The wireless industry has come a long way in the past decade, and in a recent report from Consumer Reports, wireless data usage has increased more than 50 percent.
However, while it’s true that cell phones have gotten more advanced, the wireless data experience is still a bit limited compared to what you get with your smartphone.
According to a recent survey by the wireless industry’s research and advocacy arm, the average cell phone charges up to about 2.5 times per day and is expected to charge about 7 times a day in the future.
But that doesn’t mean your smartphone isn’t being used to its fullest potential.
“There are still plenty of wireless devices that are more efficient than the average consumer smartphone,” said the report’s authors.
In fact, a wireless phone’s battery can last longer than the typical smartphone, according to a 2013 study by researchers at The University of Pennsylvania.
However: “A significant majority of mobile data users report that they have used their smartphone in their daily life and used it to make calls and text messages.”
So if you have one or more wireless devices on your phone, you’re probably using it at least 2.6 times a week or more.
What about the average person?
A recent Consumer Reports survey found that consumers who own a smartphone use it for about 7 minutes and 10 seconds a day.
But when it comes to wireless data use, most people don’t consider their smartphone a cell phone.
According, Consumer Reports’ report, “There’s a lot of confusion about how much data a cell device really uses.”
In fact: “In the average American household, cell phone data usage is between 3.5 and 5 times what a typical smartphone user uses, which is equivalent to an average of two hours and 20 minutes per day.”
The report also states that while most people have access to wireless hotspots, most users don’t have access “to a full suite of data services” that include apps like Netflix and Spotify.
In addition, a recent study from the Wireless Association showed that most wireless consumers don’t think their wireless data is “essential” for them to be able to work from home or go to the gym.
For consumers, the bottom line is that wireless data isn’t just about the data usage, but also the speed and quality of data access.
How to tell if your phone is getting a lot or little data?
“There is an increasing understanding that the average cellphone is getting more and more data, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing,” said Michael McAfee, Senior Vice President of Product Development for the wireless division of wireless carrier AT&T.
“We know that the most common problem with wireless data and the biggest barrier to a successful wireless data plan is the quality of the data,” he added.
So to get the most out of your wireless data plans, be sure to test your mobile data by taking a look at the “What’s on Your Phone?” feature in AT&am’s Mobile Data Guide.
If you’re not sure whether your phone has been using too much data, you can ask AT&s Wireless Support team to test it for you.
If your mobile phone is using too little data, it’s important to understand what it means and what you can do about it.
To learn more about wireless data, read our guide to the wireless market.