What’s in a Megabyte? A Gigabyte?

How many emails do you send each day? How many songs, TV shows, or movies do you stream? Better yet, how much data do each of these things take up? Does anyone really know? We’ve all been trained to think it’s a lot. But that’s not really the case most of the time. I, for all intents and purposes, am a data hog – or I fit the profile of one at least. I will not hesitate to watch that 18 minute long “funniest Vine videos” compilation on Youtube. I will not think twice about firing off 40 emails on my lunch break while also uploading pics to Facebook. I am of the mind that my phone should just work. I have it to make my life easier – not to have more to think about. Luckily, my Republic phone handles a lot of the thinking for me and automatically uses WiFi when I’m around networks I’ve connected to before. I find I’m around the same ones between work and home most days. Without even trying last month, I offloaded 4.8 GB of data to WiFi and only used 758 MB while on cell. Remember, talk and text are always unlimited on Republic too, so we’re just referencing cellular data here.

Indeed, Republic’s network is designed in such a way that you don’t have to think about how much of what you’re using too often (although we just love it when you try to use WiFi. Offloading to WiFi is how we’re able to keep our plan prices so low after all.). With WiFi, 5GB of cellular data, and 25MB of off-network roaming cell data (25MB more than any other MVNO) on hand, the vast majority of our members have plenty of cell data to go around and then some. Heck, we even have truck drivers who stream Pandora radio cross-country 24/7 who don’t come close to using too much.  But, like I said, we’ve all been trained by “the other guys” to think we need gigs upon gigs of cell data to survive. And, they are glad to make us pay for it. We’ve come to realize, as a company, that because of this “you must have more, more, more” marketing strategy, a lot people have no clue how much cellular data they actually use, and end up paying hand-over-fist for something they don’t actually ever need. Brilliant tactic, isn’t it? Nope. We actually think it sounds pretty lame and thought you might like to know how much of what you use on your phone actually takes up, cell data-wise. You might be pleasantly surprised by the results too. Here are some estimates based on our experience:

Action performed on your smartphone:25MB of off-network cellular roaming data gets you:5GB of on-network cellular data gets you:
Emails sent/received with attachments during your power lunch250 emails (that’s a lot of meeting invites!)55,000 emails (you’d prob. get a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records for sending this many emails in a day)
Streaming your favorite jams on Spotify1hr (not bad for a daily commute)166hrs / 6.9 days (epic house party anyone?)
Surfing the Web (do the kids still say surfing? Click for a helpful tip!)1.8hrs (put down the Reddit!)335hrs / 13.9 days (seriously, put down the Reddit, you might have a problem!)
Updating your status on Facebook with photos
65 posts (selfies!)14,300 posts
Streaming YouTube or reruns of The Office on Netflix (in HD)A couple 5 minute YouTube videos (that’ll hopefully make waiting at the dentist’s office go by quicker)9 episodes / 16.5hrs (admit it, you binge watch like the rest of us)
Downloading apps/games from Google Play4 apps (you can get Angry Birds, Star Wars Angry Birds, Star Wars Angry Birds II, and Angry Birds Rio!)1,240 apps (your nickname is officially “Swiss Army Knife” with all those apps)
GPS (varies per app – click for a helpful tip!)About 5.5 MB per 1 hour trip x 25 MB = 4.5 hours (you could go visit grandma!)About 5.5MB per 1 hour trip x 5GB = 900 hours (um, we don’t know where you’re trying to go, but you ain’t gonna have trouble finding your way back!)

Hopefully, this breaks some misconceptions about cellular data usage and makes you feel a little better about using your smartphone to it’s fullest. Again, talk and text are always unlimited – so go nuts there. Your individual data offload can be viewed in the Republic app right on your phone. And, how about that, we just did a handy post on how to better use the RW app here.


What has our app taught you? And of course, if you need any help finding more ways to offload to WiFi, we’re here to help!  Leave us any questions, comments, tips, or tricks you’ve discovered below. Thanks!

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