Print 31 comment(s) - last by alljgg.. on Jun 30 at 1:55 AM

In light of AT&T's recent changes to its data plans, we'd like to get an idea of how much data you use on your smartphones on a monthly basis

How much data do you use per month on your smartphone?
  • Less than 200MB (1,291 votes)
  • 200MB to 500MB (758 votes)
  • 500MB to 1GB (423 votes)
  • 1GB to 2GB (324 votes)
  • More than 2GB (947 votes)

  • 3,743 total votes

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By Old Man Dotes on 6/2/2010 11:54:39 AM , Rating: 2
I don't own a smartphone; I don't use the data features on my feature phone. The cheapest plan that Verizon has for two phones with shared minutes is $70/month. As soon as out contract is over, we are dumping Verizon and going to a much-less-expensive carrier (neither AT&T nor Sprint, but ConsumerCellular) which will cost us only $40/month for two lines and shared minutes. Even if we moved up to 1000 min/mo (about 3x what we're using now), it would cost us $20/mo less than we are paying Verizon for just 700 minutes now.

So the bottom line is: Data plans are a deal killer. I refuse to pay for a data plan when I already have reliable, stable 20 Mbps Internet service at home. I'd love to have a lot of the features of the new Motorola Flipout, but if that means being screwed even more by the cellular carriers, I'll pass, thanks.

By bissimo on 6/2/2010 1:08:13 PM , Rating: 3
Agreed. Mobile data plans are as good as throwing money away, as far as I'm concerned.

By dreddly on 6/3/2010 12:44:00 PM , Rating: 2
Except for those of us without reliable home access. In my case our 3G reception at home is better than wimax (which we use for internet because it is uncapped). No DSL or Cable option so 3G data is essential - and I use 5-6 GB a month easily.

By zephyrxero on 6/2/10, Rating: 0
RE: iPhone
By Brandon Hill on 6/2/2010 2:19:30 PM , Rating: 2
Might I ask how do you manage to rack up that much data usage in a month? During the day, I'm normally on my laptop or new a Wi-Fi access point with my iPhone, so I rarely start tapping into my 3G data.

The only time I really end up using it is if I'm out and about and need to check something really quick or on vacation.

6GB just seems unreal to me :)

RE: iPhone
By Jalek on 6/2/2010 4:23:01 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe it's the 3G speed.. my first gen is just too slow for anything but email, finding a map position (accurate to a couple of blocks), and maybe a couple of websites.

On WiFi it isn't bad, and I find hotspots even on the roads.

RE: iPhone
By aebiv on 6/3/2010 10:14:59 AM , Rating: 1
I'm around 4-6GB as well, and very rarely is it ever from tethering.

A lot of RDP sessions, heavy, heavy email, streaming pandora, etc

RE: iPhone
By mherlund on 6/8/2010 9:41:38 AM , Rating: 2
How do you measure the amount you download from the wi-fi connection? I know how to view the data send/receive from the provider but not wi-fi.

We need to be able to vote ZERO
By TheJian on 6/2/2010 3:44:43 PM , Rating: 2
Data plans are just like buying lottery tickets. A tax on the stupid (I didn't say it, someone else did when they came up with it ages ago...and it's true - even worse most buying them can't afford it in the first place). For business that is absolutely needed - I understand to some degree. But for the rest of us? I think the same about texting on your phone. Why would I type on a little pad when I can just call you? For anyone other than students hiding in class I don't see the point. Watching TV on a 2 inch screen seems absolutely ridiculous. I wouldn't watch it on my 24in Dell with a TV tuner...LOL. But somebody must like it or it wouldn't be sold.

Now I could see playing on your DS or PSP in a dentist office or something (I own neither, but I get it - read a mag or play a game...easy decision). I suppose if I had a lot of money to throw away every month I'd have an iphone and all you can eat plan. But I'd have to have a lot of money...It still would seem dumb to me. I don't really want to go blind squinting in the daylight trying to watch tv on that puny screen either (or just go blind from trying to see what the heck is going on inside of 2inches regardless of lighting). Then again, i'm not exactly normal about what I spend money on. If I don't TRULY believe I'm getting my money's worth for whatever it is I won't buy (raise your hand if you think you get your money's worth out of your cellphone bill). I also spend a large amount of time doing homework before turning loose of my money. With most of the country doing the exact opposite tv on a 2in screen seems normal. :) I'm pretty comfortable being called abnormal if need be. I just can't bend over and take it for some cell phone company. You say the word capped to me and I cancel stuff and look for alternatives...LOL.

By bplewis24 on 6/2/2010 4:39:55 PM , Rating: 4
...And why read tech news on the internet when there are magazines and newspapers?

I don't have the need or desire to watch tv/video on my smartphone either, but most of your argument just sounds archaic. Times change, my friend. Get with it.


By callmeroy on 6/3/2010 3:12:00 PM , Rating: 2
I think the actual line about the lottery goes like this "The lottery is a tax for those who are bad at math..."...

The only thing though is the chance of winning the lottery is LESS THAN the chance of getting lightning yes (basing on odds of winning Mega Millions - my state is one of those that participate in it).....UNTIL you win it...then you don't look too stupid for turning a couple bucks worth of tickets into say a hundred million. The fact is SOMEONE *WILL* and *DOES* win....

But are correct with unlimited plans its a bit of a waste...statistically I'm sure most folks are like me (people who use far less than even a single GB per month).

But hey...its not as bad as warranties.....I friggin laugh at even the concept that you can get a WARRANTY on a $200

Listen if a POS $200 item breaks down outside of the manufacturer's warranty you either boycott that low quality brand (maybe send a nasty letter to the company...just for fun) OR just go buy a new one if you liked it so much. ok maybe electronics with a four figure price tag (maybe)....are the only items where its not moronic to buy insurance or a warranty.

Mostly Wifi for me
By kmmatney on 6/2/2010 12:57:17 PM , Rating: 2
I have an iPhone, and although I download around 2 GB per month, its mostly over Wifi. Over 3G, I've only downloaded 1.2 GB over the last 10 months.

RE: Mostly Wifi for me
By aharris on 6/3/2010 1:11:49 PM , Rating: 2
According to an online chat rep, the 'Data Usage Trend' reports you can generate only includes 3G/EDGE data used. Assuming his info is correct I've used an avg of 3gb 3G/Edge data/mo for the past 7 months.

Luckily they confirmed that if I add an additional smartphone to my line, or if I upgrade to the new iPhone when it's released, I will not be required to switch plans.

Glad their management thought that one through, because otherwise they'd be losing a customer in the next two months.

By SurreDeth on 6/2/2010 5:48:48 PM , Rating: 2
I use about 800mb of data per month over the cellular network. A lot of email usage and IM client activity, but the biggest draw is probably video content while I workout. I was planning on purchasing a iPad as my old eyes have to squint to watch TV on a 3" screen while jogging. But since I imagine my cellular data activity will only increase after purchasing an iPad to well over 2GB per month, I've scrapped that idea.

Also, I don't really understand why you have to pay extra for tethering if you're required to move to one of the metered data plans? If you use 600MB due to tethering how is it different than using 600MB watching video on the phone itself.

By Integral9 on 6/3/2010 12:40:52 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. I've never understood why I have to pay extra for tethering. Or txt's or mms for that matter... even voice. In the end, it's all data. imo, cell phone providers should charge in the same manner as ISPs. Since that is what they want to be, isn't it?

Check your bills
By letgomyeggroll on 6/3/2010 6:41:10 PM , Rating: 2
For those of you who are claiming using alot of datas on your smartphone, check your bills on how much data you actually used. It is not the same as your laptop. I thought I used alot until I checked my bills and my hightest is about 260MB and thats with video uploading.

RE: Check your bills
By Johnmcl7 on 6/3/2010 8:22:40 PM , Rating: 2
The figures were from my bill, as my phone as a standard web browser with full flash support and a high resolution screen it's not that different to a netbook which means even with moderation and using wifi as much as possible I'm usually around 600MB+ with no tethering.


No phone
By Chaotic42 on 6/2/2010 7:10:30 PM , Rating: 2
I don't have a cell phone, and if I did I doubt I would have a data plan.

Viva la resistance!

RE: No phone
By davepermen on 6/3/2010 10:18:11 AM , Rating: 1
what is resistance good for? ah, exactly, to miss the good things of new things...

2gb Cap is way to low
By syphon on 6/2/2010 11:33:47 AM , Rating: 2
I have Sprint with Unlimited Data and I use normally around 4.5gb-7.5gb a month depending on how much Pandora or Sprint TV I use that month. I have the HTC Hero (Android OS) and that is my average I get each month. My wife does about 4-6gb per month on her HTC Hero. Putting a 2gb cap will really handicap the new iPhone they want to release. If I want a phone just to make phone calls, I would get one. If I have a smart phone, I want to use it for all the features it has which means it will use up data.

By ender21 on 6/2/2010 11:41:31 AM , Rating: 2
And here I thought I was a power user.... I will have used 1.331GB by the time my billing period is over. Yet I don't think I can bring myself *down* to the 2GB price plan for a $5 savings!

By Chris Peredun on 6/2/2010 11:43:47 AM , Rating: 2
Bell caps the counter on each data session at just under ~100KB. Not "caps the transfer" - that would be bad - rather, they just stop counting . So my monthly bill shows a series of 0.09MB data connections. Not exactly the best for figuring out real-world use, but it does mean that the metered plans give you a lot more data that you're actually paying for.

Ballpark guess, though, would be in the 200-500MB range - I'm not a heavy media streamer or a tether abuser, but I do quite a bit of surfing/emailing.

By Johnmcl7 on 6/2/2010 12:51:47 PM , Rating: 2
My network (Vodafone UK) defines unlimited data as 500MB a month so I'm usually just a bit above that figure on an N900. Needs a lot of caution though as the phone uses data at a rapid rate if care isn't used.


By ionoxx on 6/2/2010 2:38:07 PM , Rating: 2
On average I use 500MB from internet use on my iPhone. Most of this is emails..

If you add the amount of data I use while tethering... I climb up closer to the 2-3GB range. My business partners rarely uses less than 5GB.

Thanks Rogers for 6GB for 30$!

By callmeroy on 6/3/2010 3:04:51 PM , Rating: 2
..but I pay for it anyway.

I use 200 - 400 mb / month...maybe MAYBE on an odd ball month I'll use 500 mb.

I pay for the unlimited plan though for the following reasons:

1) There's a enough "hassles" in my life (especially right now) I don't really want to THINK about a damn phone plan.

2) Even with the unlimited plan I'm still only paying about $63 a month...which is easily affordable to me and its below my "personal" budget for a phone plan of $70/month.

3) Its nice to know should I ever have a need or want to "go crazy" I don't have worry about data charges.

By gmljosea on 6/4/2010 1:56:20 PM , Rating: 2
I don't have one, what option should I pick?

Yay UK
By hughlle on 6/5/2010 8:57:10 AM , Rating: 2
for once i think i can actually say "gotta love living in the UK" haha

upgraded to an HTC handset recently, so figured i'd make use of the 3G etc, added a bolt-on to my contract, unlimited data and wifi, £5 a month :)

My $0.02 (+$30/month)
By judasmachine on 6/5/2010 10:56:18 PM , Rating: 2
I'm staying at a friend's place while my new house is finished, and he only has at&t 3g internet on his laptop. So I just use my rooted Droid Eris (Evil Eris 2.0.1) for wifi tethering, and as of this month I'm up to 550MB and there are 15 days left in the cycle. I usually only use 500 to 600MB/month. This month is going to be a little different. My battery is usually the limiting factor on my usage, between Navigator, Winds of Steel, Google Skymap, and Pandora my battery gets eaten up in 12 hours. And yes, I have a car charger, and an extra battery. I just give up sometimes.

unlimited data
By siberus on 6/9/2010 12:11:48 AM , Rating: 2
I had an unlimited data plan when I got my first smart phone. I was afraid of going over the limit and having to pay through the nose to make up for it. Then I noticed that every month I used up as little as 4mb. Only time I've used more then 10mb was when i got the bolt browser and messed around on youtube for abit. That got old fast and decided to put myself on my carriers smallest data plan. I'm sure if my carrier allowed tethering it would be much much higher. All I really use data for is sending emails and reading anandtech when I should be doing work :o

hardly any
By alljgg on 6/30/2010 1:55:38 AM , Rating: 2
I use ~4MB a month on my T-Mobile BlackBerry Curve. I am almost always on WiFi, and when I am not, I am usually too busy to be using my phone.

"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini

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