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US Mobile Users Download 2GB per Month on Average

Pawel Piejko - 19 Nov 2014
3 min read

With powerful and affordable smartphones hitting the shelves practically every day, mobile data usage figures continue to grow rapidly. According to a research company Chetan Sharma, mobile users in the US now download a whopping 2GB per month on average.

US sees mobile data usage explosion

While it had taken 20 years to hit 1GB mark, it increased two-fold in less than 12 months. It’s worth noting that the average monthly data usage per smartphone in the US in 2008 was only 149MB (Portio Research). The amount of mobile traffic during the whole of 2007 is racked up today in less than 100 hours.

As previously reported at MobiForge, mobile usage is expected to grow 20-fold between 2014 and 2017. In 2015 mobile internet users in the US are predicted to download as much as 3.3GB per month on average.

Mobile data usage costs diminishing

This growth certainly wouldn’t be possible without a big decrease in mobile data prices. The average cost of downloading 1MB to a mobile device in the US was $0.46 in 2008, while in 2012 this figure fell to just $0.03. In 2015, it is predicted to drop to as little as $0.01, according to Portio Research.

In addition to this, as much as 29 percent of US mobile subscribers had unlimited mobile data plans in 2011 (ComScore). Infinita estimated that 75 per cent of Japanese subscribers were also on unlimited plans. However, during the same period only 8 percent of users in the EU5 (Germany, UK, France, Italy, Spain) had contracts which allowed unlimited data usage.

The growing figures and decreasing prices of mobile data usage mean that savvy marketers and web strategists must deal with the challenge that mobile traffic is no longer a poor cousin to its desktop counterpart. Providing a top-notch mobile user experience is not optional. It’s an essential part of all marketing strategies today.

DeviceAtlas helps you harness the mobile traffic revolution

DeviceAtlas allows you to detect devices utilizing an immense database containing mobile phones, smartphones and tablets as well as detecting desktop and bot traffic. The recognition is based on User Agent string parsing to return all the important information about the device, such as the type of browser, OS, device name and make, etc.

Using DeviceAtlas to detect exactly what device you are addressing allows you to effectively segment web traffic according to the visitors’ device. For example, you could come up with four different website experiences for different types of devices, smartphones, tablets and desktops and maybe a basic experience for low-end phones. A similar technique was used at AccuWeather’s website powered by DeviceAtlas's detection.

Note: If you are implementing responsive web design (RWD), you could use DeviceAtlas as a server side compontent. This allows you to make significant performance improvements over ‘classic’ RWD. You can find out more in our e-book on RESS

By using DeviceAtlas you can make sure that your online content is always accessible on every device and that the user experience is always top-notch, helping you meet your business goals. Sign up now for a free trial.

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Image credit: Karlis Dambras (Flickr)