July 13, 2016
'Pokémon GO': Is It Killing Your Data Plan? The Answer May Surprise You!

There's no way to deny it. Pokémon GO-mania is here! But is it killing your data plan? The answer may surprise you! According to USA Today, there have been more than 15 million downloads of the app since its recent debut. In addition, Pokémon GO has already proved to be one of the most heavily used apps in existence. It's even beating out Facebook and Snapchat.

As you might guess, there's been a major concern over whether or not Pokémon GO is turning out to be a major data hog. In a Wall Street Journal interview, a Verizon spokesman put it like this.
"Nobody is necessarily busting their bundle."
Chuck Hamby went on to explain that even though Pokémon GO is more popular than many people expected it would be, the app makes up less than 1 percent of the carrier's overall data traffic.

If you're active on Twitter, you may have noticed more and more Pokémon GO players complaining that the game is maxing out their data plan. However, a popular network analytics firm just concluded that the app only uses between five to 10 megabytes of data per hour.

Going by information provided by Verizon's data calculator, that amount is extremely small when compared to watching 60 minutes worth of HD video. According to the same calculator, a Verizon user would have to play Pokémon GO for seven hours a day (for 30 days in a row) to use up the network's two-gigabyte data plan. Keep in mind, however, that every carrier is different.

The analytics firm also reported that after studying data provided by 100 Pokémon GO users, the average playing session only lasted 100 seconds. During the week ending July 12, the same users played the game for an average of only 48 minutes. This specific data was compiled using statistics for more than 5,000 sessions.

In reality, most of the functions of Pokémon GO actually happen inside the phone. This includes the gyroscope and the camera. Even though the game uses GPS, it doesn't use mobile networks as heavily as other types of navigation apps, which are required to redraw maps on a constant basis.

No one knows how long the Pokémon GO craze will last. This newest gaming obsession has already prompted warnings from police and forced hospitals and a variety of other public buildings to outlaw playing the game on their property or in their facilities. Safety and privacy are the main concerns.

Regarding the privacy issue, Fox News indicated that Minnesota Senator Al Franken is more than a little bit concerned. He posted an open letter to the CEO of Niantic (the maker of Pokémon GO) stating that he believes the company is collecting user information without the appropriate consent. Among other things, Franken wants to know who the company shares its data with and how they are handling the issue of parental consent. He gave the CEO until August 12 to respond to his inquiry.

On a happier note, many people are finding creative ways to cash in on the Pokémon GO frenzy. One such person is a man who identifies himself as Mike B. Mike, who lives in Baltimore, posted an ad on Craigslist offering rides around the Baltimore area, reported CBS Baltimore.

Apparently, Mr. B. reasoned that there might be players who wanted to make the game a little bit easier on themselves. Chauffeur service, anyone? If he's successful, do you think he'll put some of his profit toward his own data plan?

Are you willing to admit that you're addicted to Pokémon GO? If so, millions of other gamers are in the same boat, scoping out rare Pokémon from coast to coast. The good news is this. Even though the app may drain your cell phone battery, it isn't necessarily killing your data plan. What does that mean? It means you'll have more money to buy a new pair of walking shoes. By the look of things, you're probably going to need them!

[Photo by Alan Diaz/AP Images]