Data charges can be a major source of bill shock, but how much data does the typical Australian mobile phone owner sign up for? The answer: a relatively scrawny 1500MB.
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Macquarie University's recent Amaysim-sponsored detailed study of 201 demographically representative Australian phone bills includes an analysis of data inclusions and usage. 34.3 per cent of people on monthly plans had 1500MB per month; 23.4 per cent had 2000MB; and 18.4 per cent had 1000MB. The average across all customers was 1584.7MB
Underlining the inadequacy of current billing systems, just 106 of those bills actually provided a clear indication of how much data was used. However, while excess data charges were a major source of bill shock, the majority of customers on those plans don't actually blow their allowance. The average usage for users on a 1500MB plan was 535.7MB — just over a third of the data on offer. The average across all plans was 506.3MB. This underscores the point that while tracking data usage is difficult, many people don't come close to reaching their limit under normal circumstances. The big risk comes when you head overseas.