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Data and Internet

Mobile Data Explained.

Mobile data can be a bit intimidating, especially at first as you get to grips with terms like gigabytes and download speed. At Tesco Mobile, we’re all about making thing less complicated and that includes breaking down the jargon when it comes to mobile data.

The biggest question people often have is what their mobile data limit is and more importantly, what they can actually do with it.

Let’s take some simple figures to start with - a package like Tesco Mobile’s €30 bill pay plan gives you great value in calls and texts and 15 gigabytes (GB) of mobile data every month.

15,000 MEGABYTES (MB) = 15,000,000 KILOBYTES (KB)

This megabyte breakdown is important because it’s a small unit of measurement which is more likely to be used when talking about how much data is used for certain services.

Now let’s break this down further into looking at roughly how much mobile data some popular apps actually use.

App Data Usage Unit or Minute

1-2MB Per minute.


1KB per text sent or received

50KB per photo sent or received


30-50KB per Snapchat sent or viewed.


600KB per photo uploaded or viewed

9.6MB per video uploaded or viewed


0.72MB Per minute


250KB per email sent or received


6 megabytes a minute
1MB per minute
60MB for a 60 minute podcast 

 Watch a match         If watching SKY GO - up to 700MB to watch a 90-minute match; if in HD over 1GB 

Watching TV shows or movies on Netflix uses about 1 GB of data per hour for each stream of    

       standard definition video, and up to 3 GB per hour for each stream of HD video 

These are estimated amounts as many variables make a difference - such as adding high-quality images to an instant message, browsing media-rich websites or playing games that have to be constantly connected to the internet. And do remember that uploading videos also eats into your mobile data allowance.

Top tips for reducing your mobile data usage:

  • Keep track of your data usage using the My Tesco Mobile app.
  • Connect to Wi-Fi where ever possible.
  • Turn off push notifications on apps from which you don't need real-time updates.
  • If you listen to music on the go, some streaming apps have an offline mode so you can listen to cached music without having to be connected to the Internet.
  • Downloading apps - be sure to check the file size. These can vary from a few dozen megabytes to multiple gigabytes – though the latter is usually only the case for games
  • Close apps fully when you’re not using them - this will stop them from using data in the background and will save your battery.
  • Reduce the quality of the video you are watching; 
  • if using Netflix they offer multiple ways to manage the data consumed – click here for more details     
  • and if using the SKY GO App – click here for more details
  • Turn off the auto-play video function on social media sites.
  • If you use Google maps regularly try saving frequent used ones to your offline folder or take screen shots.
  • Use mobile versions of websites where possible, these are simpler websites and generally use less data;
  • If your apps or games have an offline mode switch to this were possible.
  • Turn automatic update off for apps, this will give you the choice to update when you are connected to Wi-Fi.