How to make the most of your mobile data

By 2025, it’s thought that consumer data usage will rise to 98GB per month. In 2016, this figure was less than 2GB. Mobile data is vital to enabling internet access when Wi-Fi isn’t accessible, keeping us connected no matter where we are. But it’s easy to exceed your plan’s allowance, which can come at a costly price. Here, mobile provider spusu, explores how consumers can make the most of their mobile data without going over budget.

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Working behind the scenes

You may or may not know that mobile data is constantly working in the background, secretly eating away at your allowance.

Ever wondered how maps can suggest an estimated time arrive and route to a location you didn’t request? Or what about when Spotify or Apple Music suggest new albums to download? This is because of data, specifically Background App Refresh.

Background App Refresh is a feature on Apple and Android devices that allows apps to fetch new content and update information in the background, even when they’re not actively being used. This feature enables apps to launch faster and display up-to-date information at all times. However, it can also quickly consume cellular data and drain the device’s battery. Disabling Background App Refresh is one of the surest ways to reduce data usage.

Mind the app

Some apps may be draining your data faster than others. For instance, streaming apps such as Netflix can use as much as 3GB per hour when watched in high definition, compared to 0.3GB in low definition.

Social media apps such as TikTok, Facebook and Instagram can also consume large amounts of data because of features such as autoplay videos, high-resolution images and live streaming.

Before you limit their use or even consider deleting them, there are ways to optimise data consumption for your favourite apps. Firstly, most social media apps provide the option to reduce the amount of data used while the app is open. Specifically, Facebook provides the option to reduce data usage by turning off auto-play for videos.

For Apple device owners, another way to reduce data use is to offload apps. In iOS 11, Apple introduced the option to offload apps, a middle ground between keeping and deleting an app if it’s not often used. While it deletes the data associated with the app, it can be reinstalled and used as normal.

Don’t forget, there is always the option to manually restrict the apps you’ve allowed to use data.

Don’t get caught out

Mobile data often catches people out when they enter a new country. We’ve all heard of those stories of people who’ve been caught short and slapped with an extortionate mobile bill — all because they forgot to turn roaming off.

When your phone is connected to your provider’s network in your home country, it uses mobile data. However, when you venture outside your home network while traveling, data roaming takes over. If left on, it could leave you without any spare data for your travels, as well as cost more than double your normal contract. By only connecting to WiFi, you can save data and costly roaming charges.

The importance of having access to mobile data is well understood, but the hidden use and associated costs, less so. Exceeding your mobile data limit can be extremely costly, especially if it’s a common occurrence. By being aware of the ways in which mobile data is functioning behind the scenes and taking the steps to minimise the amount of data that apps use, can make mobile data last longer.

spusu provides free roaming across all EU countries, helping your data last longer without any additional charge. Visit to learn more.