back to article US punters gobbling up mobile data

The US is consuming vast amounts of mobile data and, unlike Europe, it's not all SMS messaging, according to a report from consultants Chetan Sharma. Between April and June this year, the US wireless business made $5.85bn from data, an increase of seven per cent on the same period last year, and contributing nearly 17 per cent …


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  1. Daniel Bennett


    And how big is the United States compared to us?


    Thought it was rather obvious to know they are "gobbling" it all up considering how many there are and what they do with their phones...

  2. Ben Boyle

    Data charges

    Yes, but are they getting raped for data charges in the same way that we are? I just took a quick look at T-Mobile and their "unlimited" web and walk package in the US is $5.99.

    Admittedly it's a small sample, but I'm lazy and don't want to upset myself by finding out how little the Yanks are getting charged,

  3. Jeff

    RE: Data Charges

    I'm now living in the US, originally an Essex boy though.

    I've noticed that hardly anyone uses SMS here (compared to the UK), but using the mobile for surfing the internet is ridiculously cheap.

    The services where I live are $20 a month for unlimited Internet access! With todays exchange rate that's just 10 pounds.

    The US still charge customers to receive calls though, so this is perhaps where they are making their money back.

  4. Gareth

    Re: Data charges

    Data is cheaper here in the US, definitely. Helio offers unlimited data on their 3G network from $65 per month, most other carriers are similar.

    The US seems to have skipped the whole premium SMS and WAP thing, going straight for mobile broadband.

  5. Martin Lee

    Web and Walk UK

    WnW in the UK is £5/month, but you can typically get a discount (or free!) if you moan loud enough when it comes to contract upgrade/renewal time.

  6. Dillon Pyron

    Voice charges

    Yes, mobile users are charged to both call and receive. Unless your provider decides otherwise. But since most everybody is on a minutes plan, the carrier only makes out if you don't use all of your minutes (or a fair chunk of them) or go over. I'm paying about $.10 a minute, but if I bought a pricier plan, my per minute rate would go down. And AT&T gives free mobile to mobile between AT&T customers and if you buy into their new "Unity" all in one plan, you get free calls to and from all AT&T customers, mobile and land.

  7. Andy Tyzack

    re. Web and Walk UK

    Sorry to split hairs but web and walk in the UK DOESNT cost this much, please check your facts before you start posting rubbish

  8. Charles Burrows

    WebnWalk UK

    People taking out basic Webnwalk in the UK on top of a voice plan pay £7.50 for unlimited browsing. This via third parties, not sure about direct from T-Mobile.

    Providers like often give the data bundles away free with one of their smartphones though.

  9. Rob


    Yes it is £7.50 standard rate from anyone including T-Mob and yes you can get it for £5 if you catch a promo offer or phone up their CS and beg/bargain with them, that's there standard unlimited browsing package. The packakge (WnW Pro) for VOIP and and connecting your mob to your laptop for normal broadband use is £12.50

    And yes all of the above are facts at the time of writing (hopefully that clears up any confusion).

  10. Christopher Woods

    US overtaking the UK? Er... Don't think so somehow!

    "The US has long been seen to be lagging behind Europe in mobile, and in many areas that's still true, but these figures indicate that any lead Europe still maintains isn't going to last long."

    Ha - networks in the US sell phones to customers that their respective UK counterpart operations couldn't GIVE away (example: go to the T-Mobile US or Virgin Mobile US sites, check out their phones and the prices & tariffs, and then see what phones are sold on the UK sites). Me and the CSR who handled my call had a good laugh about that last time I rang my operator.

    So the US is going to overtake the UK for mobile data? Right... Oh wait, the UK has at least two country-wide networks either running or rolling out 3.6mbps HSDPA networks (3 has the full 3.6mbps network, T-Mobile currently has a 1.8mbps network and both Vodafone and Orange are rolling out HSDPA networks nationwide)... And in one case, HSUPA (yum!) will make an appearance within the next 18 months, according to the TMO rep I spoke to, which fits in very nicely with the impending appearance of the HTC Kaiser, which supports HSUPA.

    Oh, and on the whole, the data deals are far better too.

    The US networks might have more subscribers due to their sheer volume of residents, that's luck of the draw really - but the UK'll still have some of the best core networks, even if some of the operators do royally take the piss (£7.50 a month for inclusive data on Vodafone, as long as you only do 120 MEGABYTES a month? I pay £7.50 to T-Mobile and I get 2Gb a month, and they don't mind if you go over a bit... How can Vodafone possibly expect people aside from those already locked into contracts to find that the LEAST bit enticing?)

    That aside, our networks are FAR better. One bone of contention with UK networks - the RF interference. I do think that people in the US who diss GSM networks over CDMA have a point insofar as concerns the interference you get on radios and TVs - that drove me mad last week when I was at a relatives' house and had to use the mobile data access (going up north is sometimes like going to a different country telecoms-wise!) But then again, if I can get faster speeds on my 3G than US customers can with their EDGE connections, that's fine by me. :D

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