How Much Mobile Data Do You Really Need?

You use your smartphone to send texts, watch videos and write emails, but how much data do you really need? You may be surprised by the answer.


Customers with Verizon Wireless data devices average between 1 and 2 GB of data per month for each device. Yes, less than 2 GB per device.

During the second quarter of 2013, the average for data usage among all mobile subscribers in the US was 827 MB per person each month, according to Nielsen. That’s not even a whole gigabyte.

Your smartphone and tablet activity can be limitless, but it turns out that you probably don’t actually need unlimited data. With Wi-Fi connectivity on most devices and usage-monitoring tools, you can choose when to use your data allowance and know exactly how much data you’re using each month.

Monitor your data usage
It’s hard to know how much each activity is eating up your data allowance because actual file sizes and download times vary. For a 3G/4G LTE smartphone, a text-only email could be as small as 10 KB. It might take 400 KB to gain Internet access. On the 4G LTE network, audio streaming and standard definition video streaming use 60 MB per hour and 350 MB per hour, respectively.

When you’re at home, work or a public place, consider connecting to the local Wi-Fi (if available) and do all of your heavy downloading and streaming then. That keeps you from using up your monthly data allowance.

Also, get real-time data usage anytime. Quickly view how much data you’ve used in current and previous billing cycles by using the My Verizon mobile app on your device or visiting in a web browser. Set limits on data use for each of your family members, add a curfew on your teen’s late-night social media browsing and more with Usage Controls.

You can dial #DATA (#3282) and send a text from your device to get a text message detailing your data usage. If you have an Android device, you can use the data usage widget that displays information on your smartphone Home screen. This widget’s available for Android devices with OS version 1.6 and higher.

How much data do you need?
After you’ve viewed your monthly usage information, you might find out that you use more or less data than your plan includes. Change your plan from the My Verizon mobile app or go to

With a data package, you can check email, browse the web and download games, apps, ringtones and more, but you might not be using as much data as you think. Take advantage of Verizon’s data usage tools to find out how much data you need so that you can pick the right plan for you.



The above content is provided for information purposes only. All information included herein is subject to change without notice. Verizon is not responsible for any direct or indirect damages, arising from or related to use or reliance of the above content.