The Truth About Unlimited Data: Are You Getting What You Pay For?

Unlimited anything sounds great, but with wireless service, the truth is complicated

How much data do you really need on your monthly cellular plan?

To hear the ‘Big 4’ wireless companies tell it, the answer is simple: go unlimited! After all, we live in an age where we can stay glued to our smartphone screens nearly every minute for news, email, social media posts, using GPS, video streaming and all the other trappings of the modern digital world.

The Limits of Unlimited

Here’s what the Big 4 don’t want you to know: according to recent analysis, the average North American smartphone user consumes about 5.1 gigabytes (GB) of cellular data each month. Breaking usage down by age, a Nielsen survey found that in an average month, users age 55-64 consumed just 1.3GB of data and those over age 65 used less than 1GB. The simple truth is, the cellular data needs of many boomers are a far cry from unlimited.

In addition, some carriers promising “unlimited data” will actually limit your high-speed data to just a couple of gigabytes per month. Once you use up that allotment, you’ll have unlimited access, but at much slower speeds. This makes it more difficult to load pages quickly or to stream video, even though you’re paying a premium for “unlimited” access.

Factor in the rapidly growing availability of Wi-Fi, which lets you access a wireless Internet connection without consuming any data from your cellular plan, and this much becomes clear: for many users, “unlimited” plans are simply more enticing than they are practical.

Flexible Plans Keep Up with Your Lifestyle

While the ‘Big 4’ keep coming up with creative new ways to encourage you to go “unlimited,” real deals can be found that provide what you actually need. For instance, take a look at what you’ll get with a carrier like Consumer Cellular: data plans range from 500MB to 25GB of data per month, with many customers paying as little as $20 a month for everything including talk, text and data.

When it comes to data plans, one size never fits all. Your needs can fluctuate from one month to the next. Consumer Cellular conveniently lets you change your data plan anytime you need to without paying additional fees, and if you do happen to go over the amount on your plan, automatically upgrades you to the next level to cover your usage without charging overage penalties.

Start Saving Today

Unlimited anything sounds nice, but in reality, no one wants to buy more of something than they’ll ever use ­– or pay more than they should. Yet that’s exactly what most people with unlimited cellular data plans are doing.

Cellular competition is fierce, so make sure you’re getting what’s best for the way you really use your data. Check your current bill to find out how much you’re actually using, then shop around. With a carrier like Consumer Cellular, you can have all the data you really need, and for much less money.

By Consumer Cellular
Consumer Cellular is a top-rated wireless carrier providing no-contract cellphones and service plans primarily to the 50+ demographic.

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