Smartphone and Data Usage

by Molly Mitchell

With all of the creative, curious and brilliant minds in the brains of so many American individuals comes the production of a device utilizing these talents.  The smartphone, first developed by ISM in 1992, revolutionized quick thinkers’ abilities to have the world at their fingertips.  As soon as it released, consumers loved the idea and smartphone companies suddenly became some of the largest companies in the world.

According to recently collected data, over 68 percent of American adults have smartphones.  This includes grandparents, business workers and students.  Many individuals claim having a smartphone is a “standard and expected.” This statistic is compared to the lower, 34 percent five years ago as it is shown much increase in a small unit of time. With the fast growing industry, comes increase in cost of data.  

It comes as no surprise to most researchers that a majority of Upper Arlington High School students, nearly 96%, and most students in other school districts have their own smartphone.  With having a smartphone every student, or student’s parents, pays for mobile data in order to use the internet while not connected to wifi.  Each mobile carrier has its own internet speed and its own range of prices for the same amounts of data. As years progress, this amount of mobile data remains the same while prices slowly increase.


In a survey of over 350 Upper Arlington high school students, most students use between one and four gigabytes of data every month (appx. 53%). A majority of students pay either Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint for their mobile data.  


Each mobile carrier comes with its own set of costs of dollars per gigabyte.  As shown on the graph to the left, Verizon’s prices are higher than the other two services, Sprint and AT&T.


Why do more people choose Verizon over AT&T and Sprint if its prices are higher? Verizon has more 4G LTE coverage and a stronger, more reliable network.  This means that at more places in the world, whether on mountain top or in a valley, there is a higher percent chance that consumers will have access to the internet.

The 4G LTE Coverage Maps above give evidence as to why people pay more money for the same amount of data.