Need data for your smart phone? Know where you stand.
In order to get the full value from your smart phone you will need to purchase a separate data plan, which varies by carrier. A data plan will allow you to browse the internet and check email, however, the plans can vary quite substantially and estimating your data needs is important in keeping your monthly costs manageable.
So let’s answer the question, “How much data do you need on your smart phone?”
In order to keep things simple we put together the following table to outline what’s included in the various data plans in terms of usage. So, here is what can you do with a 500MB, 1GB, 2GB or 5GB plan on a monthly basis.
|Usage / Data Plans||500 MB||1GB||2GB||5GB|
|Monthly Usage includes ALL of the following items|
|Number of Emails||10,000||20,000||40,000||100,000|
|Number of Web Pages||1,500||3,000||6,000||15,000|
|Number of Pictures||200||400||800||2,000|
|Streaming Video (in hours)||2||4||8||10|
So as you can see from the table above with a 500MB plan you can send or receive 10,000 emails, surf 1,500 websites, view 200 pictures and watch two (2) hours of YouTube video. I consider myself a fairly aggressive smart phone user, checking email repeatedly, surfing occasionally, but rarely do I watch video on my phone. After a call to my carrier to inquire about my usage I discovered that I use 25MB per month on average. That’s right 25MB, so all in all if you have a laptop and really only use your smart phone to check email and surf the occasional web page, don’t pay for more than you really need and continue to monitor your usage. Also because of the way that BlackBerry devices compress data, it is almost impossible to use a 500MB data plan on a BlackBerry, assuming no video watching of course. If however, I was using the iPhone, as I do from time to time, my usage would be in the 125MB range. So five times greater, with the same usage pattern, just due to using an iPhone versus a BlackBerry.
Also note, text messages are not part of your data plan and a separate text messaging plan must be purchased or one has to pay on a per text message basis. This can be somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-20 cents per message sent and received.
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Help your friends avoid overage charges by not understanding their data plan.