How much of your unlimited mobile broadband are you actually using?

In one comments thread this week, I’ve had readers say it’s silly to hold out for unlimited mobile broadband when you can save so much every month by opting for a capped plan. In another, I’ve had readers comparing strategies to hang on to their Verizon unlimited accounts for as long as possible.

March data usageMy hunch is that the first group has the wiser strategy. Consider the graph at right, charting my data usage from early March to early April: Even with all of SXSW and more than 900 megabytes’ worth of tethering, I still only racked up 2.13 gigabytes.

And that’s well above average, going by the latest numbers about North American usage from Alcatel-Lucent. That wireless-infrastructure vendor found that LTE users consumed an average of 46 MB a day–about 1.4 gigabytes a month–while 3G users ate up 17 megs a day, or only half a gig.

Am I missing something here? You tell me. Take a look at your own phone’s monthly data consumption and report back in the poll below. To check that detail in Android, open the Settings app and select “Data usage.” In iOS, open the Settings app, tap General, then tap Usage, then “Cellular Usage.” (Note that this isn’t broken down month by month, and that if you want to see which apps ate up the most data you’ll have to spring for a third-party app like DataMan Pro.)

For extra credit: Is that number more or less than you expected, and does it have you rethinking your choice of wireless plan?


6 thoughts on “How much of your unlimited mobile broadband are you actually using?

  1. Replies via Twitter:

    “less than the 2gb limit Verizon data plan allows. mostly use WiFi due to lousy 3G or 4G signal at work (works in car tho)” – @vicki13w

    “enough to make me glad I have Sprint unlimited.” – @haroldfeld

    “it’s broken down 1.6 phone, 3.9 iPad. Probably half of that is tethering. Some of iPad is MLB games last week, too.” – @tbridge

    “1.3 Gig” – @edit_susan

    411.5 MB, as shown in a screenshot of T-Mobile’s usage app – @FixWMATA

  2. Pingback: Weekly output: tech PR, cybersecurity and wiretapping, 1776, Tech Night Owl, unlimited data, charging cables | Rob Pegoraro

  3. Since I bought my phone my data usage (sent and received combined averages out to about 5.4 GB per month. WiFi at home but not at work (no tethering). So for me I think keeping my unlimited is a good idea…

  4. I am one who really dislikes the iphone invasion. I use a quick messaging phone with basic unlimited internet for quick look up of basic things like addresses or phone numbers. BUT I use a mifi mobile broadband for my internet at all times on my laptop. I have an unlimited plan that is throttled at 2.5 gigs……. I more than double that every month and I avoid videos as much as I can…. they should offer a plan for those of you who use little. But they should also offer some kind of truly unlimited plan for those that want one.

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