Year-over-year data consumption is still growing rapidly in the United States. A recent report from NPD showed the average U.S. smartphone user consumed a total of 31.4 GB of data on a monthly basis, across Wi-Fi and cellular.
That’s up 25 percent from the previous year, continuing a long trend of growth predicted by telecommunications providers, suppliers, manufacturers, and many others for years. At this rate of growth with compounding percentages, data use will double every three years or so.
What happened in India? A new low-cost 4G-only carrier emerged, backed by a $25 billion bet by an Indian billionaire, creating a new service offering data at a third the cost of the existing players. After less than one year, Jio now supplies more data than any other mobile network in the world.
Unfortunately it’s almost impossible for something like that to happen Stateside. It’s far more difficult to establish new networks thanks to FCC rules and spectrum auctions, and regional models attract only a small user base. Everything is possible with enough cash, but it would take hundreds of billions of dollars just to compete at a national level.
Without a new entrant in the U.S. market, what can we expect this year as data requirements continue to grow?