mobile data useThese days, using our mobiles in the conventional way is becoming less and less frequent.

With the rise of free instant messaging apps, 31% of people now never make calls on their mobile. Instead they use it for:

Video and music streaming

Such as YouTube, to watch videos and play music

Social media channels

Film and TV streaming sites, such as Netflix, Hayu, Amazon and Prime Video

Music streaming – as more of us get our music through sites like Spotify and Apple Music, instead of buying it

Finding Hotspots

If you’re experiencing a slow internet connection in a public space you probably know that tethering your phone to your laptop as a mobile hotspot can be a solution, particularly when your phone is showing a 4G connection. Once connected, however, you quickly get into work mode and stop considering the amount of data being used.

Apps for work

Office365, basecamp, MailChimp and plenty of other work-related platforms have mobile apps that allow you, and your team, to work on your phones. You no longer need your laptop.

Apps for pleasure

Whenever we are travelling or waiting somewhere, the first thing we reach for is our phones. If we have no access to wifi, or public wifi is poor, we’ll often run apps on our phone using our mobile data – anything from checking out train times to shopping online or playing a game. Most of the time we don’t even think about the amount of data the app could be using.

Poor Infrastructure

Wifi is becoming easier to access by the day. Public wifi has become the norm – you can now access it on public transport, in restaurants and bars, and so on. Even though it is often slow, it has led to an overall decrease in data usage.

However, the UK is lagging behind with its telecoms infrastructure. Last year, it was only 54th in the world for 4G coverage, and people can’t access data fast enough for their needs. As a country, we are not keeping up with the fast-paced speed with which technology is changing.

This year should see a move towards faster connections. 5G promises to deliver data as much as 60 times faster than a 4G wireless connection and with less lagging. Whether this will drive data usage in the future is still uncertain as the right infrastructure needs to be in place for it to be truly effective. Considering there are still many problems with our 4G connection, it’s unlikely that 5G will drive data usage back up at any speed this year.

So how much data are you using?

Take a look at how much data you are paying for each month – it may be that you are connected to wifi most of the time and so are using the bare minimum. You could be overpaying for data that you don’t use.

Knowledge is power and will help you make smart, informed decisions. Always check your data usage and know where your money is going.

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