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Understand mobile data

Learn about mobile data usage so you can choose the right plan for your business and keep your business mobile costs down. 

Adding data extras when you run out of data is a useful short term fix. But if you find you’re doing this most months, you’ll get a better deal on a plan that has the right data from the start. It's simple to change your plan online, or just call us if you need help. 0800 BUSINESS

If you know you are on the right plan but you just need an extra data boost to get you over the line, we recommend buying a data extra as a one off. You can do this on the Spark app or by using MySpark. 

Data extras last for 30 days unless otherwise specified, and they will continue to be used up after your plan refreshes.

Note: If you have Auto Renew set up and your Auto Renew card payment fails, your Extra will be put on hold for five days. You'll need to top up to complete the purchase of your Extra.

The amount of mobile data your business needs depends on how your team will use their phones, and how often they'll be out of range of WiFi coverage.

  • Sending and receiving 1000 basic emails without attachments or large images would use less than 50MB
  • The average download size for an app on iOS is 23MB for standard apps & 60MB for games. Some apps can be more than 1GB in size
  • Streaming music on Spotify can use anywhere from 50MB to 120MB of data per hour depending on the quality of the audio
  • Streaming video can use anywhere from 1GB to 4GB of data per hour, depending on the quality of the video

The Spark app is the best way to check your latest mobile usage. It’s free and available for iOS and Android, or through MySpark. You can also use the Spark app to check any mobile under the same account number, which is ideal if you’re keeping an eye on a shared mobile plan. Sign in to MySpark

All of our Business Mobile plans come with a feature called Data Stretch. Extra mobile data normally costs 25c per MB (excl GST). But with Data Stretch you have a 2GB safety net. It works by capping the amount you'll pay at certain points. Go over your limit and you'll get an extra 1GB for just $20 (excl GST). And you can use up to 2GB for just $40 (excl GST).

If you would prefer the data to stop when it hits a certain limit, you can set up data cap. By default this is set to a dollar value of $100 (incl GST). But it’s easy to change. Set the cap to $0 you won’t pay any extra data charges, and you can continue to buy data extras, or change your plan if that’s what you’d prefer.

We recommend you use WiFi when you can, particularly when streaming video or downloading large files. If you connect your phone to a WiFi network, it will automatically use this instead of your mobile data. So when you’re at home or work, check you’re connected to WiFi.

Downloads are measured in bytes: Megabytes (MB), Gigabytes (GB). Each increment is 1000x larger than the one before it. So 500MB = 0.5GB.

Speed is measured in Megabits per second. There are 8 bits in a byte. If your connection speed is 100Mbps, you can download 12.5MB of data per second. If a movie you download is 1GB in size, it will take 80 seconds to download at this speed.

The speed of your connection has no bearing on how much data you're using. It's the size of the file being downloaded that will use your data allowance.

iPhones use a feature called WiFi Assist, which uses mobile data even if you’re connected to WiFi. It automatically kicks in to give you faster internet if the WiFi signal is poor. It means you’ll be using mobile data, so we recommend you switch this off unless you need it. Learn how to switch off WiFi assist

If you find you or your team using a lot of mobile data, these could be the causes.

Internet streaming

Instead of streaming music on your mobile, check out Spotify Premium’s offline music feature instead. You can download up to 3,000 songs over WiFi onto your phone and listen to them offline.

Using your mobile as a WiFi hotspot

This is a really useful feature but it can use a lot of data. We’d recommend using it sparingly. We’d also recommend turning off automatic software updates on your computer before using your mobile as a hotspot.

App updates

Both iOS and Android have settings for app updates and we recommend setting them to auto update over WiFi only, or to never auto-update.

Downloading or uploading large files

Limit downloading or uploading any large files as much as possible. A good example of this is backing up photos or videos from your mobile. Keep these kind of tasks for when you have WiFi.

Your usage always refreshes just before your bill date. It’s normally one day before, but if your bill is delayed by public holidays or weekends your usage will have already reset a few days beforehand.

If you are past your bill date and your usage has not reset, try rebooting your mobile phone so it reconnects to the mobile network. If this doesn’t fix the problem, double check on MySpark or the Spark app that your usage period has passed its renewal date. If you are still having problems please contact us so we can look into it for you. Message us