Usage Guide for Mobile broadband

There are a number of deals and choices available when it comes to mobile broadband. In order to win a place for themselves in this competitive market, mobile broadband providers try to make themselves more attractive through rates or price, extras benefits, laptop deals etc.

Though there are generous deals that offer all quotas, there are many economic deals that allow deals as low as 0.5GB, which is about 500MB per month, or you can choose for deals like to pay as you go (PAYG) deal where you get the choice to pay per day, or even per GB. However, the burning question is how much can you get for your gigabyte?

Basically 1GB is equivalent to 1024MB. For the sake of ease of calculation let us consider 1GB as 1000MB. You may have noticed that in most forms and data, MB is the base for measurement and in many cases you may also come across KB. KB is the smaller measure. It takes 1024 KB to make 1MB (1024KB = 1MB). For smallest equation, 1024B is equal to 1KB.

The following is just a rough approximate guide and cannot be calculated as precise. It is information to understand how large or small the file is, to understand how much space you are using. Checking account online with mobile broadband service provider is the only way to measure your used download. Data counter for mobile broadband is not really reliable.

How much usage is needed for a user?

Mobile broadband usage totally varies and depends from person to person. For some mobile broadband users, it just a back up service for the fixed-line or their business connection. They have minimal use and use the mobile broadband service with their laptop to browse the web or download mails and send mail when out on a holiday or when out of the office etc. For these types of users their usage may be just within 3GB. Unless they spend time surfing the net or have major downloading or huge sized files, they may not need more.

However, for those who wish to replace their fixed line service with mobile broadband, the usage will be far generous and expanded. To avoid penalties and excess bills, it is better you work out of what you download from the given table below. The fact is even if you use the mobile broadband as your main source, a 15GB limit per month will be sufficient for all your work online.

Mobile broadband changes for exceeding the usage limit. Therefore it is best to study the fair usage and excessive usage policies to escape penalties in bills. The cost or the charges levied for crossing limits varies with each provider. While T-mobile does not charge heavily for over using their service, continuous abuse of their service will be punished by the provider limiting your usage further. Orange Broadband too charges less than £0.02 per MB on a one and half year deals. Those who choose monthly contract are charged around £0.05 per MB. Another broadband provider O2 charges about £0.20 per MB and 3 Mobile charges £0.10 per MB. Vodafone charges less than £0.02 per MB and £15 for every extra GB that you use.

Calculator for Mobile broadband usage

As aforesaid, the following is a rough calculation based on the information provided by the mobile broadband provider’s sites. Do not forget to read the notes below the table for detailed understanding on the different estimates.

1 hour of instant messaging 0.25-1MB
1 hour of web browsing 1.5-25MB
Download 100 emails 1-10MB
100 minutes talk on Skype Around 50MB
Download 1 photo 0.05-2MB
Download 1 MP3 3-8MB
Download 1 film trailer 7-50MB
1 software download 70-800MB
Download 1 film 700-1500MB
Streaming 1 hour of video 250-500MB
Streaming 1 hour of audio 50-150MB

Instant messaging, surfing the web and social networking

Now it is clear from the above table that just being online is not what mounts your usage bill. Even some one who is allotted the highest estimates gets 40 hours of surfing with a 0.5GB monthly plan. That can be calculated to more than an hour per day.

If you are simply surfing the website, chatting with friends or sending messages and emails, you usage will be low. However, there are many websites that have advertisements popping up or animations and streaming audio/video etc. These take up the usage. Many social networking and instant messaging websites have image viewing or video facility. This adds to the data usage. Those who visit sites download pictures and videos are naturally using a lot of their data usage.

Information on downloading emails

There are two types of email.

1. Web-based (Hotmail, Yahoo or Google mail,) here the usage is low, except if you have video or pictures to download.

2. Software based- like Outlook where you are downloading all that email to your computer. Here the usage will increase if it contains large files.

Downloading images, films and software, and MP3s

Here too the usage depends on the length of the file and the quality as well as size.

Images and Pictures

Smaller images will use just 20 K while larger images can take even up to 5MB. Compressed images and photos can be restricted to 2MB.

Downloading audio and MP3 sounds

Today everyone likes to listen to music online. MP3s music files are usually between 3 and 8MB in size. The longer the song the higher will be the usage.

Downloading MP4 and video

This is really space taking, and data intensive. A small song or video can be just 10MB, and full DVD quality film can take as much as 1.5GB approximately.

Streaming video and audio

Streaming audio is less data intensive than video, though both are very popular in the modern times. These are data intensive and can take away almost 250MB of data to 300+MB per hour depending on the quality.

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