Manage your mobile data use

With smartphones allowing us to browse the internet, use social media, upload and download videos and photos, it’s important to keep an eye on your mobile data usage.

Some plans now offer unlimited data or allow you to share data usage across a family plan, while other plans offer set amounts of data per billing period.

Here are some tips on controlling your mobile data usage:

  • Data use is generally measured in megabytes (MB) and plans or data packs often provide you with a certain amount of gigabytes (GB). There are 1000 MB in 1 GB.
  • Choose a plan that matches your usage patterns. And if you find that you are not on the best plan for your usage, talk to your service provider about changing plans or purchasing a data package.
  • Service providers often have tools or apps that help you monitor your data usage; or your phone may track your data usage.
  • If you are using a mobile broadband (USB dongle) service – don’t leave it running in the background while you are not using your laptop.
  • In compliance with the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code, your service provider will send you alerts when you reach 50%, 85% and 100% of your included data limits. Don’t ignore these alerts and contact your mobile carrier or service provider if you think you may exceed your data limit for the month as you may want to consider upgrading your data pack.
  • Keep in mind that videos use a lot of data. Some typical estimates for mobile data use are as follows (noting that this can vary depending on device and the content involved):

1 minute video – 2 MB30 minute video – 60-90 MB4 minute music video on YouTube – 11 MB

15 minutes spent on Facebook – 5 MB

100 emails with no attachments – 2.5 MB

an email with an attachment or photo – 18 MB

browsing 100 web pages – 20 MB

10 minutes spent on Google Maps – 6 MB

  • If you are going to be roaming overseas and plan to use mobile data while roaming talk to your service provider about purchasing a roaming plan and data pack that will work for you. And read our roaming tips here.