Introducing its new metered plans, AT&T offered a scenario for what you can do with 2 gigabytes of data, its higher-end plan, in a month -- send or receive 1,500 emails with attachments and 10,000 without, view 4,000 Web pages, post 500 photos to social media sites, and watch 200 minutes of streaming video. But the reality might not be that clear cut. Not all apps are created equal, after all. (See AT&T Intros Mobile Data Caps.)
This does not, of course, apply to app usage over WiFi, but if an AT&T consumer is using her 3G network, what she actually gets from 2GB of data could be a different story. Patrick Lopez, chief marketing officer of mobile video optimization provider Vantrix Corp. , says most users will get to that cap within the first two to three weeks of their monthly subscription.
"That’s from regular usage, let’s say two to three videos per week," Lopez says. "Not every day, but every other day or so watching a video -- not even necessarily a full-length video, but going to YouTube every other day will use those 2GB very quickly."
Here are five top data hogs that could bust through the roof of your data caps.
It’s really video, more so than any other possible app that’s driving data usage, says Vantrix's Lopez. YouTube’s mobile Website alone accounts for more than 50 percent of video traffic, but mobile users are also starting to watch full-length movies and mobile video for extensive periods of time. Viewing sessions will only continue to increase in time, he warns.
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile