It's no secret that we simply can't live without our mobile phones anymore. They've become so much more than just a phone to speak to people on via voice calls, but are now our sat-navs, cameras, maps, notebooks, calendars and they're even replacing computers with mobile browsing higher than ever before and beginning to take over desktop browsing! When buying a contract we probably prioritise the data bundle over calls and texts. In this blog post we'll look at ways to save money on mobile data each month with a few simple tricks and tips.
Photo by Paul Hanaoka
Mobile phone customers use more data on the move than ever before. However, most customers still don’t use their data allowance and end up paying more than they need to on their monthly tariff. The average monthly bill for a mobile phone user in the UK is £45.60 and the average data plan is 16GB of data.
The average data usage in the UK is a lot lower than the average data plan. Most users in the UK only use just above 4GB of a data a month. Research suggests users will only use around 9GB of data by 2021. This means most of us are paying far too much for our data plans and we could be saving money!
Most mobile phone plans now come with unlimited texts and calls, so it’s the data plan and handset which really costs the money. Understanding your usage and how to save mobile phone data on the move can save a lot of money on your plan.
Its common knowledge that streaming movies uses a large amount of data, but other activities can drain your data without your knowledge. Below shows what 10GB of data can do for you.
Source – www.fonehouse.co.uk
Skype, Google maps and watching TV are the largest data users but not everyone uses their phone for this. App usage heavily effects how much data you use on the move. Apps update on the move and if left running behind the scenes they’re still using mobile data. Check to see if you have location services turned on for some apps too as they might not need to be checking your location all the time!
The chart above shows the most used Apps. Different age groups will use different apps but most will agree that Facebook has become the go to app as soon as you open your device. As soon as you open and refresh the feed that uses data. As mentioned above, each of these apps must update and many do so automatically, so the total number of apps on your device affects your data usage. The more apps you have then the more apps that are regularly updating and zapping your data!
Optimising the apps on your phone helps keep your data usage controlled. Keeping the number down is one trick but you can also control how your apps update. Setting each app to request an update rather than auto update will help you update your apps when you have Wi-Fi, instead of using data usage.
Removing old apps that don’t get used makes sense, having a cluttered app tray will increase the number of apps that need to update on the move. Push notifications also use data. Consumers using multiple news apps, messenger apps and general apps which push news or information will end up using their data without realising.
How and when you use your phone will also impact how you use your data.
Most people use their phone in and out of the home, this means most consumers should be using their Wi-Fi rather than data. People on the move will use the most data but even they can save money. Following a few general rules will help you to reduce the amount of data you need, and then you may be able to reduce your phone bill drastically or lower the data bundle!
Remove and optimise apps
Removing unused apps will ensure you are not updating on the move. So many apps are downloaded on impulse and this will drive their amount of data usage drastically. Optimising how each app updates and setting as manual will make sure they don’t download on the move.
Do you need push notifications from each app? News, betting and game apps are heavily optimised to push consumers notifications. This helps bring the consumers awareness back to the app. You can optimise each app to decide if you want push notifications.
How much do you really need?
Checking your data usage before signing up to a new mobile phone plan helps understand what you need. Checking your last 3-6 months data usage will give you a good steer on what you really need.
Streaming vs downloading
We’ve mentioned this above but streaming movies and music will use a lot of data on the move. Downloading what you need or want in advance will save streaming on the move. As most devices now have expanded memory and additional storage with a memory card, it makes sense to download in advance instead of streaming on the go.
Most public locations now have free Wi-Fi available. Most people don’t take the time to login to free Wi-Fi, but you should take a moment to in order to take advantage of using free Wi-Fi instead of using your own (costly) mobile phone data.
It’s simple to save money on each plan by understanding the following:
- Don’t overspend on mobile data you don’t/won’t use
- Optimise your phone to handle your lifestyle
- Take actions to minimise data usage on the move
- Always access free Wi-Fi when its available
By spending a few moments reviewing your apps and ensuring you are using Wi-Fi when available, you could reduce your phone bill by coming down a tier with regards to the data package.
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