Over the past few years, the two top wireless carriers in the United States have been working tirelessly to push subscribers away from unlimited data plans and onto capped plans that provide a certain amount of data each month, after which overages are charged. The reasons for the shift are fairly obvious — as more data hungry mobile services proliferate, carriers make more money. Which carrier has been the best so far when it comes to monetizing data and shifting subscribers over to tiered data plans? According to a new study by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, Verizon is the leader by a fairly substantial margin.
CIRP conducted a survey of 500 U.S. wireless subscribers in early July and determined that as of the end of the second quarter, Verizon is the leader among the nation’s top four carriers when it comes to monetizing data.
The firm found that among customers with data plans, Verizon has the fewest proportion of subscribers on unlimited plans at 22%. AT&T is the No. 2 carrier at 44%. The study found that Verizon also has the highest portion of customers on shared data plans.
As one might assume, Verizon’s success with higher-margin data plans ultimately means that the carrier also enjoys the highest average monthly bill, with 51% of Verizon customers reporting that they pay more than $100 each month compared to an average of 42% at other carriers.
14% of subscribers say they pay more than $200, according to the study, compared to an average of 7% across other carriers.
“As customers shift their mobile use to data, and away from voice and even text messages, carriers continue to find ways to address the changes profitably,” CIRP co-founder Mike Levin said in a press release. “Verizon has done better than its competitors in charging customers for their increased data use, and it shows in customers’ reported monthly bills.”
UPDATE: A Verizon Wireless representative has contacted BGR via email to note that CIRP’s claim that 22% of Verizon subscribers are still on unlimited plans is not accurate, and the actual percentage is lower than that.