Mobile data allowance
Data is used whenever you use the internet and are not connected to WiFi. This includes when you use apps like WhatsApp to send or receive messages or make calls, access social media, browse the internet, stream video, or listen to music through an online app.
How much mobile data do I need?
The average smartphone user uses 5-6GB per month. If you mainly use your data to browse the internet and send messages via Whatsapp or another messaging service, this much should be more than enough for you.
This plan from Tesco Mobile offers 20GB, along with unlimited texts and minutes every month.
Should I go for an unlimited data plan?
If you stream a lot of video content while you’re on the move, your data usage is likely to be higher than the average user. If this sounds like you, many providers are now offering unlimited data - or a really high data allowance, like 30GB - which would be worth considering.
Mobile data allowance FAQs
1. What are megabytes (MB) and gigabytes (GB)?
Data allowances are normally measured in gigabytes (GBs). One GB is equal to 1,024 megabytes (MB).
2. What is a fair use policy?
Fair usage policies are put in place by mobile phone providers to ensure customers are not abusing the spirit of ‘unlimited’ plans.
Essentially, mobile phone providers have a threshold for what they believe a normal, personal customer will use per billing cycle. If you regularly exceed this, you could be hearing from your provider.
3. How can I reduce my mobile data usage?
If you don’t want to move to an unlimited plan, you’ll need to be very careful about your usage to avoid excess charges.
There are some really simple things you can do to help with this, for example:
- Use WiFi whenever possible;
- Download movies, TV shows and music over WiFi so you don’t need to stream when you’re on the move;
- Make sure your apps only update over WiFi; and
- Disable any push notifications that you don’t need.
4. What is the cost of exceeding my mobile data allowance?
You will normally be charged a set amount for every MB of data you use above your allowance. These costs can be €0.02-€0.03 per MB, so considering every website you visit uses around 1MB, it could quickly add up.
It’s possible to set a data limit on most handsets, or to set up alerts with your provider, so if you don’t want to go above your limit, it might be wise to set these up.