NPD found a surge in mobile data usage in March

Mobile data usage has been on the rise for a while, as networks get better and faster and more people get mobile phones. Of course, with many people home right now phones are likely being used more than ever.

NPD, a market research firm that monitors these things, found a surge in usage in March, which coincides with the pandemic and people being forced to work from home.


Usage was up to 75 percent in March, that's year-over-year. Month over month the increase was up to 27 percent. The company points out "This increase in usage was driven primarily by increased time spent on social media applications, using video conferencing platforms, and viewing content via OTT video apps."

This all also ties to mobile hotspot usage and tethering. In fact, hotspot usage rose to 30 percent, that’s up from 25 percent in March 2019.

"There’s no doubt that mobile phones have been indispensable as most Americans find themselves under shelter-at-home mandates. For many, their phones provide a connection to the outside world -- a lifeline so many are yearning for," stated Brad Akyuz, executive director, industry analyst, NPD Connected Intelligence.

Video is the main driving force behind this, it accounts for 70 percent of the usage, some of which is likely teleconferencing with the office. Perhaps not surprising is that the majority is from phones with a screen size 5.5 inches or larger. Smaller phones account for less.

“Americans have more time to spend on their phones, trying to pass time at home or even standing in lines at grocery stores and wholesale retailers, watching engaging video content from any number of platforms that safely allows for social distancing," concluded Akyuz.

Have you noticed an increase in your usage?

Image credit: lassedesignen / Shutterstock

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