Light Reading
New KnowMyApp.org tells consumers and developers how much data their favorite apps will consume.

CTIA Site Dispels Mobile Data Mysteries

Sarah Reedy
12/27/2013
50%
50%

Most smartphone users have little to no idea how much data they're using each month. This fact was reiterated to me over the holidays when my boyfriend's family of six welcomed another iPhone into the family plan, and negotiated data usage.

The kids debated which apps actually use data, how much apps left running in the background consume, and how they could limit their usage. In past months, they found that even without careful monitoring, they never came close their data cap of 4GB thanks to their home WiFi network, but the addition of a new smartphone user was making everyone nervous.

I tell this Christmas tale because it shows how data remains a mystery to most, something you only become acutely aware of when you start to rack up overages. That's why it's good to see the CTIA attempting to make it more clear with its announcement Thursday of KnowMyApp.org, a web site designed to inform consumers how much data their favorite apps use before they find out the hard way.

Currently, the site includes the top 50 paid and free apps from Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), and it spells out how the app was tested and how much data it used when downloaded, at initialization, during active run time, and during background time. It also shows how the app impacts data plans and offers suggestions on how users can minimize their usage.

CTIA built the site along with its Application Data Usage Working Group, which includes phone makers like Apple, vendors like Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), the big four US carriers, and chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM). Intertek Group plc developed the mobile app data usage benchmark testing using AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s Application Resource Optimizer, an open-source diagnostic tool that analyzes network app data.

The site should be helpful for consumers who want to take the time to research and understand how apps affect their plans, but it's also a good tool for developers that want to build more data cap-friendly and battery-friendly apps. That will become increasingly important if consumers decide to limit their usage -- or not download an app -- based on how it affects their service plans and devices. (See Survey: Mobile Data Caps Matter.)

I bet most would be surprised to hear how much data their favorite apps eat up --and it's not just mobile video streaming either. For example, KnowMyApp.org says that Google Maps (the subject of debate on our five-hour car trip home) used for one day on a Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) iPhone 4S -- defined as three sessions of its different features -- would use up 31% of a 1GB data plan. That's pretty significant, especially since there is limited WiFi to help you on the road.

I'm not sure if the CTIA's new site will influence app downloads, but it will certainly give family members more ammo in their monthly data battles. Either way, it's good the operators are giving their customers insight into data-hungry apps to complement those services that provide insight after those apps are used.

Overages just aren't a good business for anyone.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(17)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
1/3/2014 | 10:54:43 AM
Re: Good resource
Thanks for the feedback, Scott. 10GB seems like a lot to me, but if you are using it to replace home broadband, then it makes sense you come so close. I also agree that the CTIA site isn't granular enough. In conjunction with some of the other data-tracking apps out there, including from the operators, it might be more helpful.

I also agree that the apps makers themselves, like YouTube, could help add some clarity with their apps. 
ScottEStewart0101
50%
50%
ScottEStewart0101,
User Rank: Lightning
1/3/2014 | 10:41:05 AM
Re: Good resource
Hi Sarah, 

 

I have a 10Gb mobile share plan, with just my hotspot, and iphone. While I've never gone over, I'm constantly checking my usage. Mainly to make sure I don't let AT&T get free money and that I juse up atleast 90% each month. 

Without using youtube or streaming, the 10Gb plan works fine. I oddload alot onto public wifi when able, and I typically listen to either podcasts or iTunes Radio. (which itunes radio uses lots of data, nearly 100Mb an hour due to 256kb streaming on HSPA+/LTE)

Btw, I live in rural Kentucky, which the only option is mobile data. there is no cable or DSL services. 

regarding the CTIA site, I don't really trust it. It's not giving real life scenarios. What it needs is a calculator for each program, so each user can specifically select their device, and calculate the time of use they estimate. 

This is my big problem with YouTube or streaming video. There is no size detail on how much data it requires to stream videos to my devices on mobile plans. Yet, Google and other video services are pushing 4K streaming? This is amajor problem. 


PS edit: this site needs spell checker for comments :-D

Also: every time the kids connect to my mifi, they want to watch youtube. It'd be great if hotspot software allowed me to block youtube from the mifi device at the router level. o.O
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
12/31/2013 | 2:13:28 PM
Re: Good resource
So is Hotspot 2.0 going to help fix the bill shock by moving us to WiFi more smoothly next year, or not?
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
12/30/2013 | 4:45:23 PM
Re: Good resource
Nah, I'm on T-Mobile. I probably fluctuate a lot based on travel etc. as well.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
12/30/2013 | 4:40:38 PM
Re: Good resource
Wow, I know a lot of families who don't even get up there! What data plan are you on? Ever had any overages?
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
12/30/2013 | 4:20:48 PM
Re: Good resource
Last time I checked I was at the 4GB-5GB a month mark.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
12/30/2013 | 11:45:03 AM
Re: Good resource
I actually have no idea how much data I use every month. I'm on a corporate plan, so not sure I can check it easily, but I'll look into it. I'm not sure how our company is set up and if they do data sharing with other devices on the network. I haven't gotten in trouble yet at least!
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
12/30/2013 | 11:08:21 AM
Re: Good resource
I don't travel much, but subscribe to way too many fantasy football/basketball/baseball apps, and tend to go back and forth between them while on long dog walks, watching video clips confirming whatever terrible roster mistakes I make in a given week.
MarkC73
50%
50%
MarkC73,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/30/2013 | 12:22:36 AM
Re: Good resource
I guess I need to travel more, I'm always way below my 5GB limit, I think most places I frequently hangout I'm either not using my phone (need two hands to eat and drink!) or I've got my wifi already setup.  I think most of the data usage comes from my email syncing and random things I do while waiting for my lunch.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
12/29/2013 | 7:52:00 PM
Re: Good resource
Yeah, good point -- I wonder how many people buy larger plans for peace of mind then never check their usage to see if that's smart. I bet a lot of people would be surprised by how little they actually use. 

For those that get close to their limits, I imagine their family plans for data are like SMS plans were when I was on the family plan. I'd use around 200 text messages compared to my parents 4. I'm sure there are data wars in some families now. 
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
More Blogs from Light Reedy
OTT chat app Kik has raised $38.3M in funding and acquired a GIF maker, showing operators there are other ways to monetize chat than ads and fees.
Join us Tuesday at 12:00 p.m. EST for a live chat with TM Forum's Rebecca Sendel and Rob Rich about how operators are approaching big data analytics for the growing Internet of Things.
With help from SevOne, the Canadian operator gained valuable visibility into its network. Now, it's tackling the challenge of internal silos.
After years of sitting on the sidelines, Microsoft has pledged to support WebRTC -- formerly thought of as a Skype competitor -- in Internet Explorer.
Despite the launch of its new Passport smartphone, BlackBerry needs to embrace a future that's in M2M, messaging and enterprise services.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Razorsight Expert's Advice on Real-Time Analytics

11|27|14   |   1:43   |   (0) comments


Razorsight's powerful cloud-based Predictive Analytics solutions are used by the world's leading communications and media brands to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimize outcomes. Get expert advice.
LRTV Interviews
From 4G to 5G: Alcatel-Lucent's Dave Geary

11|25|14   |   09:09   |   (1) comment


Dave Geary, President of Wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, talks about the evolution of the 4G market, small cells, partnerships, 5G and the IoT.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Secure Telefonica Network With Huawei's High-End Firewall

11|24|14   |   4:37   |   (0) comments


Andrew Davies, IP architect of the Telefonica, a leading digital communications company, discusses the Huawei security gateway solution and putting the solution into the testbed.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Partners with Spirent to Verify CE12816's 10GE Port & TRILL Networking Capabilities

11|24|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Spirent Communications is the world's leading supplier for telecom testing appliances and solutions. Spirent has been in a close partnership with Huawei for a long time.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Airlines & Its ICT Transformation

11|24|14   |   2:07   |   (0) comments


In this video, Saudi Airlines discusses its network problems and how Huawei's Agile Network is its all-in-one solution.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Agile Switch Benefiting Saudi Arabia's Yamamah Hospital

11|24|14   |   2:40   |   (0) comments


Saudi Arabia's Yamamah Hospital speaks about how Huawei's Agile Switch has improved the medical service's network infrastructure.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
FanPlay & Huawei Build a Wireless Agile Smart Stadium

11|24|14   |   2:13   |   (0) comments


FanPlay is a cloud-based white label service, which is effectively a football fan engagement platform underpinned by mobile payment technology.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building an Agile Stadium

11|24|14   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Stadiums may be thousands of tons of concrete and steel, but they now need to be agile. Being at the stadium may not be as alluring as it once was. Sports franchises and stadium operators discuss how to get fans back.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Helps ChinaCache Tackle Challenges in the Internet Industry

11|24|14   |   3:09   |   (0) comments


ChinaCache is China's largest content distribution network supplier. Huawei's CE12800 has provided ChinaCache with very strong support in its establishment of an infrastructure network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Cefinity on Managed Security Services & Next-Generation Firewall

11|24|14   |   7:05   |   (0) comments


Cefinity is a cloud management service provider in Southeast Asia. Ivan Zhang, CEO of the company, discusses the implementation of security service management in the cloud era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Agile Gateway in the Eyes of Cefinity

11|24|14   |   2:11   |   (0) comments


Cefinity is a managed service provider for enterprise networks. The company currently uses Huawei's AR series routers for the most complete range of functions. CEO Ivan Zhang speaks about the advantages of the AR series routers.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
CTO of Bus-Online Talks About Huawei's Agile Gateway

11|24|14   |   2:53   |   (0) comments


Bus-Online covers around 100 million users everyday. In addition to providing mobile TV, and advertising services to the public, Bus-Online has also entered the field of mobile Internet.
Upcoming Live Events
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 8-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
April 14, 2015, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Irish Telecom outlines the rise of VoIP technology, including its adoption within businesses and their perception of its quality.
Hot Topics
Net Neutrality Even Mark Cuban Could Love
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/26/2014
Do You Have a 2020 Vision?
Dennis Mendyk, Vice President of Research, Heavy Reading, 11/21/2014
Why 5G Is a Different Beast
Robert Clark, 11/26/2014
Eurobites: Net Neutrality Battle Looms
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 11/27/2014
New Juniper CEO Can Be Thankful for $14.5M
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/25/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed