Avoid bill shock this summer
By: Eugene Bonthuys
June 4, 2012
Summer is a time of travel – if not to see the world, then at least to get a break from the intense summer heat (and the rain, and the mosquitoes).
The convenience of smartphones and tablets has had a big impact on the way we travel, from finding a hotel to booking a restaurant. The latest Apple iPhone, the 4S, even includes a voice-activated assistant, Siri, to help you with your queries.
However, unless you take care, a wonderful holiday experience can be tainted by a major bill shock when you get home. The culprit? Data roaming.
According to Julie Hutton of LIME, learning how to manage your data usage is always important, but much more so while travelling.
Even when you are not intentionally using data, many apps that run in the background on your smartphone can be updating and downloading content, especially if push notifications have been activated for the apps.
And every time there is an update, it eats into your data. This means that even when you think you are being careful with your data usage by not streaming any content or browsing the web, your friends could still be doing you in with every single update they post.
The solution, apart from shutting down apps that can hurt your data usage, is to disable data roaming entirely. Rather use WiFi hotspots at coffee shops, hotel lobbies and other locations to connect to the Internet, update Facebook, and do all the other things smartphones are so great for.
Of course, data management does not merely apply to time spent travelling. According to Julie, it is also important to keep data usage in mind when using your smartphone locally in order to avoid eating through your data too quickly.
Any streaming media, whether video, music or radio, will eat through data like a ravenous toddler through cheese puffs. Rather than stream content, download it to your phone while connected to a WiFi network at home, and then watch or listen to the stored content on your phone while out and about.
In fact, according to LIME’s data, the average LIME smartphone user uses less than 1GB of data per month. However, there are those who burn through their data at an enormous rate because of their usage profile and in so doing also create a less pleasant experience for other network users as they tend to take up a whole lot of bandwidth.
With many people having access to WiFi at home and at the office, it means that the amount of time spent away from a WiFi network during an average day is minimal, meaning that it is quite easy to wait until there is a WiFi connection available before doing any downloads.
Julie says that the unlimited data on a LIME fixed line internet service makes it a much better option to wait with your downloads until you get back home, rather than doing it on the go and burning through the capped data on a mobile plan – data you could rather use on emails and other urgent interactions.
With speeds of up to 8 Mbps, downloads are also fast, stable, and not subject to the same speed fluctuation caused by the number of active smartphones connected to any particular cell tower.
For more information, or to get an iPhone 4S free when signing up for an iPhone contract, visit any LIME store.
What does 1GB get you?
- Basic web (mainly text) 10,000 pages
- Rich web (incl multimedia) 3,000 pages
- Basic email 1,000,000
- Rich email (attachments) 2,000
- Streaming music 200 songs
- Streaming video two hours
- Skype voice call 30 hours
- Skype video call 4 hours
- Streaming radio 16 hours
- Downloading apps 160 apps