& cplSiteName &

CTIA Site Dispels Mobile Data Mysteries

Sarah Thomas
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        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
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.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
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.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
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.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
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   >   >>
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from Que Sera Sarah
WiC congratulates the winners of our inaugural Leading Lights awards: Cisco's Yvette Kanouff, Zayo Group's Sandi Mays and startup Grid4C.
Leaders from Mellanox, Arista Networks, Syniverse, ECI Telecom and Cisco round out WiC's inaugural female tech pioneers of the year.
Women from AT&T, Ciena, Ixia, Zayo Group and Fujitsu make our shortlist for working to advance the cause of women in the next-gen comms industry.
Join WiC and Flex's Caroline Dowling for a live radio show on Tuesday at 12PM ET on how technology is powering the fourth revolution and to what effect in the future.
New companies with a focus on video graphics, smart grid predictive analytics and a quadcopter camera make up WiC's finalists for Female-Led Startup to Watch.
From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP’s Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it’s going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Innovations in Cable

5|26|16   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Marc Aldrich from Cisco discusses the latest in security, the evolution and momentum for CCAP and what the industry will be seeing next from Cisco.
LRTV Documentaries
Leading Lights 2016 Highlights

5|25|16   |   02:26   |   (1) comment


Some of the high points from this year's Leading Lights awards dinner at the Hotel Ella in Austin, Texas.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2016

5|23|16   |   05:43   |   (0) comments


Find out who has been welcomed into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE TM Forum Highlights

5|23|16   |     |   (0) comments


ZTE showcased its new ICT solutions at TM Forum in Nice.
LRTV Interviews
Gamma's MD on the Emergence of UC2

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Gamma Communications Managing Director David Macfarlane believes the unified communications (UC) market has reached a tipping point.
LRTV Custom TV
The Ultimate 5-Minute Guide to Digital Customer Engagement

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this short video, you will hear all about how Digital Customer Engagement is the key to meeting customer expectations, keeping them happy, and maximizing revenue. VP Product & Marketing at Pontis, Ofer Razon, breaks down for us the five essential capabilities for successful Digital Customer Engagement. Don’t miss!
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 1 – NFV Use Cases Get Real

5|19|16   |   05:57   |   (0) comments


Consensus is building around the key use cases for NFV, including managed IP services at the network edge and on customer premises, which can generate new revenues from enterprises/SMBs and consumers; Evolved Packet Core to support LTE migration; and adjacent technologies, such as TAS and IMS, to support VoLTE and next-generation charging and policy control ...
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 3

5|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang discusses the challenges of operational transformation and how Nokia helps its customers. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Why UC Is In Demand

5|17|16   |   04:12   |   (1) comment


Andrew Edison, Level 3's senior VP of sales, EMEA region, talks about the drivers of growth in the unified communications services market.
LRTV Custom TV
ARM's OPNFV Action

5|17|16   |     |   (0) comments


At the ARM booth at MWC 2016, Joe Kidder and Bob Monkman speak to Light Reading about OPNFV and their upcoming action.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 2

5|16|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang gives advice to service providers on how to move to NFV. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Interoute CTO on NFV's Maturity

5|13|16   |   06:46   |   (1) comment


Matt Finnie, CTO at international operator Interoute, explains how NFV has made life easier in terms of logistics and how Interoute can now enable a 'software-defined moment' for its customers.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
December 6-8, 2016,
June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
DT: Telcos Must Escape Vendor Prison
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/24/2016
AT&T to Start 5G 'Friendly' Trial by 2016 End
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/24/2016
Cisco's Patel Hails 'Microculture' Successes
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/26/2016
AT&T's Margaret Chiosi Retires
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 5/25/2016
Cable Is Eyeing Its Retail Options
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.