Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Increase in Mobile Data usage with Smartphones and 4G handsets

Your feedback around a noticeable increase in your data usage on 4G when compared to previous months is not going unnoticed. While the intent of this post is to provide you with some tools to help you better manage this, it's definitely important to keep that the use of smart phones and data in general is constantly on the rise. While we do still investigate each incident on an individal basis, currently there are no broad spectrum errors with the recording of mobile data usage on 4G or the charging of this.


What mobile usage is, and how does it all add up?


Usage accumulates when you upload and download information to your handset.  For example, when visiting different websites, a la Facebook, you’re actually downloading information onto your handset so you can view the webpage.  And uploading happens if you send a photo from your phone to facebook  or if you send an email – and if you attach a file to that email, that further increases the data your phone is sending, for high resolution photos it can be as much as 5MB per email.  


The other big data activity is streaming video, which uses up almost as much as downloading the video – except if you are streaming it you’re charged every time you watch it.


Pretty much any time spent on the internet can add to your usage.


So, we strongly recommend that you:


  • review your usage on a daily basis for the last month via My Account and try to identify large usage days
  • install a usage monitoring app that records the usage that various apps use (Android has this functionality by default)
  • disable automated updates
  • disable cloud or remote storage or at least set it so it only updates when you ask

Main causes of smartphone usage:


  • App updates running in the back ground
  • Location services turned on & GPS
  • Google Maps ( 4 searches is approx 600K a day)
  • Siri and the use of other voice services that use data / Facetime
  • Uploading images in Facebook
  • Use of Facebook, Google+, Twitter  - just checking in can use 5-10MB each time
  • remote storage and cloud apps
  • Use of YouTube(15-30MB a day), iTunes & streaming of movies, music and TV shows  (22min TV episode in HD can use around 750MB)
  • The use of photo apps such as Instagram, Tumblr & sharing of photos – sending 1 photo via iMessage can use upto 1.5MB
  • EBAY/Realestate.com (approx 15 MB per hour)
  • Spotify & Radio streaming, gaming (50-70MB per hour)
  • Tethering and multiple devices tapping your mobile usage
  • Mobile Data Secure sites - a network correction made in December 2012, when the rating and charging for secure sites was reintroduced after it was switched off for a period of time.


Reducing your usage by:


  • Make sure you are using the mobile-optimised websites, this’ll reduce the amount of data transferred when you’re browsing.
  • Use the free Wi-Fi hotspots when out and about.
  • And make sure you've set up your Home Wi-Fi network so you can tap into your home ADSL/Cable internet rather than using your mobile data
  • Download and upload large files to and from the smartphone using a USB link to a computer
  • Regularly check your mobile usage
  • Check email via a webmail interface and delete large attachments (such as funny videos/pictures) from friends before downloading them to your phone.
  • Using Telstra/BigPond’s unmetered sites
  • Set up your email so you can fetch it rather than having it all constantly downloading
  • Set up SMS alerts
  • Usage alerts for your Telstra Tablet or mobile broadband device


We’ve also got further information available below:


  1. Available data packs
  2. Mobile Data Usage feature explained
  3. What happens when you change your data pack
  4. Data Charges whilst Roaming Overseas
  5. Add, change or remove a data pack
  6. Receiving data usage messages via SMS

If you have yet, don't forget to try our new Telstra MyAccount Apps - these give you access to your account when you're out and about or kicking back on the louge...information you need when and where you want it.. 


Hope this helps shed some light on the ever increasing usage of data on our smartphones.. and if you still have any questions please call 125111 or Live Chat with us if you're on a post paid plan, otherwise for pre paid call us on 13 22 00 and say "PrePaid"  or you can also chat with us.


CrowdSurfer.... definately a heavy user of mobile data.. 



Need help? Check out our Community Wiki or Support Portal || Looking for a new mobile? Order online today || Get help with any Tech at Home with Telstra Platinum || Don't forget to tag answers as Accepted Solutions and give a Like to the member(s) who helped you out.

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