Mobile data is the most expensive thing about running a phone these days. Data has replaced calls and texts as mobile networks’ main revenue source. You can still get some very good SIM-only deals, providing you buy your phone outright – although a lot of people cannot actually do this.
The advent of 3G and then 4G has changed the way people use their phones (and we’re about to have another MAJOR change with 5G, which is now rolling out in the UK and the US). Data is now the #1 thing we need and use on a phone. Think about it: when was the last time you ACTUALLY called someone? What about the last SMS you sent?
Most things these days are done over mobile data – 4G – or WiFi networks inside apps like iMessage, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. Basically, we use A LOT of mobile data these days.
What Does 10GB of Mobile Data ACTUALLY Get You?
FoneHouse has put together a handy infographic that details exactly what you get with a 10GB of mobile data allowance. It shows how much streaming you can do, how much web browsing, and how many songs you can listen to over mobile data. The numbers, as you can see below, are pretty hefty!
How Much Mobile Data Do You Need?
This will depend largely on how often you use your phone – and for what purposes. If you’re streaming TONS of HD content – Netflix or YouTube – while on the move, meaning: away from a WiFi connection, you’re going to burn through A LOT of data. This means you’ll want a more robust allowance.
If you’re more of a casual user and all you do is a bit of Facebook, some email, and web browsing, 10GB will be more than enough mobile data for your needs. Heck, plenty of people are now buying their iPhones off-contract and shopping around for the best iPhone SIM card deals – doing this costs more upfront but saves you a ton of cash in the long run.
There is no one size fits all solution for mobile data. But my advice would be to get more than you think you need because, well… it’s always good to have a surplus. And for this, your best bet is an unlimited data plan or SIM-only offer. And right now, the best-unlimited data plans are rated and ranked for your convenience below:
5G And The Future of Mobile Data
4G is now common. Nearly all phones in the UK and USA run on LTE networks. But that will soon start to change as 5G is now starting to roll-out in earnest. Make no mistake: 5G will be a HUGE leap forward with respect to speed – you’re looking at 1Gbps download speeds initially. In the future, things will max out at around 10Gbps. That is insanely fast. And best of all it’ll be just as cheap as current 4G connectivity.
4G vs 5G – What’s The Difference?
The difference will be MASSIVE.
Just like the step up from dial-up to broadband was. Only here, the speed you’ll get will be on your phone.
5G researchers at the University of Surrey were able to reach speeds of 1Tbit/sec!!
To put that into perspective, the current 4G speed is about 300mbps.
As I said: the difference will be like night and day.
Alex Gledhill, from Intel UK, gives a good description of this technology: “5G is envisioned as an end to end ecosystem that enables a fully mobile and connected society. In a nutshell, 5G networks will provide more data bandwidth and less latency due to built-in computing intelligence aimed at handling more data more efficiently than today’s 4G networks.”
5G is now rolling out, and if you’re in the UK Three Mobile is offering FREE 5G on all of its SIM-only deals and contracts (free meaning, no extra charge!)
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.
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