Technology Column

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.

One question that comes up time after time is the old chestnut “I get x amount of data included with my mobile contract, how long will that last?”

My answer is always “That depends” It all comes down to what you do with your device as different things will use different amounts of data. If you are wondering what everyone means by kilobyte (KB), megabyte (MB) and gigabyte (GB), this is just a measurement of data, just the same as grams and kilograms is a measurement of weight.

There are 1000KB in 1MB and 1000MB in 1GB (There is a technical reason why it can also be 1024KB or MB but that could take most of this column to go through, If you are interested there are some fantastic explanations online, so just google it)

If you send or receive an email on your phone without any images or attachments, you are looking at roughly 10KB. If you were to attach a photo and send it, that could then make that email a few MB.

If you were to listen to the radio on your phone using ‘tune in radio’ that I mentioned in a previous column, you would use about 60mb for an average quality stream. Downloading a song will be roughly 3-10mb.

The one thing missing from the above is watching videos on YouTube, BBC iplayer or other video apps. That’s because this can vary massively. These sites or apps detect the speed of your Internet connection and deliver the video at a quality that your connection can handle. What this means is that the faster your Internet connection, the better quality the video will be and the more data it will use.

A rough guide is 1.5-2 mb for a low quality or SD (standard definition) video and 3-4mb for a high definition (HD) video per minute of video.

To get a more detailed breakdown please go to

Also remember that downloading apps on a smartphone will use data as will the updates that most apps will have from time to time.

There will more than likely never be a really quick and concise answer to the above question, but by using the numbers above you can get a rough guide as to what you will need depending on your use.

I will be doing my best to answer questions that you can email in to me at with the word Guru in the subject line or make an appointment with me by going to and clicking on ‘book an o2 guru’ and then searching for Mansfield, or another store if that suits you better.