Straight Talk Data Calculations

How we estimate smartphone data usage

The examples below provide a general guideline for the amount of data used for each activity:

ActivityApprox. Data Usage
1 email (with standard attachments)100KB to 300KB
1 min. of surfing the web50KB to 500KB (estimated average 15MB/hr.)
1 social media post with photo100KB to 350KB (estimated average 10MB/hr.)
1 min. of streaming music500KB to 1MB (estimated average 30 to 60MB/hr.)
1 min. of streaming video (standard-definition)3.5MB to 4MB (estimated average 210MB to 240MB/hr.)
1 app/game/song download1MB to 7MB

1MB = 1,000KB approximately
1GB = 1,000MB approximately
1TB = 1,000GB approximately

Note: Keep in mind that these examples are just estimates based on typical file sizes. Data usage may vary depending on the specific content viewed or downloaded, device, network and other factors. The above examples are based on averages and are estimates only. The actual amount of data used for the described activity can vary. The download/upload frequency and size of photos, videos, web pages, file attachments, applications, and other wireless internet usage varies widely and could result in data usage exceeding allotment. The definition of SD rate is streaming at 533KBPS and for HD streaming it is 2000KBPS. Wi-Fi usage does not count against the data included in your wireless data plans. Learn more about accessing Wi-Fi on your smartphone.

Monitor Your Usage

Get your real-time data usage. You can quickly view how much data you've used in the current month. Just go to MyAccount mobile app on your device.

Links to carrier-site calculators:

AT&T - http://www.att.com/att/datacalculator/index.html
SPRINT - https://www.sprint.com/landings/datacalculator/index.html
T-MOBILE - http://www.t-mobile.com/Tools/MBCalculator.aspx
VERIZON - http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/splash/dataShareCalculator.jsp

Web

General web surfing consists of 2-3 page requests a minute.
Basic sites: 
Mostly text based, average about 50-100 KB per page-view.
Multimedia Sites:
With videos, advertising, interactivity, etc. Average about 150-400 KB per page-view. This is just for viewing the page not interacting with page elements.

Email

Text-only:
Email without attachments is estimated at 15-35 KB per message.
Emails with attachments: 
require more data usage. The average email that has an attachment is estimated at 100-300 KB per message. This is an estimated value as attachments can vary greatly in size.

Video

Most major videos sites like Hulu, Youtube, and Netflix use a variable rate when streaming. This rate is determined by the settings the user chooses as well as their internet connection.
Full Length Videos: (Netflix, Hulu)
Standard Definition (SD) video is streamed at 480 kbps. Estimated .240MB per hour.
High Definition (HD) video is streamed at 2500 kbps. Estimated 720MB per hour.
Note: Some HD Netflix videos can be streamed at 3800 kbps. Estimated 1.6GB per hour.
Short Length Videos: (YouTube, CNN)
Standard Definition (SD) video is streamed at 480 kbps. Estimated 210MB per hour.
High Definition (HD) video is streamed at 1100 kbps. Estimated 470MB per hour.

Music

Streaming:
A constant stream at 128 kbps is estimated at 30-60 MB per hour.
Downloads:
Typical 3-minute songs are estimated be 4-7MB in size. Higher-fidelity songs will require more data usage.

Social Sites and Chat

Social Sites: (Facebook, Twitter)
Bandwidth usage of social sites can vary greatly depending on what you are doing. 1 hour on Facebook for average status updates and surfing is estimated at about 10 MB. Uploading and viewing lots of pictures, playing videos, application, and games will greatly increase the usage.
Chat:
Ten lines of text-based chat are estimated to need 10,000 KB. An hour of chatting with one party requires approximately .6 MB.

Downloads

Documents/apps/games/songs: files are estimated to require 1-4 MB each.

Other References:

  • Verizon Wireless – http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/splash/dataShareCalculator.jsp
  • T-Mobile Data Calculator – http://www.t-mobile.com/Tools/MBCalculator.aspx
  • AT&T Data Calculator 1 – http://www.att.com/att/datacalculator/index.html
  • AT&T Data Calculator 2 - https://www.att.com/esupport/data-calculator
  • US Cellular – https://www.uscellular.com/data/data-estimator.html
  • For future certification: https://www.truste.com