How much data allocation do you need in order to send those attachments? How much data should you have left to finish the rest of that series? How much “internet” will it take to watch an entire movie?
When it comes to data consumption, it takes a lot of familiarization with the kind of internet user you truly are in order to answer the question: How much data allocation should I have monthly?
A week ago, Smart Communications launched 10GB data allocation via GigaX Plans. This meant that postpaid plans under GigaX will have 10GB exclusive for video streaming while doubling the open access data allocation.
For instance, if you get Giga Plan 2399, it comes with free Huawei Mate 10, 10GB of video streaming data and 10GB of open access data (doubled from 5GB previous allocation). That’s some serious regular streaming habit right there.
But is it really enough? After all, data consumption has become too personal it really depends on the kind of business or job you have and even the kind of lifestyle affecting your data usage routine.
That 10GB can take you as far as an entire season of a series with 13 episodes, granted that each episode is about 40 minutes. If your Netflix or iflix subscription is not set on HD mode, you consume about one hour per 1GB. So if you want to reach the season finale all the way to how it ends or crosses over to the next season, then just swipe off the HD option.
If you are not a heavy user then here’s an idea on what 1GB might mean for you: 1.5M WhatsApp messages or 10,000 emails or browse 3000 websites or 160 songs on Spotify or 310 minutes of YouTube streaming.
Do you know someone who floods her Facebook or Instagram with 30 selfies per day? Brace yourself. It only takes 1GB to upload 4,000 photos! Yup, that many but for all we know, this selfie flooder might even be using even more filters than data to get these selfies uploaded.
Data on a budget
As if it’s not enough that we need to budget how much we earn monthly, we also have to manage our data usage in reference to how much internet we subscribe to.
This was not the case during those dial-up connection days of the 1990s. We’ve come a long way as data consumers while internet technology kept up with the rapidly changing behavior of our data consumption.
Back in the day, Internet replaced encyclopedias and other tools commonly used for research and school projects. Today, it has replaced the following: actual social interactions, a huge chunk of photography as smartphones are actually replacing heavy duty cameras, IDD calls, text messaging, and—in extreme cases—even actual relationships and reunions.
But the biggest data appetite belongs to people who now rely on their smartphones for music and videos. Data consumption is also beginning to replace regular and cable TV programming. If you’re one of those who spend their entertainment hours on the go, then budget data is simply insufficient.
The more tasks we assign to our smartphones (from work, business and news apps down to entertainment, lifestyle and health apps), the more data we need. If you’re on prepaid, then you know that tracking your monthly allocation can be a struggle when you want more from your device, particularly if you own one of the best smartphones out there.
Bigger data subscriptions are the next best thing then. Track your prepaid spending. If you tend to spend close to the amount of a data-heavy postpaid subscription, it might be time to upgrade.
The author is a former broadsheet entertainment and lifestyle reporter and section editor for an entertainment magazine before crossing over to corporate and marketing PR.