Tips to help reduce your data usage
Here are some tips when using data with your RoamingSIM to consider before travelling. These will assist with minimising your data use and cost while travelling overseas.
Use your data sparingly! Remember that browsing websites can consume a lot of data. Refrain from visiting too many graphics-heavy websites or sites that stream video or download maps etc.
Applications also use data and some such as google maps can consume a large amount of data.
Switch your smartphone to manually retrieve emails. This will allow you to check emails, sync contacts and calendars manually instead of having the data pushed to smart phone automatically.
Set up your email account to download the header of the message only, and manually select which emails should be downloaded in full.
Be careful downloading emails that have large attachments or photos as they could be many Mb's in size.
You can use this to switch on and off when you want to use data if you want to manage costs closely. Remember that when switched off you will not have access to data.
Many smartphones/tablet devices have an application or setting that tracks data usage. You should reset this daily to monitor your usage.
If you are using an iPhone and know that you will need to use mobile internet when overseas, reset the Usage Tracker to Zero. This will allow you to track your estimated data usage and monitor how much you are downloading.
Use Wireless Hotspots in the country you are visiting where available. These 'hotspots' are often available in many international airports, hotels, and restaurants.
Your phone must support wifi and you may need to pay to access some of them.
Use wireless hotspots to download large emails/attachments or if you need to do heavy browsing.
Check the roaming rates before you leave to understand what you'll pay when using your mobile service overseas.
Be sure to note down the carriers that provide the lowest rates in each country.
Be aware that some apps use data passively. It is best to switch off auto updates and app access when roaming to avoid unexpected charges.
On average, Skype uses between 3-16 kilobytes/sec depending on bandwidth available for other party, network conditions in between, callers CPU performance, etc.
This means it would use approximately 180kb - 1Mb per minute of usage and it may work out cheaper to make a call rather than use skype depending on the country and charges for data usage.
On average Skype uses 0-0.5 kilobytes/sec while idle. This is used mainly for buddy presence updates.
The exact bandwidth depends on many factors and is provided as a guide only. It is best to monitor your own usage to get accurate figures.
There are some apps in the market that can be installed on your device and help to compress data and reduce the usage.
The most common app is http://www.onavo.com/ which is available for iphone and ipad.