Verizon customers top iPhone users in data usuage: study

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By Manikandan Raman | July 30, 2010 4:40 AM EST

Verizon Wireless smartphone users consume 25 percent more data than AT&T iPhone customers, driven by Verizon's new Android smartphones, according to a recent study by wireless billing vendor Validas.

The study showed that Verizon Wireless smartphone users consume 421MB per month, which surpasses iPhone users on AT&T who consume an average of 338MB of data per month, according to the billing records of 20,000 wireless customers from January to May 2010.

Despite the popularity of the iPhone, Verizon Wireless also saw the largest increase in data usage per user, jumping from 48.2MB to 147.2MB per month.

The study further revealed that Verizon Wireless customers also topped AT&T amongst heavy data users with 4 percent of customers using 2GB or more per month as compared to 1.6 percent on AT&T.

No wonder, only 1/5th of 1 percent of Verizon and AT&T customers consumed more than 5GB per month, presumably due to usage caps imposed on some data plans.

The findings of the study is interesting as iPhone users have typically been considered as the heaviest data users in the entire mobile market. If the trends continue, Verizon could see an explosion in data usage.

Till now, Verizon's network hasn't faced any major network issues, but the sale of more Android devices could pressure the carrier's network and network performance will be tested in the coming days.

On the other hand, AT&T's network has been criticized for dropping calls and slower than expected data downloads in some parts of the country.

According to data analyzed by Validas, about 50 percent of AT&T's iPhone customers use less than 200MB of data per month, while about 47 percent use between 200MB and 2GB of data with about 90 percent of those customers using less than 1GB of data per month. This means that about 2.5 percent of AT&T's users consume more than 2GB of data per month.

Validas' analysis also clearly shows that heavy data users are primarily using AT&T and Verizon Wireless, while customers who tend to use less data, are subscribing to Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA.

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