If nowadays you don’t do everything online, you’re probably living under a rock in Alaska. What’s more, you use your phone to do so, wherever you go. Connected, always and anywhere. “There’s an app for that.” Sounds pretty sweet, yes, but it also means that all of your shiny apps constantly need to sync their feeds. Which means they request input, and they need data to do so. So what happens next? Right, your mobile data usage is going through the roof, much faster than you’d like. Time to dust off Dr Viking’s lab coat, and provide some useful tips & tricks.
How is your usage calculated?
First off, it’s important you know there is no difference between a prepaid SIM card and a subscription. Using mobile internet is receiving (download) or sending (upload) kilobytes from your phone. This is registered by the network and recorded in so-called CDRs (Call Data Record). Based on this information, we’ll calculate your usage, which is then deducted from your active bundles or your calling credit, or invoiced out of bundle.
Why has your usage increased?
At Mobile Vikings, we’ve seen mobile internet usage double in five years. Even if you use your phone in exactly the same way as before, it’s likely your usage increases. Why? Because of a number of things, really. For instance: app quality keeps improving, increasing the need for data. Video quality too, keeps improving, with certain apps introducing video autoplay on top.
Social media’s visual focus has never been this obvious.
What can you do about it?
- Limit the quality of your streaming services (e.g. watch HD instead of Full HD). You can often do so via the app settings (YouTube, Spotify,…)
- Wait for a wi-fi connection to download or sync pictures or video.
- Remember that Stories (Instagram, Facebook,…) use loads of data (pictures + video). You might not realise, but you’re streaming video at that moment.
- Use your streaming services offline
- Download your Spotify playlist
- Download e.g. your Netflix episode
For Android, specifically
- Set a usage limit in your device (Settings > Mobile data). This allows you to limit your mobile data usage to a threshold you decide upon.
- Set which apps are allowed to use data in the background.
- Go to Settings > Network and internet > Data usage > Use of mobile data. Disable “Background data” for apps that increase your usage too much. In some phones, you might need to activate “Limit background data”. Updated apps will then only use data when on wi-fi.
- Activate “Data saving” in the Facebook app.
- Disable automatic media download in WhatsApp.
- Set the Google Play Store app to not download apps/app updates via mobile data.
For iOS, specifically
- Disable wi-fi assistance.
- Limit the mobile data usage of iCloud.
- Open Settings.
- Select Mobile network.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page, ignoring all apps installed.
- Disable the switch for iCloud.
- For most apps, you can disable data usage in the background via the app settings too.
Are your mobile data costs through the roof? Have no fear, and simply use the Viking Deals to pay much less for your phone bill each month.