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Between 2014 And 2015, US Users Doubled Their Mobile Data Usage

Between 2014 And 2015, US Users Doubled Their Mobile Data Usage

The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) is offering new proof of something we probably all know to be true already -- that we are becoming more dependent on mobile data when accessing the information superhighway, as opposed to doing it through desktop computers connected on home Internet.


The international industry trade organization has just released its latest yearly study on mobile data usage, and the CTIA’s findings show that both annual and monthly mobile data usage in the United States has increased more than twice its amount from December 2014 to December 2015. Indeed, the report indicates that yearly mobile data usage has risen from 4.06 trillion megabytes in 2014 to 9.65 trillion megabytes in 2015. Moreover, the month by month analysis also show that mobile data usage has ballooned from 338.4 billion megabytes monthly (information as of December 2014) to 804.2 billion megabytes monthly (as of December 2015).


The reported published by the CTIA also sheds light on the state of wireless penetration in America. The trade group evaluates wireless penetration by taking the total volume of active mobile devices and dividing it by the total population of the United States, including territorial regions. The CTIA’s numbers show that wireless penetration has continued to increase from 110 percent in 2014 to 115.7 percent in 2015.


In 2015, there were over 228 million smartphone devices in the United States mobile market. This number is up 10 percent compared to 2014’s numbers. That number compared with 41 million tablet devices connected to mobile networks, a figure that in its own right also represents a 16 percent increase compared to the previous year’s (2014). 


Looking into specific usage metrics, the CTIA found that American mobile users logged 2.88 trillion minutes of voice calls in 2015, increasing from the 2.45 trillion minutes reported in 2014. The yearly volume of text messages may have decreased (falling from 1.92 trillion in 2014 to 1.89 trillion in 2015), but the increase in the volume of multimedia messages made up for it. Indeed, multimedia messaging jumped from 151.99 billion messages in 2014 to 218.5 billion messages in 2015.


The CTIA’s data is pretty consistent with the results of other studies, including a report published by the US Census Bureau back in April earlier this year. The increase in time spent watching streamed content has also been examined by a study conducted by the IAB in June of last year. Then last October, Google revealed that people actually do Internet searches more on mobile than they do on desktop computers.