Thanks, Netflix! We may all be using 20GB+ of monthly mobile data in five years

Thanks, Netflix! We may all be using 20GB+ of monthly mobile data in five years
According to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report, in a few years the average user in America will be consuming the whopping 22 GB of mobile data a month. While such a haul may seem unreachable for most at today's phone data plans, looking up to 2021 we may have a whole different ball game in terms of prices, with all those 5G rollouts and all.

It's also not hard to fathom such an increase - current average monthly consumption is much lower, but it has increased 60%, compared to the first quarter of last year, and will be increasing exponentially with about 45% annually, until we hit that sweet 22 GB spot five years from now. 

Current teen members of the Generation Z, who don't know life before smartphones, are already hitting that threshold, if left to their own devices, complain their parents, so an average 20GB+ data consumption a month in five years seems totally reachable. The largest part in that traffic increase will be taken by video, of course, followed by social networking and music streaming.

source: Ericsson



1. Rocket

Posts: 736; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

Thats why im switching to atts unlimited (22gb) plan with directv.

2. Scott93274

Posts: 6043; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

lol, I use close to 300MB a month. I don't use my phone for media unless I'm on wifi. Maybe that'll change in the future, but for now I'm good.

5. WPX00

Posts: 513; Member since: Aug 15, 2015

Used to do that too - 600MB a month back in 2014. But more recently, since I upgraded to an LTE plan man has it consuned a lot of data. Even when doing the same stuff i do 3GB a monthm

6. Scott93274

Posts: 6043; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

lol, well I switched to Google's Project Fi and suddenly there's financial incentive for me to consume as little data as possible. It's odd, but I actually compete with my previous month's billing statement to see if I can get it lower. I know it's a silly thing to do, but it has at least opened my eyes to how many stores have public wifis, I'm almost never off wifi these days.

7. KParks23

Posts: 748; Member since: Oct 13, 2010

I rocket out almost 60gb last month mostly YouTube and Google music.. I'm clinging to my vzw unlimited data for dear life lol!

9. Scott93274

Posts: 6043; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Yeah, I remember back in the good ol days where I had one as well... sigh.... You hold onto that thing for dear life!

12. azimesmail

Posts: 264; Member since: Nov 23, 2014

Why don't you download music from Google Music for offline use?

16. Blazers

Posts: 782; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Because he doesn't need to. Unlimited data is a nice thing.

17. azimesmail

Posts: 264; Member since: Nov 23, 2014

And when you're in an area will s**tty reception? Like a subway.

3. Konsento

Posts: 139; Member since: Apr 10, 2015

welp time to switch to t-mobile

4. davthom123

Posts: 121; Member since: Mar 02, 2015

gaming should also be like xcom and ff9 already reach the 3-4gb mark now so imagine the future with ports of GTA v or something similar,also nvidia geforce gaming service or any similar game streaming service takes off then it should also add to it

8. KingSam

Posts: 1525; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

Well my mobile data is faster than my wifi. I cancelled my wifi and use data straight. 3-4gb monthly. That's conservative use.

10. sarcastic_nerd unregistered

My smartphone: Monthly mobile data usage: 100GB

11. gs200

Posts: 64; Member since: Jun 09, 2015

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand why current average usage is much lower. While some still have unlimited plans, I think a main driver that limits the average is the high cost and tiered data plans. If these don't evolve on pace, the usage won't increase like they are saying. Also, video is really the culprit. Music streaming and social media are a drop in the bucket compared to hd or 4k video.


Posts: 656; Member since: Jun 28, 2014

I use about 1GB a month. I never watch video or stream music except on WIFI, mostly just web research and an occasional side-loaded app.

14. SprintGuy26

Posts: 229; Member since: Mar 21, 2011

everyone i know is complaining about data soooo i getting them on Metro PCS/T-Mobile unlimited data plans, have a few on it now and they love it unlimited data without contracts

15. Coconut00

Posts: 485; Member since: Jan 13, 2015

I use about 1.5 GB per month. Once I tried watching a few episodes on Netflix and consumed almost all my plan (3GB). Every episode consumed about 220 MB.

18. DnB925Art

Posts: 1168; Member since: May 23, 2013

Thankfully I have an grandfathered unlimited plan with Sprint and I have the 10GB x 4 plan with T-Mo. On T-Mo, because of Binge On and Music Freedom, I barely use 2GB of data.

19. tobyjohnesfen

Posts: 5; Member since: Sep 18, 2015

My average usage happens to be 25 GB/month and so does my wife's + an average of 10 GB on 2 other lines. Plan: T-mobile; 4 Lines, Unlimited data on Each line + 14 GB Hotspot on each line for $150.

20. tokuzumi

Posts: 2005; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

While we may never see truly unlimited data make a return to mobile plans, data is getting cheaper and cheaper for carriers to manage. I can see data plans in the next 10 years offering packages similar to home internet providers (200+GB/mo). You will almost be able to cut the cord with cable completely. But which carrier will become the new Comcast, and have the worst customer service ever?

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