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This is what could force Verizon and AT&T to finally ditch data caps

Published Dec 24th, 2013 10:25AM EST
Verizon AT&T Monthly Data Use

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Verizon and AT&T have long insisted that the majority of their subscribers face no danger of going over their monthly data caps, but that may be about to change. The New York Times reports on a new study published this week showing that average monthly mobile data consumption in the United States has surged over the last year, going from an average of 690MB per month in 2012 to 1.2GB per month this year. If data usage keeps growing at this pace then next year the average wireless user will consume around 2.4GB per month, which is well over many subscribers’ monthly data caps.

If more mobile subscribers get hit with monthly overage fees then it could benefit both T-Mobile and Sprint, neither of which implements data caps on their smartphone plans. Sprint has already taken shots at the two major incumbent carriers for their capped family data plans and T-Mobile has shown that it will gleefully bash its rivals for just about everything, so we can expect to see a renewed focus on data caps next year if they increasingly become a pain point for more consumers.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.