US Teens Cause ‘Fourfold Increase’ In Mobile Data Usage

U.S. teens seem to be permanently glued to their cell phones – even in class, inevitably getting themselves in trouble. On average, they send and receive 3,339 text messages or SMS each month. Nielsen has compiled data from 60,000 phone bills and compared usage during Q2 2010 versus the same quarter the year prior. Data usage has quadrupled amongst teens during that time.

According to the Nielsen Group study, data usage by teens went from 14MB to 62MB on average. It also looks like guys seem to be hogging up all that data more than girls:

Much of this boost is led by males, who are more gadget-savvy and consume 75 MB of data, versus 17 MB in Q2 last year. Teen females use about 53 MB of data, compared to 11 MB a year ago.

Of course, a good chunk of the data use comes from mobile applications like Facebook, YouTube, Pandora and others that are data intensive.

Moreover, and to no one’s surprise, sending and receiving SMS has gone up, too. Teens say it’s easier and faster than phone calls — who has time to call during a lecture when one should be taking notes? — and far more convenient. It’s also a reason they get phones these days, whereas one of the primary reasons just a few years ago was for safety.

This is an interesting chunk of info for sure, but it’s even more beneficial to the carriers and manufacturers who are looking for new ways to squeeze every last penny out of this demographic. Especially ones whose parents are willing to fork over a good deal of cash for their teens’ social habits.

[Via: Nielson Group]

  • Well, okay, but SMS isn’t “data use”. You can’t equate increases in texting to increases in “data use”, as text’s go across the carrier’s cellular connection to your phone, not the data connection to your phone.

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