Burning Up the Wires: U.S. iPhone Users Consume the Most LTE and Wi-Fi Data

Burning Up the Wires U.S. iPhone Users Consume the Most LTE and Wi-Fi DataWireless, it appears, is now king of the hill.

There’s confirmation. Recent network usage data from Mobidia Technology, Inc. shows LTE (an abbreviation for Long-Term Evolution, commonly marketed as 4G LTE, is a standard for wireless communication of high-speed data for mobile phones and data terminals usage in the U.S. continued to increase in Q3.

Currently, Wi-Fi usage accounts for 80 percent of all data consumed.

Mobidia, one of the leading providers of mobile usage data, just released new insights on mobile data usage in Q3 2014 in the U.S. The analysis, based on data from July through September of 2014 (and covering hundreds of thousands of wireless subscribers in the U.S.) indicates increased cellular, LTE, and Wi-Fi usage as subscribers continue to expand app and media usage on their smartphones.

One highlight: the firm’s stats show that Verizon and Sprint subscribers use more LTE data than AT&T and T-Mobile subscribers.

“Additionally, the data reveals the continued reliance of smartphone subscribers on Wi-Fi networks in 2014—consistent with trends identified over the past few years—with iOS and Android users consuming 82 percent and 78 percent of their mobile data on Wi-Fi networks, respectively,” noted Mobidia.

Key takeaways:

1. On average, U.S. subscribers consumed 1.8GB of cellular data every month in Q3 2014. Those on Android phones consumed 6.8GB of Wi-Fi data and those with iPhones consumed 8.9GB of Wi-Fi data.

2. Sprint and T-Mobile subscribers consumed the most total data with 10.2GB and 9.5GB per month, respectively.

3. Verizon subscribers enjoyed the most access to LTE networks with 98 percent of their cellular data consumed on LTE networks. LTE data accounted for 93 percent of cellular data consumed by Sprint subscribers and only 86 percent of data consumed by AT&T subscribers.

4. U.S. LTE subscribers with iPhones consumed an average of 12GB of total data—nearly double that of 3G subscribers’ usage. Their 3G counterparts consumed only 7.1GB of total data.

5.  For subscribers of the big four U.S. operators, at least 92 percent of subscribers used Wi-Fi at least once a month. This number is higher for iPhone users, 98 percent of whom access Wi-Fi monthly.

“U.S. wireless subscribers with LTE capable devices have cranked up their data usage this year,” said Chris Hill, senior vice president of marketing at Mobidia. “In fact, LTE subscribers are consuming almost twice as much cellular data as 3G subscribers, according to the reports we’ve received from hundreds of thousands of cellular subscribers in the U.S.”