How much data is enough?

4G will be available on almost all networks by the end of this year and handsets such as the iPhone and Galaxy S4 are there to provide superfast connections. The big question though is how much data is enough?

EE have been criticised for not offering an unlimited plan but do at least offer a rather large 20GB plan, which comes with a hefty price of £76 a month over 24 months though.

Three advertise their AYCE packages and have stated there will be no charge for 4G when it rolls out later this year.

O2 and Vodafone are also promoting 4G ahead of rollout and allow you to add 4G to your plan, currently the top allowance given is 4GB a month.

How much data is enough?

With everyone using their phones for more and more, and all these great exciting new applications being made to make use of these high speed networks how much is enough?.

It would be interesting to see in the comments below your thoughts on data use, how much you use over 2G/3G/4G in a month and is there a need for unlimited?

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  • Jason

    £76 pounds a month crazy. I’ll stick with the one plan on 3 with unlimited data,as long as its fast enough to stream video I’m happy…

    • Buff69

      How good are 3 i have heard some horror stories about them i would go with them (voda now) but bit worried

      • bob

        Three’s data speed (3g) were really good compared to pretty much everyone else IMHO. However, the reason I’m not with them now, is that their coverage (data & voice) is awful, again, in comparison. I loved the data speeds, but It just got too annoying

        • Buff69

          Oh right bit like voda then try and use Internet and its abysmal

          • Anonymous

            I’m with Vodafone (one of my lines at least) and I’d agree that most of the time the data seems to be abysmal. It’s not always been that way. A few years ago it was really good, and it’s slowly but steadily declined. I’m lucky I’m not out and about these days too much (at least in this country) otherwise I would have switched long ago. O2 seems to be marginally better in this respect.

  • David Lindsay

    I use around 10-15GB per month on three’s one plan (not including tethering) on my iPhone 5

    • Dan Carter

      How are you using that much without tethering?

      • Roodly Philogene

        Why don’t you watch 3 Netflix movies and a dozen of YouTube video and see what happens? It’s very easy to go over 10 good a month. If idid not have wifi, I definitely would have gone over 15 gb.

      • DanielM

        Its very easy to use that. days have changed. there is loads of data intensive apps. Youtube, WD2go, Pogoplug, Tune in, Podcast Sync,netflix,Sky’s nowtv,Spotify. etc

    • Darren Bird

      10-15gb per month….what are you doing with all that data

  • James Vincent

    I got 3’s AYCE Data. use up to 10GB a month. then there’s my 15GB in my M-Fi. Then a little bit of home wifi… I hammer it! 40GB data allowance would be enough on a Mobile tariff! 3 are the only Operator that Sets our Smartphones free and dont limit us to stupid 4GB allowances, or 500MB for stupid amounts of around £30p/m. Vodafone & O2 just rip everyone off with costs. And seeing as I’ve now got upto 23MBPS on my Phone, why would I wanna move to EE just to have ‘4G LTE’?

  • colinp

    ive got the 4g 1gb on ee and i now use my phone much less , i no longer stream music or watch youtube, its the exact opersit to what i got 4g for .
    if you move to 4g a minimum is 2gb

  • Scuby Woo

    Hi all,
    I have harped on about not having a land line since god was a lad, where I am unable to get decent speeds via bt, so I have always stuck to using teathering since days of gprs via my spv e200 windows phone. I am now on a sammy gs3 so I attempted to move from tmobile to ee last month to increase the already good speed to 4g. Ee told me they dont have an equivalent tariff to my needs. I asked him to explain, where he said the max is 20gb at £ 76. Why would that be an issue…? Cos I used 33gb last month. Doh. I’lL stick with tmobile then lol.

  • Iain McLaren

    I only use about 500MB tops on Orange, not sure if I would use more if I had more quite probably especially if it was faster but it is just about okay for me at the moment and have another 12 months on contract, then I may switch to 3 depending on cost.

    • Iain McLaren

      Having said that I do have my data off for most of the time, if had better battery and more data allowance would probably use more features on my phone, like auto photo backing up and some of the Google services.

  • Jamie V

    I have supposedly unlimited internet on my old T-Mobile account, but I’ve been told my fair use limit is 1.2GB a month. I’ve never gone anywhere near this, except once when I tethered Sky Go for an hour and a half on a tablet. I almost always use Wifi. However, the attraction is not having to worry about going over an allowance. I honestly don’t know how much I’d use unlimited data unless it was a huge improvement on my home Wifi, which to be honest is perfectly adequate. I am giving very serious consideration to moving to Three and getting The One Plan to be ready for any eventualities where data is concerned – the amount of calls I use my phone for is negligible these days, and although I would be loathe to give up my enormous allowances on my Flext tariff (which includes international calls), I’m simply not using them enough to make it worth my while staying. I also don’t fancy EE as I imagine I could run through the data limit of any tariff I could reasonably afford in not much time at all.

  • Anonymous

    There are always going to be people who absolutely hammer their data allowances compared to the vast majority, and that’s to be expected I think. I do believe that at one time at least they needed to add the ‘fair use’ clauses to make people see what was reasonable to use on a mobile. But this has not moved forward much.

    How can one company charge £76 for 20GB, when another happily allows 30+ on a contract less than half the price?

    Personally, I use very little right at the moment because I am not travelling too much, but when I do, I find I rattle through my 1GB very quickly indeed, and I am not on a cheap contract by any means. The most frustrating thing is that most months I use barely any data (100-200MB max), but then when I need it I don’t have enough.

    I think that if they are going to be stingy with the data, the least they should do is allow rollover data for the months you use less – you pay rather heftily for it after all.

    • Scuby Woo

      I think you raise two valid points regarding fair use and rollover. But the real crux is individual behaviour. I for example drink more energy drinks than the average man, but I pay for it. Whatever I have left gets put in the fridge etc. But its a premium kinda drink, besides the health issues no one is gonna stop me drinking that or even water as it has become second nature to do so, a so called right if you wish. We and especially peeps like me are data hungry, just like my thirst I need to quench and I am willing to pay the price, but soon we will stop paying over the odds for the same stuff and hopefully fingers crossed data will become the norm to ones tariff without restriction.

      • I do think that EE could easily afford to rollover unused data, not just for one month but maybe longer – with perhaps an upper ‘cap’ of say 20, 30 or 40GB.

        It would be far better than hitting your limit one month and having to pay for an add-on, then being way under the next month. I know the same could be said for voice/text allowances, but I do think that’s different (not least because you can consume data downloading something in the background, while you wouldn’t necessarily want to now spend hours more on the phone just because you could). This is also why EE can easily give unlimited voice/text because it knows this, and people are making fewer calls these days – not more. They want data and data has replaced voice for IM, email, sharing content etc.

        Consumers would feel more comfortable knowing there was some flexibility on their tariff. On the occasions where they actually used up their limit early, they could continue to pay to top-up/add-on more data.

        I sincerely doubt that anyone can manage to use the same amount of data every month, without actively trying to control or moderate usage – or even deliberately trying to use up the remaining allowance for the sake of it and to feel like getting value for money.