Report: U.S. consumers swallowed 2.5 GB/month of cellular data in Q1 on average

U.S. consumers on average chewed through around 2.5 GB of cellular data per month in the first quarter, according to industry analyst Chetan Sharma, up from an average of 2 GB per month at the end of 2014.

"In the U.S., it took roughly 20 years to reach the 1 GB/user/month mark," Sharma wrote in a research report. "However, the second GB mark has been reached in less than four quarters. An entire year's worth of mobile data traffic in 2007 is now reached in less than 75 hours."

Sharma's figures are roughly in line with those from Cisco Systems. In its latest Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast report, which was released in February, Cisco found that in 2014, consumers in North America used on average 1.89 GB of mobile data per month in 2014. Cisco thinks that figure will surge ahead to a little more than 11 GB on average in 2019.

According to Sharma, data made up 62 percent of all wireless carrier service revenues in the U.S. in the first quarter, up from 60 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 and around 50 percent in the year-ago period.

Data usage is clearly increasing, both in the U.S. and other markets around the world, but more and more consumers are likely going to be offloading that traffic to Wi-Fi networks, according to a new report from Juniper Research.

The research firm reported that mobile data traffic will reach nearly 197,000 petabytes by 2019, equivalent to over 10 billion Blu-ray movies. However, the research firm found that only 41 percent of the data generated by smartphones, tablets and feature phones will be carried over cellular networks by 2019, with the majority of mobile data traffic offloaded to Wi-Fi networks.

"Certainly, video is forming an ever-greater proportion of network traffic. For example, Juniper Research anticipates that video traffic over smartphones will increase by nearly 8 times between 2014 and 2019", Juniper Research analyst Nitin Bhas said in a statement.

Video currently accounts for around 60 percent of global IP traffic and, in some developed markets, this proportion is likely to exceed 70 percent in two to three years. In 2014, data traffic generated by smartphones, feature phones and tablets in the Far East and China exceeded that of North America for the first time, Juniper reported.

For more:
- see this Chetan Sharma report
- see this Juniper Research release

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