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Understanding data usage on your smart phone

[ Edited ]
Ian

I love using a smartphone & I must confess I’m a bit of an app addict… I’m well overdue for an app spring clean, just like I am with my shed at home where I should clear out stuff I haven’t used in ages, but clearing out apps can be a tip post from maybe one of the other crew who’s better at organising their app collection Smiley Wink

This post is really more about data usage & first off the bat, it’s worth calling out that smartphones are coming out with even faster processors, and we’re accessing more feature and content rich webpages & apps on our phones; between that & how we use our phones to do so many things on the go, we’re all consuming more data. What can I say... mobile phones have come a long way since I owned my first mobile… a Nokia 5110 Smiley Tongue

You can keep a check on your data usage through My Account or our My Optus App (if you’re not sure how to do this, we've got a Help & Support article here, or you can check out this video); it’s not in real time but it’s typically updated within 24hrs so it gives a good indication. You may not know you can also have visibility (and control) of what apps are using your mobile data through your phone - it’s good to know how to do this because some apps can send & receive data even when your phone is idle (to sync, back-up content etc).

I’ve put together some instructions for iOS & Android; the steps for Android can vary slightly based on your operating system & your phone.

If you’re using an iPhone, follow this guide
If you’re an Android userthese instructions are for you

 

Although results you see on your phone can differ to what you see on your bill (because of things like an app being deleted or timeframes for statistics vs. bill cycle), looking at your apps & system services usage directly on your phone will give you a great indication of how your mobile data is being used.

Lastly, if you do use data on your mobile (and let’s face it, if you’re reading this, you do), make sure you’re on a plan that suits your usage because high excess charges will make anyone cry... If you’re an Optus customer & you haven’t changed your plan for a while, be sure to check out My Plan Plus as we’ve got auto-bump ups that will happen when you need more data & you’ll get automatically dropped back down at the start of your next bill cycle (so no bill shock - YAY!).

I hope this post helps some of our community members - if it did, be sure to let me know Smiley Happy If you’ve got any other handy tips to share on this topic, like instructions for another OS, post below & share the love. Anything off-topic will be moved to an appropriate board.

 

Re: Understanding data usage on your smart phone

Clancy10

Hi Ian,

 

Useful instructions. Thanks for these.  It would be worth noting (especially after the last few days) that any BlackBerry user on OS 10.2.1 and higher can follow these instructions as well installing the My Optus app via Snap.  I have done so and the app works beautifully. 

If I've helped, mark with Kudos or Solution so I'm not sitting around scratching my head thinking I've got it wrong.

Re: Understanding data usage on your smart phone

Ian

Great tip! Thanks for sharing Clancy10 Smiley Very Happy

Re: Understanding data usage on your smart phone

2C4Smelb
Thanks. Great tip now i know why my internet was being eaten up.

Re: Understanding data usage on your smart phone

Ryan

Glad to hear some of the steps have proved useful for you @2C4Smelb Smiley Happy

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Re: Understanding data usage on your smart phone

reneeallen1985

i agree Smiley Happy

Re: Understanding data usage on your smart phone

Colin_K

Thanks very much from colin k.

Re: Understanding data usage on your smart phone

brett101

Re:

"Lastly, if you do use data on your mobile (and let’s face it, if you’re reading this, you do), make sure you’re on a plan that suits your usage because high excess charges will make anyone cry... If you’re an Optus customer & you haven’t changed your plan for a while, be sure to check out My Plan Plus as we’ve got auto-bump ups that will happen when you need more data & you’ll get automatically dropped back down at the start of your next bill cycle (so no bill shock - YAY!)."

 

Not sure I agree with auto-bump ups. Fine to have the option to top up - but to have it automatically happen on the last day of the month, with less than 12hrs to go....like has just happened to me...is ridiculous. My other internet provider allows for the purchase of a data block. If you go over the allowance, you're either 'shaped' to a lower speed or you can purchase a block of data...it's your choice.

I think the auto top up does create "Bill Shock". As it happened (to me) I used 36.75 MB over my allowance...I was auto topped up by 1GB for $10.00....and then the next day, a new start to a billing cycle kicked in.

 

In regards to:

"You can keep a check on your data usage through My Account or our My Optus App (if you’re not sure how to do this, we've got a Help & Support article here, or you can check out this video); it’s not in real time but it’s typically updated within 24hrs so it gives a good indication."

 

This is also quite poor. I checked my usage and for all of the 8th and the 9th (and in the early hours of the 10th (which was the start of the billing cycle)), my usage showed that I was under my allowance. Why is there a delay in showing me what my usage is when Optus can clearly see that I have used in excess of my allowance before I can??

Here's how this works...

 

We'll [Optus] will show you that you've used 2.19GB with 310MB remaining...We'll show you this for 24-48 hrs

But we [Optus] really know you've used 2.536GB....We won't show you that yet...we'll charge you for it though straight up...

 

Not fair Optus and it, in my mind, screams of a Scam....

Re: Understanding data usage on your smart phone

Tris

Cheers for the feedback brett01, happy to address your concerns - the auto bump feature in My Plan Plus was made available due to what customers were telling us about their data usage. It's basically designed to add extra data so there's no chance of being charged at a higher excess data rate. I do understand where you're coming from in relation to this happening towards the end of your billing cycle, however it simply happens if you exceed your data allowance.

 

We are working on getting the refresh rate of My Optus app/My Account faster. Currently in most cases it's less than 12 hours, so watch this space. We're certainly not trying to scam anyone, to be honest there was much more revenue for us to continue charging for excess data at the old rate, however we've listened to customers and My Plan Plus is what we've come up with. We strongly believe the pricing and structure is best in market.

 

I'm really sorry to hear about your experiences with the service currently, and you've made some really fair points, I'll be sure to pass it on. Rest assured though, ensuring data usage is fair and accurate is very important to us. If you'd like further assistance with any account specific enquires you can chat with us here

 

 

Thanks again for posting


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Re: Understanding data usage on your smart phone

AZ40BG

Thanks for the tip perhaps! I have regularly tracked my data usage via the phones own data usage (Samsung Galaxy) and it has been within cooee of the Optus values. However the last two months this has completely diverged. Suddenly the Optus data measure is around DOUBLE what my phone says. This has plunged me into a $200 Excess data charge on a 1.5Gb plan. My phone reported about 1.2GB while Optus said it was 2.5Gb. Why should there suddenly be such variance? Oh and this has come in months where I was on holidays for 2 weeks WITHOUT Optus coverage. So it is pointless to understand data usage on your phone when Optus seem to pluck values out of the air. I am an older gent by the way who doesn't SnapChat, Spotify, Srtream Radio or Music and just plays Word and Scramble.

 

Hmmm?

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