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Understanding Your Smartphone Data Allowance

By Rizwan Ahmad - 15 February 2013 No Comments
Your Smartphone Data Allowance
Anyone who has a smartphone and uses it to get onto the Internet will have a data allowance that they will need to abide by or find themselves with a large bill.  However, even if you know what the data allowance is it can be hard to know what it actually means.  If you have 1GB then what does that actually allow you to do?

Your data allowance may be referred to in megabytes (MB) or gigabytes (GB).  It should be noted that some of the smallest contract deals will allow you usage of around 250MB. Many T-Mobile and Orange mobile dealsnow offer around 1GB or even 2GB and these are set to increase all the time as people are looking to use mobile Internet more and leave the laptop switched off.
We will take 1GB as our yardstick and show what you can expect from that:

  • Viewing webpgages will give you around 102 hours of surfing with 1GB.
  • For use of Facebook (including updating statuses, viewing others and using some of the apps, but not for streaming online video) you can spend 51 hours on the site with 1GB.
  • If you are watching TV via the Internet then you will be able to watch around 5 and a half hours of programmes for 1GB.
  • Sending an email uses very little of the data allowance so for 1GB you can send more than 40,000 emails (not including attachments)!
  • Google Maps is a popular app with many mobile phone users and 1GB of data allowance will give you more than 28 hours on this one app.
  • Using Skype for video chat will give you 12.8 hours from your 1GB allowance. 
If you are someone who logs on to their email and social networking sites several times a day as well as using features such as video calls on Skype then you may find that your allowance runs out sooner than you think.

You need to keep yourself aware of the various tasks you are using your data allowance for and keep an eye on your usage.  It is possible to speak to your provider and get an update on how much you have used and most allow you to access this information from their website. It is a good idea to make sure that you know what your allowance is before you begin using it.  It is also a good idea to find out what the charges are if you happen to go over the allowance.  It may be that the service will simply stop working but it could be that you are just racking up a bill.

Check with your provider.  They may have an ‘add-on’ to your phone package where you can use an extra GB or two for just a few extra pounds each month.  This is far cheaper than using it when it is not part of the package. However, not all providers offer this so find out before you get the phone – it will also help you to pick the right phone for you.

Rizwan Ahmad
About the Author:
This article is contributed by Phil Turner and posted by Rizwan Ahmad Author and founder of, He is a tech blogger from India and he loves to share his thoughts by writing articles on this site to the different topics related to technology world,


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