Verizon Smartphone Users Overtake AT&T iPhone Users In Wireless Data Use


While Apple iPhone users complain about AT&T's slow networks stemming from wireless access to data, a new study to be released in September shows that Verizon Wireless smartphone users have overtaken AT&T iPhone customers in terms of data use.

That study, to be released by Validas, a Missouri City, Texas-based provider of technology to help users analyze their wireless bills to find the best plans, shows that the amount of data accessed by the Verizon Wireless user grew the fastest of any smartphone users.

As a result, Verizon smartphone users will likely overtake iPhone users in terms of wireless data access, according to Validas in a blog post earlier this week.

The Validas study was based on an analysis of over 20,000 consumer wireless bills done between January and May. Data on the access of wireless data by users of BlackBerry devices was excluded because of the compression technology employed by those smartphones.

The average wireless data consumption for Verizon Wireless smartphone users is now at 421 MBs per month, compared to 338 MBs per month for iPhone users, Validas said.

However, those numbers are only averages. The disparity arises from the fact that over 11 percent of Verizon Wireless smartphone users consume 500 MBs to 1 GB of data per month, compared to only 5.6 percent of iPhone users, Validas said. Over 4 percent of Verizon Wireless smartphone customers consume more than 2 GBs per month compared to only 1.6 percent of iPhone customers.

Furthermore, just over 54 percent of Verizon Wireless smartphone users consume under 200 MBs of data per month, compared to just over 52 percent of iPhone users, Validas said.

For all smartphone device users, AT&T is still the overall leader in terms of wireless data access over smartphones. Over 71 percent of AT&T smartphone users access data wirelessly from their smartphones, with the mean usage on a per-user basis at 149.6 MBs per month, up from 111.9 MBs per month compared to 2009, Validas said.

Verizon Wireless smartphone users were second in terms of the amount of data accessed wirelessly at 147.2 MBs per month. However, that figure represents a 205 percent increase over the average of 48.2 MBs per month consumed in 2009, meaning that Verizon Wireless smartphone users are the fast-growing wireless data consumers of the four major carriers.

T-Mobile smartphone users also accessed more data through their devices, up from 44.6 MBs per month in 2009 to 120.6 MBs per month in 2010.

Sprint smartphone users actually access less data on the average in 2010 compared to 2009 due to an increase in the number of users consuming 50 MBs or less per month, Validas said.