Mobile data opens a world of possibilities on your smartphone or tablet. But what is mobile data? Why do you need it? And how much do you need?
What is mobile data?
Mobile data gives you an internet connection on a smartphone or tablet without the need for Wi-Fi, meaning you can get online anywhere. Usage is measured in megabytes (MB) and gigabytes (GB). As a rough guide, 1MB of mobile data will let you listen to one minute of music on Spotify, watch 20 seconds of video on YouTube or load six websites. And 1GB is the same as 1,000MB.
There are a few different speeds of mobile data, but 3G and 4G are the most commonly known. 3G is slower but good enough to browse the web or send emails. 4G is much faster and is perfect for watching videos, listening to music and quickly loading maps when you’re lost. In the coming years we're likely to see the arrival 5G, which could be a fast as a fibre-optic broadband.
Why do you need mobile data?
If you want access to emails while on the move, keep up to date with Facebook wherever you are, or simply entertain yourself with music, books and videos while on the train, you need mobile data.
And don’t forget to think about how you’ll use your mobile data in the future. The average person’s usage goes up by 150% every two years. So if you use 500MB now, you could find yourself needing more than 1GB before the end of your contract.