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Estimating your company mobile data usage

21 May 2014

By Vidéotron Affaires
Videotron Business

Does your business use several smartphones? It’s not always easy to determine the volume of data you need on a monthly basis.

In order to help you do so, you can ask each user to assess a “typical day usage” scenario, including the different tasks they complete and their duration. This will enable you to come up with a summary outline of the data your devices use.

It is also useful to know which tasks use the most data, and to inform your employees about them. Here is an overview of some common tasks, in decreasing order of data usage:

o    Videoconferencing (eg. : Skype)

This relativeley new technology is pretty interesting, especially with people who live far way, since it enables you to both hear AND see them, thus making collaborating easier. As an example, a 45-minute HD audio/video conference will use about 500 Mb of data.

o    Video Content

When watch a video (say, a conference) in streaming mode, the content is downloaded each time you reload the video, and not just the first time. The data usage depends on image quality, but you can count between 2 Mb and 3 Mb for a standard quality 1-minute video. Therefore, caution should be used with sites such as YouTube, and selecting the HD parameter is not recommended when watching from a phone.

o    Downloading applications

This task varies a great deal depending on the application size. This information is displayed on Google Play, on the right pane, as part of the detailed description of the application. A prevention mechanism is also built in for Android phone. Some very heavy applications will not be downloaded unless the user is connected to a Wi-Fi network, while some others will display a warning to suggest logging on (without preventing the download).

Two typical examples: downloading MS Outlook requires 6.5 Mb of data, while Skype requires 15 Mb.

o    Browsing the Internet

Viewing websites or social media platforms is generally not data-heavy. A constant use of Linkedin (updating statuses, reading, clicking on links…), for instance, only uses about 1 Mb per minute. You can count about double that number for sites that are not optimized for mobile browsing. The only thing to consider is the potential accumulation stemming from hours of daily usage from multiple users, and estimate an overall figure.

In short, it is always better to plan for a little extra, and purchase a plan that will truly meet your needs. A best practice would also be to log on to a Wi-Fi network before performing data-heavy tasks, whenever possible.

Videotron Business Solutions offers many mobile packages, ranging from 500 Mb to 6 Gb of monthly data. Moreover, you can purchase both fixed-rate and flexible-rate add-ons, for all the flexibility and the predictability you need.

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Videotron Business