The All-Data Mobile Experiment – Part 2 : Counting the Data, Literally

In a previous post I talked about ditching the conventional mobile contract in favour of a full data plan. This post continues my research into the topic – looking at my own mobile usage first in order to calculate potential costs.

A little bit about my setup/usage for the past few months before I delve into the numbers:

  • StarHub 3G Contract, Student Plan (unlimited SMSes, 12GB data, 100 mins outgoing, free incoming calls)
  • Multi-SIM, previously with iPad – usage deprecated in the last few months
  • Use WiFi at home, don’t stream much video out of the house, 3 e-mail accounts

I trawled around for old bills from the past 6 months as well, calculating my average usage, as well as highlighting my maximum and minimum usage:


So I spend about $55 on average with my current plan (no more Hub Club for my family). Multi-SIM is $10.70/mth, so if I ditch the iPad I could potentially bring down the monthly cost to $45 (or $37, if I aim for minimum usage).

Now the question is, how much data would all this amount to? To figure this out, I made some assumptions. Apparently, a Skype-Skype call consumes about 3MB of data per minute, while an MMS probably uses at most 0.3MB. Looking at these numbers, I guess SMSes converting into Whatsapp messages at 5KB per message. Inputting all of this information into the previous table, my estimated data usage is:


So, in the worst case scenario, I’m looking at about 5.5GB of data in a month, while the more reasonable expectation is 3.5GB. Of course, this takes into account multi-SIM usage – if I ditch the second SIM, it’s likely my usage will drop; but I assume this will be countered by the expected increase in usage in moving from a 3G to 4G network.

Armed with this information, it’s time to count the cost of different mobile providers. Keep an eye out for the next post! Do also drop any comments you have below or on Twitter @wasabigeek.

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