Mobile broadband buying guide

Mobile Broadband

Explaining mobile broadband

Mobile broadband gives you internet access, without wires, over the air. You don't need a phone line or to be in a Wi-Fi area, just a small USB modem (similar to a memory stick) to plug into your laptop, Mac or PC and you can have access to fast broadband when you're on the move.

Download limits

To help you understand what you can get for your money, this guide will give you an indication of what your download allowance will get you, but these numbers are to be used as a guide only and are not definitive.

500 MB is roughly enough to do the following:

Activity Single activity Mixture
Web browsing 33 hours 6 hours
Emails sent / received (10KB/email) 50000 emails 8333 emails
Emails sent / received with photo attachment (500KB/email) 1000 emails 167 emails
Music downloads 50 songs 8 songs
Youtube downloads 33 clips 6 clips
Movie / TV Downloads (standard definition, SD) 2 hours 20 mins

1 GB is roughly enough to do the following:

Activity Single activity Mixture
Web browsing 67 hours 11 hours
Emails sent / received (10KB/email) 100000 emails 16667 emails
Emails sent / received with photo attachment (500KB/email) 2000 emails 333 emails
Music downloads 100 songs 17 songs
Youtube downloads 67 clips 11 clips
Movie / TV Downloads (standard definition, SD) 4 hours 40 mins

2 GB is roughly enough to do the following:

Activity Single activity Mixture
Web browsing 133 hours 22 hours
Emails sent / received (10KB/email) 200000 emails 33333 emails
Emails sent / received with photo attachment (500KB/email) 4000 emails 667 emails
Music downloads 200 songs 33 songs
Youtube downloads 133 clips 22 clips
Movie / TV Downloads (standard definition, SD) 8 hours 80 mins

3 GB is roughly enough to do the following:

Activity Single activity Mixture
Web browsing 200 hours 33 hours
Emails sent / received (10KB/email) 300000 emails 50000 emails
Emails sent / received with photo attachment (500KB/email) 6000 emails 1000 emails
Music downloads 300 songs 50 songs
Youtube downloads 200 clips 33 clips
Movie / TV Downloads (standard definition, SD) 12 hours 120 mins

How we estimate how much data we think you'll use

Activity Our average estimate size Details
Email 10KB/email It's impossible to say what the size of the average email is - it depends how much you write, how many emails are being forwarded, what is attached, is it html and probably much more than this. But for a couple of paragraphs between two people, this is our estimate.
Email with attachment 500KB/email This is even more difficult to estimate as it depends on the size of the attachment. However for our purposes we have assumed an average .jpg photo - do note this will change depending on the photo size. This is just guidance.
Browsing 15MB/hour This depends on the speed of your internet connection so a much better question to ask would be how many rich web pages do you look at and how many basic web pages. The best we can do is to give you the average that the average laptop user uses in an hour.
Music downloads 10MB/song Music tracks are often around 3MB per song although they can be a lot more. We have been cautious and allowed 10MB per song. A song is not often any more than this.
Youtube 15MB per 4.5 min clip On average
Movies SD 250MB/hour SD = Standard Definition. This is how many MB it takes on average to download 1 hr of SD movie or TV.
Movies HD 600MB/hour HD = High Definition. This is how many MB it takes on average to download 1 hr of HD movie or TV.
Video and TV Our recommendation is that you download and stream movie content using home broadband and/or Wi-Fi, not mobile broadband. How much movie content or TV you canI download depends on many factors like full video encoding or some other type of compression like DivX, so it's hard to be exact. If you have them stored on your computer, go to the file, highlight and right click. Then go to the properties tab and it'll tell you how large the file is.
Gaming 60MB This is if you are playing online, but does not include if you are streaming - again it is an estimate.
1
Close overlay and continue

We value your opinion

Leave quick feedback Or Complete our survey