3 Tips for Saving Money on Mobile Data

iPhones use more data than Android phones

The research suggests that the pleasures of engaging with a premium device, and the better user experience that iPhones offer their owners, leads to longer days of use for the devices, consisting of more screen time from the users. iPhone users are also more likely to watch video content on their phone, a trend particularly prevalent in younger cohorts of users.

As you can see from the chart below, whatever way you cut iPhone users, they get through more mobile data than their Android equivalent.

Source : http://www.analysysmason.com/About-Us/News/Insight/iPhone-data-traffic-Jun2012/

Alt text : iPhones consume up to 100% more data than Android devices, irrespsctive of how much they download.

Caption : iPhones consume more mobile data than Android users, across the board.

An awareness of how much data you use (including the trends applicable to people with phones like yours) is a valuable thing to have. What you pay each month for your phone bill  can be the bigger part of your total phone expense over the time you own a phone than the phone was in the first place. The $50 a week you pay for your monthly phone bill might be the more palatable side of your total phone expenses, because it is paid in many small amounts. But the sum of those amounts can add up.

Almost everything you are paying the phone company for these days is mobile data. Voice calls and SMS are almost always included in amounts which are at least practically unlimited. There are many things which influence how much data you’ll use, including the speed of your iPhone’s processor, whether you have a 3G or a 4G service live. Here are some sure-fire tips for how you can manage that data and avoid the costs associated with it.

Check in at least once every 12 months

Most phone users don’t realise it but your / their mobile data usage is rising at a rate of around 80% per year. So what? So check your phone plan at least once per year to make sure you’re paying for the data upfront – when it’s cheap rather than after you’ve used it – which is when it’s expensive.

Source : https://www.ericsson.com/en/mobility-report/future-mobile-data-usage-and-traffic-growth

Alt text : As Ericsson’s chart makes abundantly clear, mobile data usage is increasing exponentially in every market. Your usage could double in as little of a year. Check your phone plan’s inclusion at least every 2 months.

Caption : Around the world, mobile data usage by smartphones is increasing exponentially.

  • Check your plan once a year, at least: The process of checking how good the value you’re getting from your phone plan will take you no more than half an hour to do. Just like your car or your teeth, you should be checking in at least once a year to do a quick health check.

Get information on your usage

The key thing you need to help you manage your mobile data usage is information. If I asked you now, how much mobile data you’ve used in the last month, would you know?

  • Use the phone company’s free self Service app / portal: Your phone company almost certainly has a self-service app which you can download for free, from the app store, and install on your iPhone. Importantly, the information you receive relating to your usage behaviour, will get from this service provider rather than the phone manufacturer. Since the phone company is the one charging you for the data, it’s their view on how much was used that matters most.
  • Install ‘MyMobile Data’: There are plenty of apps which will measure your iPhone’s mobile data usage and provide. MyMobileData, for example, allows you to set limits on how much you’ve used and establish white / blacklists for apps to minimise ‘background data use.’ (Where your phone quietly uses data and you don’t even realise.)

Limit the big costs

Tends to be two different types of user – and a different solution for each of them. When you get extra charges, how much are they?

  • $10 here and there: It’s almost always easier to buy a prepaid plan if your spending habits are getting out of hand. An increasing number of iPhone users are taking prepaid plans because they generally offer better data inclusions for the most common spend levels ($30 and below) and because, if you use them in the right way, it’s just plain impossible to exceed the spend limit you give yourself.
  • Regular $20+: If you are exceeding your minimum spend commitment to your phone company by $20, regularly, you are on the wrong plan. Use a comparison site service to put plans side by side for networks you know cover the places you work and live. Make sure you consider smaller phone companies’ plans, as well as the better known brands. These ‘MVNOs’ (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) often offer the best deals. They resell other’s networks at reduced costs which means you get the best coverage at the lowest cost.

Bringing it all together

There are far more similarities between Android phones and Apple iPhones than there are differences between them. However, one area in which there is more discrepancy between the two families, is that of data management. Android has more reporting and usage for data built in. Perhaps deemed too technical for Apple users.

Apple are rumoured to be building better data management facilities in to their next iPhone software release, alongside a number of other mobile device management facilities that big company IT departments will be very grateful to see.


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