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5G Data Use

by User Not Found | May 13, 2021

The amount of cellular data being consumed on 5G handsets is significantly greater, some 43%, than on non-5G handsets based on AppOptix data for 2021.  To illustrate, 5G handsets averaged 492 MB of daily cellular data consumption compared with 343 MB for non-5G devices.  This observation doesn’t necessarily mean all activity is on a 5G network, rather that these devices are using a lot more data than their non-5G counterparts with more likely a combination of both 5G and 4G LTE services being intertwined throughout the day based on the handsets’ location and proximity to a 5G base station. 
 5G vs Non 5G Data

The 5G handsets are also consuming about 102 minutes on cellular data compared with 98 for non-5G devices, roughly equivalent.  However, the content – and the speed at which the content is being rendered, is clearly higher on 5G resulting in a significant increase in overall data use. 

When examining which app categories are being used on 5G handsets one category, social media, stands out, representing approximately 28% of overall daily data consumption.  Entertainment and Browsing (both using about the same at 12.6% of overall data consumption daily.

5G App Use  

So, though we are not observing a large increase in minutes of use on 5G handsets while on cellular networks, the amount of data increases significantly more, suggesting a richer engagement and user experience.  Essentially, media such as streaming video is loading faster with less latency and potentially providing finer resolution depending on handset.

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