Three's average data usage smashes 15GB mark for first time, as 2020 takes its toll

Three mobile
(Image credit: Shutterstock / ImYanis)

As 2020 draws to a close it's time to take stock, and Three has done exactly that, only to find that this was the year of big data use. For the first time, the average data use for a person in a month has broken through the 15GB mark. An ideal time to lookout for the best unlimited data SIM only deals then.

This jump up in data use is a 50% climb from the start of 2020. This, Three suggests, is due to the nature of the lockdown giving people more time to turn to their phones. It found that contacting loved ones using social media has accounted for a lot of the extra data used. 

That and the 21 million video meetings held online. And that's despite a whopping 3.2 million workers admitting to avoiding work calls because they were still in their pajamas.

The 2020 data jump up

Since 2019 the number of WhatsApp messages, per person, has risen by 364, calls by 156 and social media posts by 104. Interestingly it is over 55-year-olds that have sent and extra 312 WhatsApp messages this year, compared to an increase of 156 for younger people. 

This could be thanks to the 4.7 million phones given to loved ones to stay in contact this year. Perhaps that is part of why a quarter of over 55-year-olds said they have developed closer bonds with family who they would not have spoken to otherwise. 

Three also suggests that it is enhanced services, like the rollout of its 5G data connection – which it claims is the UK's fastest – as well as its "generous data packages", that help to account for the use of more data in 2020. That and the best Three mobile deals to land this year being plentiful.

Susan Buttsworth, chief operating officer at Three UK said: "We kept our customers connected despite the changes brought on by the pandemic and continued to rollout our 5G networks and enhancements to our 4G service. I’m proud of the work my team has achieved and we will ensure our customers can use even more than the incredible 15GB they are at the moment next year."

More like this:

Luke Edwards

Luke is a freelance writer and editor with over two decades of experience covering tech, science and health. Among many others he writes across Future titles covering health tech, software and apps, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and plenty more. He also likes to climb mountains, swim outside and contort his body into silly positions while breathing as calmly as possible.