ATT and VzW have a huge business base, the typical business user doesn’t stream GB of Youtube, although he may need that 20MB of international data for email while traveling abroad (which might actually translate into more revenue for the operator)

  • Isn’t that sample rather small for such large, readily available pool of data?

  • taron19119

    I was told I can’t get a nano sim cause the iphone 5 is comeing in December

    • There is ZERO reason they should’t give you a NanoSIM. I’d call that store back and ask again.

    • Mike

      Im sure Tmobile will announce iphone once the network refarm is complete.

  • Fish

    500 mins/free nights and weekends, unlimited texts, and the new unlimited data plan = $70

    My plan resets tomorrow and I’ve used 6.24GB so far.

    • The Other Jake

      That’s what’s up,sounds good.

  • Trevnerdio

    Who are these 200MB people? Do they just look at their phones to check the weather?? Come on, I used at the veryy least like 3.5GB a month, up to like 5 or more. And T-Mobile doesn’t even calculate my tethering right, they say I use less than I do. And I’m on unlimited so I’m not even supposed to be using it

  • Thats what happens when you have unlimited

  • andrewmelcher

    what is funny is using 1gb to less than is NOT USING DATA.
    REAL USE OF DATA is 5GB – 8GB data and up a month.
    Your apps you have on your smartphone use data just because they are on your phone. this constitutes from anywhere from 100mb – 1gb a month.
    if you use 10GB of data, you are doing good and have a healthy use of your andriod or IOS phone

  • Turb0wned

    Got pissed off this morning when I get a bill from AT&T for $222.68 for my two lines. Made the move to T-Mobile’s $70 prepaid on my line and put my wife on straight talk. Time to pay my ETF now.

  • I used 3gb today alone lol. I go through it.

  • bleeew

    Only reason why im using less data on Verizon is to prepare myself for the data share plan. I want T-Mobile to succeed and create more competition.

  • marti ruiz

    8 gb a month since real unlimited data . thanks tmo’

  • ex-tmo

    The more data heavy users they add, the slower the network will be. So the unlimited data plans are not sustainable with the growth they hope to achieve.

    Get on board now because this cant last forever.

  • jorge guerreo

    im at 42 gb this month :D i love this unlimited plan.

    • Mystictrust

      How do you use 42 gb on your phone in one month??

      • downloading roms, backups and lots of youtube ?

        • archerian

          out of curiosity, how much of the 42 GB do you use in an area with Wifi? I mean, even with Wifi available, do you still opt for Network data?

        • well only when im at work since the wifi at work gives me a terrible 3-5 mbps download while t-mobile hspa+ is giving me 17-25 mbps which is insane. and thats at work only i use wifi when im home all the time.

  • Richard Yarrell

    Gotta say since my switch from 10gb of monthly to unlimiteddata it has been grand. My cycle ended November 1st I used 19gb of data for the month of October 2nd to November 1st. It was a grand month filled with Netflix, Hulu Plus, androidcentral podcast, all about android podcastsand the engadgetppodcasts shows. Plus I am real big with Google Hangouts, Google Talk, and Yahoo messenger video chats with all my friends. On November 15th when I walk into my favorite Manhattan Tmobile store I will pick up my Galaxy Note 2 and trust me it will be on real hard. I am waiting for that multitasking window feature so I can do video chats with Skype and Oovoo or Skype and Google Talk video chats at the same time with different friends and family membe.. Tmobile is the place my friends..


  • Josue

    I used 9GB 3 days after my cycle started and I have a 5GB data…I love T-Mobile for unlimited data

  • A new study should show how pissed off t-mobile customers are with the company. They’re are not even fourth anymore. I can’t wait to get out of my contract with them. 5 lines for over five years. Enough is enough. Customer service sucks; software upgrades suck, data plan costs suck, most phones suck. Reminds me of the wife that keeps taking back her abuser husband.