One of the best things about smartphones is the fact they can be used to surf the internet wherever you go (as long as you have a signal, of course). We no longer have to wait until we get home before checking our work emails, or – more likely – our social media feeds. However, some of us are using this feature a bit too much.
Deloitte's 2017 Mobile Consumer Survey has revealed the amount us Aussies spend on our phone data, and it isn't pretty. In total, our telcos rake in more than $300 million each year from people going over their mobile data allowance, which almost always leads to extra charges.
Out of around 2,000 Australians that were surveyed for the study, 43 per cent said they went over their data allowance either “fairly often” or “very often”. According to Deloitte's calculations, it's a lot cheaper to go past your cap these days – 33 times cheaper than it was in 2013 – but it still adds up to almost $30 million of extra charges per month.
It seems that no matter how much data we have, we're going to exceed it. In fact, more data actually could lead to more charges, with Deloitte finding that those with an allowance of between three and five GB per month were twice as likely to exceed their limit than those with 500MB per month.
However, Aussies are increasingly going for phone contracts with larger data allowances. Before 2013, only nine per cent of Australians had a limit of 10GB per month or more. In 2017, that number has increased to 23 per cent. In fact, only 15 per cent of us have a mobile phone plan with less than one GB of data per month, down from 42 per cent before 2013.
While the amount of data we're allowed to use is increasing, 59 per cent of Aussies still get less than five GB per month on their plan. In a world that contains YouTube, Netflix and Spotify, this might not be enough to stream all the content we consume.