Are you wondering how much data you need for your phone? According to a report by Ericsson, most smartphone users in North America used around 14GB of data in 2021. However, with so many cell phone plan options available, it can be overwhelming to decide exactly how much data to get. You want to have enough data without paying for more than you need, especially before getting locked in a lengthy contract. To answer this question, we need to analyze your online activities. Keep reading for tips on how to determine the right data amount for you.
What is Cellular Data?
In a very simplified definition, mobile data is how your device connects to the internet without a Wi-Fi connection through a wireless carrier or a cellular network.
How is Mobile Data Measured?
Before we start cranking out numbers, let’s go over the basics on how data is measured. Don’t worry, it is quite simple. Data is usually measured in kilobytes (KB), megabytes (MB) and gigabytes (GB). When looking at your data usage, it may be presented using these three metrics. However, MB and GB are more commonly used. Using a converter at GBMB, we can see that a kilobyte is less than a megabyte and a megabyte is less than one gigabyte.
Kilobyte < Megabyte < Gigabyte
1000 Kilobyte = 1 Megabyte
1000 Megabyte = 1 Gigabyte
Why do we need to know this? Mobile apps usually consume data in KB or MB at a time, not GB. For example, if you used a total of 4800 megabytes of data in one day, it is much simpler to convert it in terms of gigabytes which is 4.8GB of data.
What Do I Need Data For?
Mobile data is used for any online activities, such as surfing the web, checking emails, social media, music, GPS, video streaming and more. These are just a few examples, but there are plenty of other ways too. If you want to send or receive picture messages, you will need data for that too.
How Do I Calculate My Data Usage?
Now that we know how mobile data works, we are now ready to estimate how much data you will need. If you already have a data plan set up, you can use your smartphone to track data usage.
The steps are pretty similar for both iPhone and Android users.
For iPhones, Apple Support has instructions on how to check data usage:
Go to Settings
Click on Cellular or Mobile Data
Scroll down to see Current Period under Cellular Data to see your data usage. If you scroll down further you may be able to see which apps use data and how much for the current period.
For Android and Samsung users, instructions can be found on AndroidPolice (Settings may vary depending on your device):
Go to your Settings
Click Network & internet
Tap on SIMs
Scroll down and click App Data Usage to see how much data you used for a specific time period.
Go to Settings
Click Data Usage and you will see how much data you have consumed for the time period. If you scroll down and click “Mobile Data Usage” you can view which apps used data and how
If you don’t already have a data plan and want to estimate your data needs, we will need an idea of how much data each app or online activities uses.
Hourly Data Usage of Apps
Not all applications use the same amount of data per hour. Some apps like Netflix will consume more data depending on your settings. For example, watching a video at a higher quality will consume more data than streaming at low quality. We can gauge your data needs by looking at estimated data use of some popular apps.
Using data estimations from WhistleOut based on their own tests, we can see approximately how much data some of the more popular apps use per hour on the table below.
*Table 1.1 Mobile App Data Usage per hour (based on estimates from whistleout.com.au)
With this information you can multiply the data usage by the amount of time you think you will spend using each app per day.
For example, on an average day, if you use Youtube, Facebook and Spotify for 1 hour each, your total data usage per day would be 530MB. To get your monthly data usage, multiply this number by 30. For this scenario, the monthly data usage would be 530MB * 30 days = 15, 900MB or ~15.9GB/month. However, make sure to allow for variations. Some days you may use more or less data. We highly recommend getting a plan with more data than you would typically use on average, just to be safe. You don’t want to be stuck in a situation where you run out of data before the end of the month. (But if you do, the great thing about Jethro Mobile plans is they are super flexible! We have data add-ons available if you need them for a worry-free experience.) We recommend at least 1 extra GB per month if you don’t use much data. If you are using a larger amount of data in a month, then it would be better to get 2 or 3 extra GB of data every month. We have unlimited data plans starting at just $20/month (USD). Our plans are all prepaid, which means you can switch to any plan anytime according to your needs. After purchasing the SIM card, and shipped directly to your door, getting your phone plan set up is quick and easy. Just insert the SIM card into your phone, then simply call us or log in online to your Jethro Mobile account and activate it within minutes! Jethro Mobile is determined to give its customers the best possible plans at the most affordable prices. That is why we have some exciting news for you.
Jethro Mobile Data Increase!
Jethro Mobile just leveled up their data game for our Smartphone and US Travel plans while staying at the same great price! Now you can get up to 50% more data included with your Jethro Mobile plan to do all the awesome things you love. See below for a full list of data increases!
Old Data Per Month
New Data per Month
For our US Travel Plans (Canadian customers)
View our US Travel Plans on the Canadian website
We hope this has helped you gain a better idea of your data usage. Thank you for reading our blog.
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By: Kanyen Sherwood and Carlo Lapuz