Monday, 27 January 2014 11:50

Australians ‘in the dark’ on data downloads

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Many Australians don’t know how much data they can download from the Internet on their mobile phone without blowing their limit.

Optus has released research which shows that 27% of Australian mobile phone users have no idea how much data they get. And 36% of people believe their activities will exceed their allowance, and 30% are concerned they’ll run out of data by the end of the month.

“Clearly, Aussies need a helping hand when it comes to the topic of data,” said Ben White, VP of mobile marketing at Optus.

“More and more things can be done on our phones. Phones are now a music console, a wallet, a shopping catalogue and a street directory.

“These things use data, and now with tools such as usage alerts and fairer pricing on excess mobile fees, people are freer to use their phones for more and more things.” White was of course promoting Optus’s data rates and usage alerts, but he does have a point.

“Many users aren’t using their data allowance to its fullest. We think this is because they are scared of going over their limit. To help customers understand their data usage so they can get the most of their plan, we have provided a guide on what you can do with one gigabyte of data.” A smartphone user can:

The Optus table shows that with 1GB users can:

  • Send 100 emails with attachments
  • Visit 100 web pages
  • Upload 50 posts or photos to social media
  • Steam 90 minutes of videos
  • Stream 90 minutes of music
  • Use GPS navigation for 60 minutes
  • Make a video call for 30 minutes
  • Download 17 apps or games

“Optus understands why some people find data allowances confusing. We want to turn around their fear about breaking data limits. At Optus we’re putting control back in the hands of customers with My Plan, which helps prevent bill shock and encourages customers to use their mobile phones with confidence,” said White.

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire. He is one of Australia’s longest serving and most experienced IT journalists. He is author of the only definitive history of the Australian IT industry, ‘A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing.’

He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time weekly IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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