Whose subscribers use the most data? Verizon vs AT&T vs T-Mobile and Sprint

Whose subscribers use the most data? Verizon vs AT&T vs T-Mobile and Sprint

Not that it comes as a huge surprise, but folks on the cheapest unlimited mobile data plans - those of T-Mobile and Sprint - are using much more bits and bytes than those on the "expensive" carriers like Verizon or AT&T, says a new report from research firm Strategy Analytics.

As you can see from the graphs below, T-Mobile subscribers are the absolute leaders in monthly data usage among all four major US carriers, with about 5GB on average, followed by Sprint at about 4GB, Verizon at 3GB, and, finally, AT&T with the modest ~2GB. 

This is for cellular data, though, as Wi-fi usage distribution paints a somewhat different picture, with Verizon taking the lead, followed by Sprint and T-Mobile. Needless to say, those on unlimited plans are the worst culprits in terms of average monthly consumption, while those with monthly quotas, or the pay-as-you-go crowd, consume much less. 

Given that "data prioritization" aka throttling kicks in at 20GB+, or even at 30GB of monthly usage for T-Mobile, those average numbers look pretty modest to us anyway, but let's not forget that they include all subscribers, even those without data plans, or with data cap limitations, hence humbler monthly outlays.


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12 Comments

1. fgpalm

Posts: 12; Member since: Apr 22, 2017

I'd like to point out that the throttling is only on a congested cell tower past 22 gigs on the top two providers. im at 116GB with no speed issues...

4. imlegitcusimthasht

Posts: 306; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

T-Mobile deprioritizes at 50GB. I've also never really had an issue with deprioritized when my network towers are congested. For me, it happens once every 2 to 3 months for like 2 hours or so, call in to refresh my signal and restart my phpne and I'll be good. But I mever really need to considering I'm on T-Mpbile One Plus International (Unlimited 4G LTE Tether plan), I tether anywhere fro. 300 to 400GB a month. If we can upload screen shots kf our usage this month. I'll prove it. Every T.V., streaming devices, smart devices, etc are connected to my S7 Edge via tether mobile hotspot. Better than paying Comcast 30 bucks a month for first year only to watch them jack up your price after the first year. I love using 300 to 4000GB knowing that my S7 Edge that is at the home to tether can still get 50 to 70Mbps down through the Ookla Speed test

10. abel86

Posts: 3; Member since: Aug 01, 2012

I have been looking for a comcast alternative, i currently use Verizon and once i pass 15GB on my hotspot it slows to a crawl, if this is true i will switch ASAP.

14. tbacba

Posts: 134; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

No one cares if you can "prove it". Using a lot of data doesn't make you special.

7. nikhil23

Posts: 469; Member since: Dec 07, 2016

ATT is worst of all. I have a unlimited choice plan and they de-priortize my data before reaching my limit during peak hours.

8. isprobi

Posts: 797; Member since: May 30, 2011

I formerly used much more data on AT&T than I do now because most of my video streaming is through the DirecTV app. I was able to drop from a 30 GB plan down to a 10 GB plan because of this. I wonder if the "free" DirecTV data usage is counted in the number for AT&T data usage shown here?

11. Omarc07

Posts: 574; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

Beyond unlimited here in Verizon . Used 45 so far no problem, last month I used 110 no prob either .

12. ryanastley

Posts: 4; Member since: Feb 03, 2015

I regularly use over 65 GBs a month on Sprint. I've had my legacy 450 minute unlimited data plan over 7.5 years now. Zero data degradation and unlimited roaming.

15. Bernoulli

Posts: 4361; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

roaming within the u.s. or abroad too?

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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