The speed of the internet has changed dramatically since the days of the 28.8k modem. Now, connections speeds that would’ve blown minds a decade ago can be accessed from mobile devices through high-speed, over-the-air internet connections. A recent report found that U.S. consumers are sending and receiving trillions of megabytes of data.
In 2014, the U.S. used 4.1 trillion megabytes of total mobile data usage. More than two thirds (68%) of the data was used by smartphones and tablets. This 26 percent increase over the previous years data, noted by the CTIA’s ‘Annual Wireless Industry Survey, has been made possible by an ever increasing numbers of smartphones and tablets on the market. According to the survey, there are now more than 208 million smartphones and 35.4 million tablets in use in the country.
Consumers are accessing more apps that connect to the internet, as well as using cloud services for things such as taking and storing photos, connecting with friends on social media, watching online videos, multimedia messaging, browsing the web and reading their email.
“Americans enjoy the best wireless experience in the world, from the fast 4G/LTE networks that are available to more than 98 percent of the country to the trend-setting devices and countless apps created every day,” said CTIA CEO Meredith Baker according to media reports.
A number like 4.1 trillion megabytes of data can be hard to conceptualize, so the study’s authors gave a few interesting stats to help. For every minute, U.S. consumers use 7.7 million megabytes of data. Similarly, for every minute, there are 3.6 million text messages sent and 300,000 videos and photos shared.
The study also reported that U.S. consumers use 338.4 billion megabytes of data each month. This data was used in a variety of ways, including 204.6 billion voice minutes, 169.3 billion text messages and 15.4 billion multimedia messages.
And marketers should also note that more consumers are using mobile devices exclusively. According to the study, the number of U.S. ‘wireless-only’ households rose from 39 percent in 2013 to 44 percent in 2014. For many of these households, a lot of online time will be spent on mobile devices.
The CTIA study is based on data provided by mobile service providers, which makes it one of the most accurate studies of its kind. Participation is voluntary, so there not every service provider participates. For the December 31, 2014, installment of the survey, CTIA aggregated data from companies serving over 97 percent of all estimated wireless subscriber connections. So only 3 percent of accounts were missed.
This study is another piece of research that shows the growing value of mobile marketing for business owners and marketers. As more people use their smartphones and tablets to connect to the internet, the value of a mobile-friendly site increases, as does the value of reaching consumers through mobile ads. There are a lot of ways that business owners can use mobile marketing to improve their business and this study is a reminder that it’s worth the effort to find what works.
For more recent data on mobile, read this article with information on Google’s test with one-click mobile shopping.