Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
DQOTD: Phone Data Usage?
Old 01-20-2017, 11:41 AM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: LKN
Posts: 13,691
DQOTD: Phone Data Usage?

I'm shopping for a new phone plan for DW & I. We have a 10GB/unl T&T Verizon plan now, but in the past two years our highest monthly data usage was 2.7GB. I use search often and stream YouTube videos and other data intensive stuff from time to time, though not often. We do use WiFi wherever it's available, that might make a difference in our data usage.

When I told the store rep I was leaning toward a 3-4GB plan and what our past usage was - he looked at me like I had two heads.

So what's everyone else doing with their phones that uses way more data than we seem to?
__________________

__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 45% equity funds / 30% bond funds / 25% cash - radically changed Nov 2018
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 01-20-2017, 11:54 AM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
exnavynuke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Acworth
Posts: 1,154
I have a 4gb plan (with carryover) for 2 phones. I'd cut that in half but I sometimes need to use it as a hotspot when traveling for work and in those cases I can use that much.

I made the mistake of streaming netflix over the hotspot once when the hotel wifi really sucked and it took about 2 hours to use up all of my data. So if people are watching lots of videos on their phone using their data, it can eat through their allotment very quickly.
__________________

exnavynuke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2017, 12:05 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RunningBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 7,798
I'll tell you what I don't do, I don't let a salesman talk me out of what I want. If someone told you their financial adviser looks at them that way for wanting to invest on their own instead of going with them and their 1% fee, what would you tell them? This isn't much different.

I have a 1GB plan and tend to use 1/2 to 3/4 of that. I used to have 2GB but wouldn't come close, so I dropped it down. I rarely watch video. I've gone slightly over once in the last year, and rollover covered that. Rollover data is used last though, and expires after a month, so you can't have back to back months going over, but it's only $10 for another 500MB so if I pay that once a year or less it's still worth it to go with the cheaper plan. If you like being able to do whatever you want and not worry about it, it's probably only $10-20 more for the extra data, so splurge and go with it. I could pay another $10 to get 5GB but if I'm not going to use it, why bother?
RunningBum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2017, 12:14 PM   #4
Moderator Emeritus
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Flyover country
Posts: 12,990
DW and I share 3 GB a month and have never come close to using it all. We're on AT&T and whatever we don't use rolls over to the next month so we usually have from 4 to 5 GB to use in any given month. I think our highest usage ever was about 2.1 between us.
braumeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2017, 12:21 PM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 42,160
I hardly use any data any more. I don't even browse the internet on my phone to keep me busy while waiting for a dentist appointment or whatever - - I play on my portable video game console, instead.

One of the reasons I switched to Cricket instead of Verizon last week, is that I noticed my data usage per month was averaging around 6MB - - yes, that's not 6 GB, but 6 MB. So, I went to a Cricket plan that includes only 1 GB data, for half the price of my old Verizon plan. Plus, they gave me a free LG phone (my old iPhone 5S was on its last legs or beyond).

https://www.cricketwireless.com/ , if you are interested in Cricket. There are cheaper services but for me, this was the best fit.
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2017, 12:29 PM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: LKN
Posts: 13,691
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
I'll tell you what I don't do, I don't let a salesman talk me out of what I want.
Not a chance...

I was just trying to understand what people who use 10GB and more are doing to use so much more than we do.
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 45% equity funds / 30% bond funds / 25% cash - radically changed Nov 2018
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2017, 12:38 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RunningBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 7,798
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
No danger of that...

I was just trying to understand what people who use 10GB and more are doing to use so much more than we do.
Ah, I didn't read the question closely enough, thought you were asking how people decided which plan to use and how close to the data usage they do.

I know some people who are always watching videos or doing other stuff like that on their phones. If you stream 8 hours of music, that's almost 1GB. I'm not surprised people are well above 10GB.
RunningBum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2017, 01:00 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 22,034
I see that T-mobile has gone to unlimited only plans. DH originally had 1G a month. Never exceeded it. A year later it was upgraded free to 2G a month. A little later we added a line for me, and they had a promo deal with 6G per person same price as 2G lowest tier plus rollover of unused data (Data Stash) up to 20G per person, so we took that no brainer. Still we use less than 1G each, but now we have this nice bank of unused data - already full to 20G for each of us. We're sticking with this plan.
__________________
Retired since summer 1999.
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2017, 01:00 PM   #9
Administrator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 29,115
Streaming video is the real data hog, especially HD. I would guess that 1-2 GB is more than enough for all non-streaming needs, twice that if you stream from YouTube more that a few times per month.

If that salesperson deals mostly with today's yutes, single digit plans look skimpy. My children take videos of their kids and can't wait 'till they get home to post them on Facebook, so they're uploaded in cell data instead of the far less expensive home broadband. Younger folks also stream lots more content to watch, and don't seem particularly concerned about the cost.
MichaelB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2017, 01:15 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
euro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 1,188
My DW and I share 100Mb per month at TING. We use WiFi whenever we can, so this is really just for receiving e-mail while we are the road somewhere. Neither of us likes to do searches on the small screen, and neither of us likes to watch videos that way either.
If we do run over, it costs and extra $7 I think but doesn't happen often.
euro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2017, 01:28 PM   #11
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 10,028
We use about 5.5G per month - but that is a household of 4... of which 2 are teenagers who take the bus and either stream music or video.

At home, everyone is on wifi, rather than cellular data.

I have Ting - which allows me to set caps on the kids' data... younger son gets cut off at 2G, older son at 2.5G (after negotiation it was raised to 2.5G). Younger son discovered that he could download episodes of stuff on Netflix for viewing offline... so he's been doing that. He watched all 8 episodes of the Lemony Snickets (Series of Unfortunate Events) on the way to/from school and during his lunch break this past week... and used no data...

DH and I use 1.5G between us - mostly me... When I'm waiting for the kids at various activities I'm checking email, checking this forum, and playing pokemon go. LOL.
__________________
Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
micro pensions 7%, rental income 18%
rodi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2017, 01:41 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
nash031's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Coronado
Posts: 1,742
I have a 500MB plan with an iPhone6 and I've never gone over it, though I've come close a couple of times on road trips where I had GoogleMaps open for long periods. I make liberal use of Wi-Fi everywhere I use it, but don't stream video, etc., on it either. When I travel, I use more data, obviously, than I do when I'm home.
__________________
"So we beat to our own drummer in the sun;
We ask for nobody's permission to run.
I just wanna live in a world like that;
Now I'm gonna live in a world like that!" - World Like That, O.A.R.
nash031 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2017, 01:55 PM   #13
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 775
My only smartphone with service has 250 MB/month. It is free with Ringplus.
If I should eventually get a job where I am not at home, I would opt for the 1 GB/month plan with Total Wireless.
broadway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2017, 02:03 PM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,246
We use 2-3. I'm sure most of it is streaming radio which I use at gym and on bike rides in woods. For the life of me, and no offense to those who do, I cannot imagine using streaming video on my phone other than rarely. I get it's a big thing the way the advertise it but if I'm going to watch video/tv it's gotta be a decent sized screen.
H2ODude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2017, 02:09 PM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: LKN
Posts: 13,691
I may have answered my own questions with a search. It appears the most common data hogs are:
Quote:
1. YouTube uploads [I do it occasionally, a few times/week at most] Just can't wait to share that epic video of your friend wiping out on his skateboard? Or your totally legit Bigfoot sighting? Upload at your own risk: Depending on settings and various other factors, each minute of HD video you shot can be as large as 200MB. So if you upload just five 1-minute videos per month, that would eat a full gigabyte of your data allotment. Wait till there's Wi-Fi!

2. Video chats [once or twice a year with DW just to amuse her]
Stop the Skyping! And the FaceTiming. And all the other video calling -- if you want to save data. Though the rate of consumption varies depending on the app you use and resolution of your chat, a Jetsons-style phone call can cost you up to 3MB per minute.

3. Online gaming [never so far, on that little screen?]
Don't worry, Trivia Crack addicts, turn-based games like this and Words With Friends aren't heavy data-users. However, real-time action games like Asphalt 8 and Modern Combat 5: Blackout are a different story, with some estimates pegging their data use at 1MB per minute of play.

4. Music streaming [I do Pandora a few times/year, but my iTunes library is on my iPad]
It's so easy (and awesome) to plug into Pandora or Spotify when you're, say, riding the train home from work, you might not realize what it's doing to your data plan. What it's doing is killing your cap. If a music service streams at a 320Kbps bit rate, that's 2.4MB of data per minute, or a whopping 115MB per hour. Even if you tune in only a couple times per week, it's easy to rack up big data numbers. Fortunately, a lot of mobile apps let you downshift to a lower bit rate, a very advisable move if you must listen on the go. Pandora, it's worth noting, never streams at more than 64Kbps on mobile devices, even if you're a Pandora One subscriber. One other option: if your music service allows it (and most do nowadays), download your tunes (via Wi-Fi, of course) for offline listening.

5. Video streaming [never yet]
If music streaming is bad, video trumps it by an order of magnitude. Awesome though it may be to binge on episodes of "Black Mirror" or trending YouTube vids when you're on the treadmill at the gym, streaming can swallow as much as 50MB per minute.
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 45% equity funds / 30% bond funds / 25% cash - radically changed Nov 2018
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2017, 02:27 PM   #16
Recycles dryer sheets
cbo111's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 396
Wife and I recently switched to a 2-gig plan with Verizon. We have barely used 1-gig for each of the past few months. Lots of texting, email and basic surfing, but we don't do much streaming. If we ever get close to our limit, we can just buy an additional gig for $15.
chuck
cbo111 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2017, 02:32 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Katsmeow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,107
We have 24 GB on our plan and risk running low almost every month. The last week I am telling people to not use data.

Factors:

1. We have 4 people using our plan. DH and I and 2 of our kids (well the youngest is 20, but still). If it was just DH and I we would probably have it at about 10 GB. Bear in mind that DH and I both have an iPad in addition to phones.

2. The biggest data hogs are from video streaming and music. Both kids do a lot of video streaming. Bear in mind that neither one of them watches TV. I think they think that watching TV is antiquated. Yes, they both have notebook computers and they do most of their streaming on that (on WiFi) and use WiFi on their phones when they can. But they aren't always at home. My son listens to a lot of music on his phone when he is not at home.

3. I do surf the web quite a bit on mine and occasionally do some video streaming on the iPad when I'm away from home (riding in the car while DH is driving us somewhere for example).
Katsmeow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2017, 02:44 PM   #18
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 751
We have a 4GB plan for 2, now with Verizons rollover plan and if we go over we now just get reduced speeds... Verizon has certainly been changing their plans lately, I use to pay $156/month and now we are at $98/month, even if you factor in maybe a $300/year subsidy, its still a huge savings. I use most of my usage on long road trips with the GPS and i accidently downloaded one time a 700 page audio book. My honey consumes data via spotify on his runs (ie. no wifi), but now that we don't have to worry about overages, I'm fine with the plan we have, else I was paying an extra $15 just because I needed to send a text at the end of a month.
karen1972 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2017, 03:26 PM   #19
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 683
With TMobile, I've been on a 1GB plan and just upgraded for free to 2GB woowho! I only go over the 1GB limit if traveling for any length of time otherwise I'm mostly on wifi. I do web surfing but no video or music streaming so even web access can add up in data usage. When I exceed the data limit, my data speed drops back to 3G or less. I've stuck with TMobile because the plan covers phone, text and data in Canada and Mexico. I spend several weeks a year north of the border so that feature is really useful and saves me hassle and money.
Ian S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2017, 03:33 PM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Utrecht
Posts: 2,631
If you go over 10GB, the short answer is (likely) video. Nothing else comes close to using so much data (barring scientific data sets and special uses).

For reference: I don't have a fixed line at home, my phone is my only internet connection. Have a 10GB plan, and usually stay within it unless I download TV-series, or go binge on youtube.

10GB = ~10.000MB = ~6 hours of HD video viewing roughly.
__________________

Totoro is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cord Cutters Data Usage? ExFlyBoy5 Other topics 25 12-01-2016 10:46 AM
Cell phone usage does not lead to brain cancer MichaelB Health and Early Retirement 15 01-07-2015 04:31 PM
Internet Content Usage CuppaJoe Other topics 0 03-02-2009 08:38 AM
Fraudulent credit card usage after phonedog, Pioneer Telephone free4now FIRE and Money 1 05-02-2006 05:50 PM
Forum Usage Around Here Telly Other topics 3 05-06-2003 04:49 AM

» Quick Links

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:58 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.