Spending review 2024 … chapter “Mobile data & voice expenses”.

Free WIFI is almost everywhere. Bars, restaurants, public venues they offer more or less reliable connections to Internet at no cost.

Then, if you are doing home office for most of the time like me, you spend lot of hours and days of the week at home. Even when you go to work, if you are lucky enough you can connect to a corporate WIFI when at the work premises too.

So, do we need tons and tons of expensive Giga bytes of mobile data every month on our mobile contract or pre-paid contract? It depends on you.

Just test how much data you daily consume with your phone and multiply it for 30. Or, to be more accurate, see how much data you consume in a full month. Bear in mind that most apps in your phone try consistently to exchange data to and from the Internet. And when WIFI is not available they automatically switch to the 4G/5G mobile data network available in the area. And they do without even asking, so you don’t actually know from which network the data come from.
And did you know that 4G/5G connections may be faster than public WIFIs? Then your phone might priorities data connections from 4G/5G even when you are in a area covered by a WIFI network for which you have connected. Also, data is consumed even when you are not using an app.

That’s why I recommend the good practice, before you start your test, to review all your installed app, excluding apps from connecting to mobile data networks and/or telling them to use only WIFI.

I personally allow the use of mobile data for Whatsapp, Google Maps, Safari, Mail .. and a few other apps. Limiting the data to all other applications and allow connecting to the Internet only when a stable WIFI is available. Google Maps can actually suck a lot of data, especially if you use maps based on satellite-images… but the trick here is to use off-line maps. Here’s how to let the app using off-line maps.

I’ve checked my monthly data usage and most of the months I consumed less than 1 GB. And my mobile service still offers data even above the limit I paid for but at a very slow data rate. Still acceptable for using some apps, including Whatsapp. Not enough though for real time video-chats, streaming or downloading media… but you got the point.

Today, I finally decided to move to the cheapest offer from my mobile service provider… only 2,99 € every 4 weeks, with a data limit of 750MB.

It will suit my -frugal- needs for most of the time. And if I need more, occasionally I could buy some extra data, or just… wait until I’m again in a WIFI area. Or the next month…

By F

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