4 GB Is Not Enough

Estimated Data from Snoobe

A notification appeared on my phone yesterday from Snoobe, the app I installed last week to monitor my usage and suggest a better plan. Now that it had been running for a few days it had gathered enough information to estimate a monthly data bucket for me.

Imagine my surprise when that data bucket was pegged at a whopping 10.4 GB!

Data Usage

Sure enough, my data usage shows that halfway through my billing cycle I’m already at the threshold of my 4 GB allotment for the entire month. I was in the midst of an experiment, but it looks like I got my results early.

It was a single podcast download that brought me to my limit so quickly. Instead of the usual 30-50 MB audio file the latest episode of The Verge Mobile Show is actually a 758 MB video. In one way it actually turned out for the better—I was able to watch and listen to the podcast at my gym.

As for the Imgur GIFs and Play Store updates you’re probably wondering why I didn’t use my home network WiFi for those. This was, in fact, my experiment—to see how much data I would burn through in a typical month of usage without the help of my broadband Internet connection.

Data Usage Per App

Scrolling through the data usage of other apps doesn’t reveal too much out of the ordinary; my low YouTube bandwidth is probably due to my preference for  watching videos on the larger screen of my tablet. If you can believe it I’ve also been tethering my phone to my laptop, yet the data used for that has been less than 2 MB.

So why not WiFi? Don’t most Canadians only need mobile data for that relatively short span of time when they’re travelling between home and work?

Perhaps. But I wonder how many of us are actually able to access WiFi at work? And where are we to turn to if our home Internet goes down?

Is it unreasonable to expect a mobile data plan to serve your device with a month’s worth of mobile data? Even with a generous 4 GB Koodo plan this expectation was not met.

At the very least I would submit that in this day and age the 500 MB data buckets at the low end of Big Three plans are a bit of a joke.

How much data do you use in a month?