How much data do I need?

Busting the unlimited data myth

Here at Tesco Mobile we don’t do unlimited data contracts. Hold on just a moment though, as there’s a very good reason for that.

The truth of the matter is that the vast majority of smartphone users simply don’t need as much data as they are led to believe, so it’s important to think about exactly how and when you use your mobile before putting your hand in your pocket and shelling out for an expensive unlimited contract.

Browsing, email, and social media

The good news for smartphone users everywhere is that important features such as web browsing, checking email, and using social media are inexpensive in terms of data usage.

Even if you regularly use your phone to send and receive emails, maintain a busy online social presence, and keep on top of all the latest news, most users will struggle to eat up more than 1 or 2GB of data over a monthly period. So, if you’re the type of user who relies on these core smartphone features but isn’t interested in data-heavy services such as video streaming, you’ll quickly find that with an unlimited contract you’re paying a premium price for data that you simply don’t need.

To caveat this, it’s worth pointing out that uploading and downloading photographs, videos, and other large files via email and social media will use higher levels of data. As a result, we always recommend connecting to Wi-Fi before dealing with these types of files – as well as keeping an eye on your data wherever you are with the Tesco Mobile app.

Streaming services

As you might expect, streaming apps – which allow smartphone owners to access high-quality music and videos wherever they go – use far more data than others, and are a major cause of users exceeding their data limits.

Because of this, it may seem like an unlimited contract is the best option, but this isn’t always the case. Here are a few of our top tips for using streaming services without having to splash out on an expensive contract:

  • Connect to wireless internet: Thanks to the ever-increasing availability of Wi-Fi, it’s easier than ever to use these services without impacting on your mobile data allowance. Once upon a time, access to a Wi-Fi connection seemed limited to at home and in the office, but nowadays it’s possible to access a reliable connection everywhere from a bar to the back of a bus – so keep an eye out for it wherever you go.
  • Turn off mobile data: Within your smartphone settings, it’s usually possible to turn off mobile data for each individual app. You’ll still be able to stream media while connected to Wi-Fi, but by cutting an app’s mobile data access you’ll prevent it from using up your allowance if you lose Wi-Fi connection.
  • Investigate offline access: Many streaming services also allow you to store music playlists and other media offline on your smartphone, so you can listen to music and watch videos without having access to Wi-Fi or using precious mobile data. Whenever you download a streaming app, be sure to investigate whether they offer this kind of offline access – as it might just save you a small fortune!
  • Take advantage of our 8GB tariffs: Even if you decide that you want to use your mobile to stream music and video content, Tesco Mobile has exactly what you need. They might not be unlimited, but our 8GB tariffs offer more data than most smartphone users can use in a month, so you shouldn’t have to worry about exceeding your limit.


Calculate your data needs with Tesco Mobile

If you’re still not sure about the contract type that best suits your data needs, then don’t worry. With our 4G Data Calculator, you can get a good idea of exactly how much you use on a monthly basis – helping you make an informed decision.

What’s more, our Matchmaker service is tailored to partner you with the right handset and data usage allowance for your budget – so you’ll always find the phone that’s right for you!

You can find out more about all of our Pay Monthly handsets, tariffs, and deals online today at Tesco Mobile.