Consumer mobile data usage is up about 89% versus a year ago, according to a June report from Nielsen that analyzed the cell phone bills of 65,000-plus consumers.
Nielsen reported across-the-board growth in data usage – the bulk of that bandwidth was likely used to download and interact with mobile apps (though mobile video is accounting for a growing amount of that usage as well. According to a story on sister site Connected Planet:
The research firm also broke out usage across different operating systems. For instance, the average Windows Phone 7 owner used 149 MB in the fourth quarter of 2010, by the first quarter of 2011 he was up to 317 MB. Taking a broader view, the average iPhone owner used 313 MB of data during the first quarter of 2010; a year later that average has climbed to 492. Data-hungriest of all, Android users have increased their use from an average of 312 MB a year ago to now 582 MB.
Will those growth trends continue? On the one hand, operators are rolling out faster, 4G data networks. On the other, unlimited usage plans are going the way of the dinosaur, with carriers offering bandwidth tiers at lower prices. That probably works out as a better deal for customers, as Nielsen reported a year earlier that a a stunning 99 percent of mobile users were actually paying for much more data than they would ever use.