Mobile data allows you to go online even when you don’t have a Wifi connection. Mobile-enabled devices can send and receive information over a wireless cellular connection. Mobile data usage is measured in megabytes (MB) and gigabytes (GB), with their being 1,000 MB in 1 GB of data. Everything you send to (upload) or receive from (download) the internet requires some amount of data.
The cost of mobile data
Your phone provider will charge you for your data usage. Different rates are often offered to customers based on the amount of data they are allowed each month. On average, customers use about 500 MB of data per month.
Phone providers also offer unlimited data plans where a flat rate is charged for an unlimited allowance of data use. However, it should be noted that some providers often ‘throttle’ data, in other words, they slow down your connection once you hit a certain level of data usage.
Reducing your data usage
The easiest way to reduce your data usage is to simply turn off your mobile data in your settings. Even when you’re not actively using your phone, apps updating can drain your data if you leave it on. You can also go into your settings and turn off background data use for certain apps such as for maps, social media or video streaming. Have a look at the cellular usage for each app and see which apps use up the most data.
Some mobile providers will also offer customers options to set caps and alerts on their data use. This will put warnings or alerts on your phone when you are reaching your limit for the month.