From WILL - News Local/State -

CUB: Illinoisans Waste More Than $1-Billion On Data Plans

A consumer group says Illinois’ smartphone owners are collectively paying $1.4 billion a year on the wrong data plans.

An analysis by the Citizens Utility Board said many people are ‘oversubscribing’, using plans giving them more data than they will ever use.

CUB Director of Governmental Affairs Bryan McDaniel said a website launched by the agency and research firm Validas shows what savings many smartphone owners can gain from their current carrier.

"For some people, yes, you're going to need five gigs (gigabytes), or 50 gigs," he said.  "But for the average user, we know they're using about 800 megabites.  So that's what we're trying to do, is to get them to innovate and help people save money.  And it's going to be people walking into cell phone stores being educated, and saying 'you know what? I know I don't use a gigabite.  Why don't you offer me something that's a smaller plan."

The CUB analysis applies to customers of AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon.

The analysis showed smartphone owners in Champaign overpaid $9 mllion per year, while those in Decatur spent $8.2 million for excessive data packages they didn’t need.

Research released this month by the Pew Internet & American Life project shows 91 percent of Americans own a cellphone and for the first time, more than half have a smartphone.