Depending upon the area in which you reside you may have a wide choice of mobile broadband services or you may be limited to one provider to gain high speed Internet on your mobile device. Before you choose a mobile broadband plan there are a few things you should consider to ensure you choose the plan that best suits your needs. It will also help you to avoid paying for services that you will never use.
Cost of Data Usage
Most mobile broadband plans vary according to the amount of data you use such as sending emails, surfing the Internet, using collaboration platforms, and communicating on social networking websites. Before you choose a plan you should determine what you plan to use your mobile broadband connection for as well as how you are going to use it.
By estimating what you want to do with your connection this will prevent you from exceeding the monthly allowance for data transfer in the plan that you choose. If you go over the monthly allowance most mobile broadband plans will charge you by each additional megabyte that is used outside of the monthly data allowance.
Here are some things you should consider in terms of monthly data usage:
- Email Communications: Basic email usage expends a relatively small amount of data. However if you use email a large amount of the time you should take this into consideration when choosing your mobile broadband plan. For example, if you have a mobile broadband plan for one gigabyte of data, a typical email message without an attachment is anywhere between 10 to 20 kilobits which amounts to approximately 20,000 emails per month.
- Video and Radio Streaming: Streaming videos and radio typically occupies large amounts of data. If you plan to videoconference or you use the radio a lot this should be factored into the mobile broadband plan you choose. For example, if you have a radio or video stream that operates at 128kbs this averages out to be about 60 megabytes per hour. If you choose a plan for one gigabyte of data this will allow for about ten to twenty hours of streaming capability.
If you plan to use your mobile broadband connection to view movies this will also consume a relatively large amount of data. If you download the average movie trailer which is about 3 minutes it utilizes about 30 megabytes of data which would allow you to view anywhere from 20 to 30 movie trailers each month on a one gigabyte plan. A television episode which runs for about 30 minutes averages about 350 megabytes of data which would allow you two episodes per month with a one gigabyte plan.
- Browsing the Internet: If you are going to use your broadband connection to surf the Internet the typical web page view consumes about 50 to 100 kilobytes of data which would allow you to view anywhere from ten to twenty thousand web pages on a one gigabyte plan.
- Instant Messaging: A typical instant messaging application such as MSN Messenger used for eight hours within a 24 hour timeframe amounts to approximately eight megabytes of data which would allow you one thousand hours of IM services on a one gigabyte mobile broadband plan.
- Music Downloads: If you plan to download a lot of music the typical song has a duration of about four minutes which amounts to about four megabytes of data. This would allow you to download about 250 songs each month on a one gigabyte plan.
Data usage for mobile broadband plans is measured in terms of kilobytes, megabytes, and gigabytes. To provide you with a better idea of data usage one thousand kilobytes is the equivalent of one megabyte (MB). One thousand megabytes of data is the equivalent of one gigabyte (GB) of data usage. With most mobile broadband plans you are granted a certain amount of data usage and you can use any combination of activities that we described above to equal the data usage plan you choose.
Once you have decided on what you plan to do with your mobile broadband connection most providers allow you to manage your monthly data allowance by offering you a mobile broadband alert system. This is an alert system that will automatically notify you when you have reached a specific amount of data usage such as 75 percent, to provide you with advance notice and to prevent you from exceeding your monthly daily data usage allowance.
As a few added tips: If you want to install a new business or software application you should access the application using your computer and then transfer the application to your mobile device using a USB cable to avoid consuming a lot of data. Additionally, when you access websites with your mobile phone, use sites that are mobile-friendly or disable the images on the sites in your browser settings.