I have a data SIM in my phone, with a 5GB / month allowance.
I also have a Wi-Fi hotspot, in which I have an EE SIM which offered 120GB of data for £50.
My SIM-only phone contract is up for renewal, and the data on my data SIM in my Wi-Fi hotspot is due to expire in a few days, so I thought I’d look at what my actual usage was, to work out what I should do next.
In particular, do I go back to combining phone and hotspot?
SIM in phone
Since I got the hotspot, I don’t tend to tether my phone other than in emergencies. And, most of the time, these days, I’m at home, and so connected to Wi-Fi.
I use my phone when out and about mostly for email, web, and messaging - perhaps the occasional video call - so nothing particularly data intensive.
And I filter my Internet connection, to drop ads and trackers.
So my cellular data usage was unsurprisingly pretty low:
|Month||Data used (MB)|
Even on the month I used the most - May 2022, with 3.2 GB - I was well inside my 5GB / month allowance.
SIM in Wi-Fi hotspot
I don’t have a granular breakdown for my hotspot, but, in the last year, I used 41.3GB, of my 120GB allowance.
So, roughly roughly, 3.5GB per month.
This is higher than I was expecting, given that most of my online activity is email, web, and ssh, so not really that data intensive. I don’t stream video from my media server, YouTube etc over my hotspot (I have a memory stick full of audio and video, so I can watch stuff offline if I really want to), but I do use it for occasional video conferencing.
If I want to ditch the hotspot and tether my phone, 5GB / month is going to be tight. I’d need to increase the data cap on my phone plan, so that I don’t need to think about it.
I’m not even halfway through my data allowance on the SIM in my hotspot. So, at £50 for the year / £4ish per month, I basically don’t need to worry about continuing to work as I do currently, and I could probably comfortably stream audio while working too.
And, in using the hotspot, I don’t need to worry about the battery life in my phone.