Today Show: Data Usage, Is your phone's internet plan working for you?

This morning on the Today Show I chatted about smartphone data usage.

 

Millions of Australians use the interenet through their smart phone, but many Australians don't know how much data they can use.

 

Here's some of the questions I answered this morning to help you get the most out of your phone plan. 

 

What is a gigabyte?

 

All computer data is made of the number '0' or '1'. Each 0 or 1 is a data 'bit'. There are 8 x data bits in a 'byte', 1000 bytes in a kilobyte, and 1000 kilobytes in a megabyte, 1000 megabytes in a gigabyte.

 

So, 1 gigabyte is 1 million bytes!  

 

Because our phone plans offer a limited amount of data, we need to quantify how much is offered, so we pick a number that both is easy to remember and quantifies the value

 

One gig will get you this much useage

 

Social media /internet browsing per month?

 

Facebook uses about 15 megabytes per 15 minutes, so consider 16.5 hours a safe guide for social media use. Remember, images uses more data than text, so cut down image downloading and use social more!

 

How many videos per month?

 

About 30 x 5 minute videos in regular High Definition (720P resolution) quality.

 

How many emails per month?

 

About 20 thousand as each text only email is about 50kb

 

If you have one gigabyte worth of data- what does that cost you?

 

Telstra plan with 1 gig of data - $70

Optus plan with 1 gig of data - $60 

Vodafone plan with 1 gig of data - $55 

 

If I was a heavy data user what plans works for me? 

 

Vodafone RED $85 offer gives you 10GB of data for the first 6 months of use, and 5GB there after (you can leave from the end of the first month)

 

If I was a moderate data user what plans works for me? 

 

Optus My Sim $65 plan gives you 2GB of data, and then auto adds another 800 megabytes (for $10) as you use your data in a month (up to 17.5 GB)

 

If I was an infrequent data user what plans works for me? 

 

Telstra Everyday Connect BYO gives you 1GB of data for $50. Compared to the other two networks their plans look expensive, however they offer the widest nationwide coverage.

 

What plan is there to stop you from going over the limit?  

 

Most plans alert you at various stages of data usage during your monthly. However a good habit is to monitor your usage yourself with an app data tracker. The Onavo app offers a great solution for both iPhone and Android (http://www.onavo.com/)