Squeezing among all the CES news, UK mobile telco Three reports a huge jump in smartphone data over the past year. On New Year’s Eve, smartphone traffic was up nearly 600% in the UK compared with the same evening a year before. On 31st December 2010, 14 TB of data was transmitted. For the same date in 2011, it was 80 TB.
A similar pattern emerged on New Year’s day, with 74 TB in 2012, compared with 14 TB in 2011. Facebook seems to have become the place for New Year’s wishes with a 20% rise in traffic between midnight and 1am.
I sometimes think people should look up from their phones a bit more often. Now I know I’m right!
With Verizon instituting data usage plans for all new users, and AT&T having already done so, it has become a sad fact of today’s mobile life that we all need to watch what we download, upload, and browse. Of course, you can visit your account on your wireless provider’s site, and Verizon will be sending text messages to users to alert them to what they have used, but that doesn’t completely cover the user.
All mobile providers need to take responsibility for their choice to implement data usage limits, but it seems they are doing as little as possible to meet that goal. In fact, it seems they are actively hoping users will exceed their plans and bring the provider a new revenue stream. With that said, one phone manufacturer is stepping up to the plate.
If you have a Sony Ericsson phone, then the manufacturer has you covered with a newly-released app on its Android Market channel. The Sony Ericsson Data Monitor app tracks mobile data consumption in both directions, and gives you the option to set an alert when your usage hits a certain level. If you are on a monthly contract then you can set the counter to reset at the start of your billing period.
The bad new here is that you have to own a Sony Ericsson device, but hopefully other manufacturers like HTC, Samsung, and Motorola will take a queue from them and implement their own apps. The app is available for free on the Android Market.