Electronista doesn’t have to work too hard to convince me that mobile phone companies’ wireless data plans charge way too much for people who do not even come close to their plan’s monthly data quota. Here, they report on a study by Validas.
Study: tiered data plans still unfair for many subscribers (Electronista)
Two-thirds of the way through my billing cycle, I have only used 350.78MB of the 4GB available in my plan. This is despite even the hours of tethering use (I pay for iPhone 4 hotspot option).
According to Validas, Sprint has the highest smartphone data use of the big four int the U.S. Sprint’s users consume an average of 778.8MB per month with a median of 371.0MB. AT&T users are at a distant second with an average of 425MB used per month with a median of 155.8MB (less than half of Sprint users’ median). Validas points out that Sprint’s unlimited data plan may encourage their customers to use more data than other carriers with data use constraints.
Validas’ data supports the claims made by mobile phone companies that a relatively small group of users consume a great deal of data compared to the majority of data using customers. The large disparities between the mean (average) and median for each mobile phone company supports this claim.