How much Internet Bandwidth is needed for your Mobile Phone?

Written by: Sandeep Challa

Updated: September, 7, 2012

Every mobile service/network today offers Internet services in the form of Edge/GPRS (2G) or 3G.
This type of connection will provide its users with the ability to use the high speed Internet wherever they are without having to find a Wi-Fi hotspot.
The companies today offer different plans that are going to help users select a sort of coverage that is going to be ideal for them.

Email Use

If one of the reasons that you are using the Internet is to send and receive email messages, then your type of usage would not be that high. In a general email, the size of one message can be about 3 kilobytes.
A lot of the mobile Internet connections that are being offered today will promote a package of at least 1 gigabyte in bandwidth for monthly usage.

GPRS Data Usage
GPRS Data Usage

That is why if you are going to be utilizing a service that is primarily for emails only, then choosing their lowest service bandwidth would probably be enough for this activity. If you are planning to do other things as well aside from just emails, then you might want to consider something that gives you more coverage.


Compared to simple email messages, documents will require a larger quantity of bandwidth. That is why you must also take a look if you are going to need to send attachments within your emails or if there is someone that is going to be sending their documents in attachments to you.
Sizes of documents can be different based on the length and type. One example is where a two-page Microsoft Word document is smaller in size compared to a picture.
This is where a five-page document can amount to about 70 kilobytes and a picture can be around 500 kilobytes or even more, depending on the quality of the photograph.


For this type of broadband Internet, browsing the web is one of its most common uses. A lot of people would want to utilize this type of Internet connection for more than just sending and receiving emails.

Apps Data Usage on Android
Apps Data Usage on Android

Instead, these users would want to look into information in the web while they are traveling. The websites that you will be checking within a monthly basis will be playing a major role on how much bandwidth you are going to need.
An example is where in order to use up at least 80 megabytes of bandwidth, at least eight hours must be spent on the Internet browsing websites.

Streaming and Downloads

These are the largest drains when it comes to mobile broadband bandwidth. One instance is a song that lasts for three minutes could have a size of 4 megabytes generally.
And when you have downloaded about 20 of these songs, then that could equal about 80 megabytes of bandwidth which can then total about 200 downloads for 1 gigabyte of bandwidth. Videos have not been mentioned in the equation yet and these files take up even more space.
So which Internet plan have you subscribed to on your smartphone ? 2G or 3G ?


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