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Paul Drury

What does 1GB get you?
Mobile internet explained


Can't get your head around megabytes and gigabytes? We explain exactly what you get for your mobile phone's data allowance.

touch screen phone

If you have a phone that can surf the web, check Facebook and Twitter, or send emails, then you will have a monthly data allowance.

This is the amount of internet use you are allowed in a month without being charged extra.

That's all very well and good. But how do you know what is enough, too much or too little when it comes to choosing your smartphone data package?

We've broken it down into terms that are easy to understand for anyone.

Mobile data explained

Firstly, it's worth explaining what each unit of measurement is worth.

One megabyte (MB) is made up of 1,024 kilobytes (KB).

The next measurement up is a gigabyte (GB), which is made up of 1024MB.

The most popular plans offered by mobile phone companies are 1GB, 2GB or 5GB of mobile data allowance.

But deals can start as low as 100MB depending on your needs. And for those data hungry phone users, you can even get an unlimited data plan. 

Though this will bump up the cost of your monthly mobile phone deal.

How to choose your mobile phone data package

Mark Bridge, mobile phone expert and podcaster for, offers the following tips when it comes to choosing your package:

"Make sure you know what happens when you exceed your mobile data allowance. 

"Will you be charged at a higher rate, will the service stop working or will it be restricted for the rest of the month?

"And if you're worried about how much you'll pay but are equally worried about being out of touch, look for a truly unlimited data deal."

Mobile internet and beyond

The more data we use, and the more hungry apps and services become for data, the higher the allowance we're going to need.

And with 4G offering customers much faster internet connections the amount of data we're consuming is bound to rise, and with it, the size of data deals.

Bridge says: "Wi-Fi is becoming a selling point, with everyone from supermarkets to bookshops giving away free internet access as an incentive to shoppers.

"Perhaps in the future we won't need to pay for mobile data at all – we'll simply connect via Wi-Fi in each shop we visit."

How far does 1GB go?

Check out this mobile data usage calculator to find out what you can do with 1GB of data

It should make understanding how much data you need a little easier.


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