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Verizon Wireless smartphone customers consumed more data than users of other carriers, according to a new study by wireless billing vendor Validas. So far this year, Verizon Wireless has seen the largest data usage jump per user, from 48.2 MB to 147.2 MB, an increase that went from 33.4% to 42.9%, year over year, the Texas-based firm reported Monday.
On average, Verizon Wireless smartphones data consumption is 421 megabytes, as opposed to 338 megabytes per month for iPhones, Validas said. The company emphasized, though, that average usage doesn't always tell the whole story.
"Averages can be misleading because when you plot data users in a distribution, you quickly see that there is no typical user -- they are spread across a broad range," said Ed Finegold, executive VP of analytics, in a statement. "The key detail in this study that drives the average is that, by percentage, nearly twice as many Verizon Wireless smartphone users are consuming 500 megabytes to 1 gigabyte per month compared to AT&T iPhone users," he said. Over 11% of Verizon's customers users are in this category, compared with just 5.6% of iPhone users, Validas said.
The findings were closer when comparing smartphones that used less than 200 MB a month: 54% of Verizon customers fell into this category versus just over 52% of iPhone users. Likewise, almost 46% of Verizon customers used more than 200 MB a month compared with nearly 48% of iPhone users.
As the usage grows, the numbers become more telling: Over 2 gigabytes were used per month by more than 4% of Verizon smartphone customers, as opposed to only 1.6% of iPhone users. In the over 5 GB range, only 2/10ths of 1% of both Verizon smartphone and AT&T iPhone users consumed that amount monthly. The amount of those using virtually no data at all in any month's time was split more closely at 3.4% for Verizon smartphones versus 2.9% for iPhones.
Also among the findings were that Verizon Wireless posted the largest increase in aircard/laptop card mean usage per user, from 1.25 GB to 1.6 GB, Validas said.
The 2009-2010 Wireless Data Consumption study was conducted between January and May of 2010 by examining more than 20,000 consumer wireless bills, according to Validas. BlackBerry devices were not included in the research, the firm noted, since their data compression techniques are not similar to the iPhones' and other smartphones' data consumption patterns.