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So, I'm pondering getting an iPhone. But, in this part of the world (NZ), there is no such thing as unlimited mobile data. If I buy, I'm likely to be limited to 250MB/month and $0.25/MB after that. And if I should travel overseas, I'm charged a flat rate of $10/MB.

(the NZD is currently running at .65USD)

So I'll have to be thinking about internet traffic again. I guess I can work out some estimates for web pages. But what about:

  • How much traffic to view a 5 minute youtube clip?
  • What if I spend 20 minutes navigating with google maps?
  • How much traffic do google reader and gmail generate?
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5 Answers 5

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I was just looking into this myself recently. Bear in mind that where I live there is no 3G coverage, only EDGE. However, I have been tethering my iPhone with my MacBook for the past few months (albeit sparingly, as I usually have a WiFi connection). According to AT&T, my usage is as follows:

         Data (kb)
July        181036
June         71921
May         199258
April        78325
March       101752
February    116072

Total       748364
Average     124727

My guess is that your usage would probably be pretty similar if you have EDGE (or slower) where you live. If you have 3G you might have to watch your numbers a bit more closely though.

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I'm in Australia, and the plan I chose for my 3GS only gave me 100MB/month. However because I have WiFi at home and internet at work I found that it was more than enough in my first month, when I only used 90MB.

That included a 1/2 hour car trip using Google Maps, a few YouTube videos, using GMail a lot and a lot of browsing the App Store/iTunes (although I generally made sure I was at home to download apps and songs).

The Mail app (connected to GMail) is quite good about minimising usage - at first it will only get the message headers and the first sentence of the mail, and will only get more when you open the mail. It will not retrieve attachments until you actually open them.

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I find that, unless you stream video or audio, you don't really use too much data.

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My wife using about 25MB a month with iPhone. This is a casual browsing and some google maps but nothing heavy. On the other hand, two of us use around 25GB a month on our laptops without any downloads whatsoever, just browsing and some youtube :)

I would recommend to turn off internet connection in roaming, it is turned off by default anyway. Anywhere in the world except NZ and Australia there's plenty of open wifi spots around thanks to unlimited internet access. Using 3G would suck all your money in couple of minutes, it just so not worth it.

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"NZ and Australia there's plenty of open wifi spots around thanks to unlimited internet access" There's unlimited internet access in Australia..? Every ISP I've seen here has a cap of some kind (aside from a few 512mbit/s unmetered plans) –  dbr Jul 29 '09 at 13:52
1  
No, that's why there's "except Australia and NZ" :) –  vava Jul 30 '09 at 0:59

Although I don't have an iPhone it is something that I've been looking at and I've been asking this question of people.

From everyone I talk to I find that 500mb in a month is more than anyone ever comes close to using. My friend has had his for only a few weeks (so it's still really new and exciting to be online everywhere) and he's used < 200Mb (it was about a 3 week period). And this was constantly on Google Maps, browsing sites, etc.

Everyone says that you use a lot less than you'd think because the primary locations you end up using it (home/ work) you (generally) have access to a wifi connection which you use instead.

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The WiFi argument is why I got the iPod Touch instead - seems that 99% of my life is spent in WiFi areas anyway. –  Rich Bradshaw Sep 3 '09 at 18:12

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