Mobile Internet Data Usage and Statistics Revealed

Mobile phones in the UK are used for a variety of activities. From checking emails to placing phone calls and creating videos, there is practically nothing that cannot be done with them today when combined with the internet. We’ve delved into the data to figure out exactly how people are using the internet today on their mobile phones.

How Much Data Do Services Use?

With so many different things that can be done using the web on mobile phones, one simple question has to be asked: how much data does each activity use?

When surfing the web, an average of 250KB is used to browse each loaded page. Facebook browsing is a bit more conservative on the data side, with one hour of browsing consuming approximately 20MB of data on your mobile plan.

On Twitter, many people upload photos and other forms of multimedia to share with the world. For each photo uploaded, it takes about 1.5MB. Every time you use Skype to place a mobile phone call to another mobile user, you’ll use about 3MB for each minute on the phone.

How much data does video streaming use? On YouTube, standard videos consume about 50MB of data per hour. Via SkyGo, you’ll consume around 300MB of data per hour. On a premium service such as Netflix, expect to use around 600MB of data for each hour of video watched.

When listening to music, mobile data usage is a bit lower. BBC Radio, for instance, uses about 60MB per hour of streaming broadcast. On services such as Spotify, low quality streaming will consume around 40MB per hour; higher-quality streaming will consume around 70MB per hour.

Consumption Habits by OS

Depending on the type of mobile device and operating system in use, there is a difference in how much data the average person consumes.

Across all Apple devices, less data is consumed than on some other platforms – the average UK user consumes around 500MB of data per month via the iPhone. On Android devices, which tend to be more varied from user to user, the average is around 600MB. BlackBerry users – who are becoming fewer and farther between as other mobile phones and devices beat them in functionality – only consume about 130MB per month in the UK on average.

Among all UK mobile phone users, roughly 40 percent state that their mobile phone is a more important device for accessing the web on a daily basis than any other device they own.

How Mobile Data Users Spend Their Time

How exactly do UK residents spend their time when accessing content on their mobile devices?

By far, the most prominent use of their time comes down to simple internet browsing – the average user spends 25 minutes per day browsing the web on his or her mobile phone.

Coming in second is social media usage, which clocks approximately 17 minutes of time per day. Close behind is the use of music streaming services, logging around 16 minutes per day of use in the UK.

From there, the usage becomes less distinct and is spread out among various categories. Playing games accounts for an average of 14 minutes of time per capita, making calls comes in at 12 minutes, checking emails takes up 11 minutes per day and text messaging accounts for 10 minutes per day of time.

When/Where People Use Their Smartphones

During what times of the day and activities do UK phone users access their mobile data? According to citizens, a full 25 percent of that time is spent while travelling from place to place. Twenty two percent of the time, phones are being accessed when residing in indoor public spaces. Twenty one percent of the time, data is being accessed while outdoors. Seventeen percent of the time is spent accessing mobile data services while at someone else’s house (rude!) and 14 percent of the time, devices are being used while at work.

More Access and Usage Data

Approximately sixty percent of all mobile phone owners report that they use their smartphones for mobile data functions on a daily basis. When factoring in only those who have mobile data plans, consumers use roughly 1GB of data each month – more than double what it was just four years ago (and substantially higher than the 130 – 600MB of data used per capita across all devices by brand).

Twenty five percent of smartphone owners state that they will browse the web directly on a daily basis from their smartphones.


In the UK, mobile data usage has taken hold of the smartphone user base and – to a lesser but still significant extent – internet usage as a whole. We definitely expect that all of these trends will continue to intensify as more mobile devices become prominent in the day-to-day lives of UK residents, making it possible to never be without all of the functions that come with traditional desktop computer usage.

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