Mobile data is a convenient and useful service, especially for business. But when you exceed the limit, it can also become quite expensive. While you use your phone for many activities, it’s also important to learn how to manage your data allowance.
How much data do you really need?
To manage your mobile data costs, you need to know how to use various smartphone features. But before anything else, check your data usage.
If you don’t know how your normal usage looks like, you will have no idea how much you need to change to ensure your data consumption pattern remains financially feasible. Below are common data uses that consume larger data allowance.
- System or software updates
- Video streaming
- Online games
- Music, movies, photos, and software downloads
- Voice and video calls
- Sending emails with large files
If you plan to consume your data allowance with the activities above, expect a substantially higher phone bill. But if you simply send emails and browse the web, your small data allowance would suffice.
Additional Data Charges
Most mobile plans offer a fixed data allowance for a particular monthly fee. So as long as you only use data within your package allowance, you don’t have to pay more. However, if you exceed your monthly data allowance, you will have to pay for the additional data use.
For many smartphone users today, a mobile phone plan that offers daily internet can be a good option to make sure you get the data access you need every day. Another alternative for heavy internet users (which can be said for business users) is to get a business mobile plan with unlimited internet. However, you still need to watch out for specific policies in your contract to know the limits of each plan not just in terms of internet access but also in how charges apply to SMS, text and video calls.
Manage Your Data Usage
You now understand that going over your monthly data allowance can hit you with excess charges. So when running your business via mobile, it’s important to stay within your set budget. Here are some tips to help you manage your mobile data costs.
1. Keep track of your data usage.
The simplest way to check your previous data usage is to log in to your service provider’s web portal. If you’re consistently using way below your data cap, you may want to contact your provider to switch to a plan with lower data allowance at a cheaper rate.
For Android phones, you can check your monthly usage under settings. Go to Wireless and Networks, then tap on Data Usage. Besides monthly monitoring, you can also set data warnings or mobile data limit notifications.
2. Know the rates of different mobile activities.
Knowing the cost of different mobile activities like video streaming and emailing can help you keep your data use in order. Check with your mobile service provider if they provide tools that’ll help you estimate or monitor your data usage.
3. Minimize/control your data usage.
Before you can cut data usage, find out which applications are consuming your data. To investigate which of your phone apps are generating background data, follow these steps.
- Go to Settings
- Tap on Wireless & Networks
- Go to Data Usage
- View apps in the order of data usage
- Tap on each application to have a more detailed view
Highly-advanced mobile phones and data-hungry apps can consume all of your smartphone data cap. Since you already know which apps are the culprit behind your huge data consumption, here’s what you can do?
- Avoid apps or services that consume a lot of mobile data like video streaming and downloading, unless you’re connected to a Wi-Fi. You can also adjust your phone settings so that heavy apps can’t use 4G or 3G data services.
- Turn off mobile apps and features that automatically consume data. Smartphone features like push notifications use data in the background.
- As much as possible, use Wi-Fi instead of 4G or 3G data services. Take advantage of free Wi-Fi hotspots and set your smartphone to automatically connect to Wi-Fi networks.
- Turn-off phone applications so that they won’t consume data in the background. There are some apps that still run in the background even after you exit them.
- Use Android’s data saver. This allows you to set a limit to the background data usage of your apps. Go to Wireless & Networks, tap on Data Usage then below the cellular usage section, you can find the Data Saver
- Buy apps to remove annoying ads. Advertisements aren’t just annoying, they also use up part of your data allowance.
- Use streaming applications with offline modes. Many streaming apps nowadays have offline options to allow users to pre-cache data while connecting to a Wi-Fi network. This way, when you’re on a data connection, you can avoid hitting your data cap.
Depending on how much data usage you need for your business, there’s always a way to manage costs. Take note of the tips above to avoid getting extra costs. With proper data management, it’s possible to go from bordering your data cap to saving yourself money.
Author Bio: Al-moottil P Antony is a C-Suite Executive Support Professional for Zain, a leading mobile and data services operator with a commercial footprint in 8 Middle Eastern and African countries.