I saw the Washington Post piece on what 2GB can get you per month, but my question is what does that include on a phone? I mean, is facebook an app or does it use up data? What about using the iPod function of the iPhone? What uses up data and what doesn't?
Facebook would use data for communicating with the site. the iPod function would not unless you are accessing music via icloud and you are downloading a song to your phone. If you are on a wifi network then you would not be using cellular data. For the typical user, it is hard to use 2GB of data.
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I have been on the 2GB plan for 18 months. Prior to that, I was on sprint for years (using window mobile phones) on an "unlimited" plan.
With sprint, my average monthly usage was 300MB. So when I came to AT&T, I opted for the 2GB plan.
My average monthly usage on AT&T with an iPhone 4 is... 300MB a month. Sometimes as high as 500MB. Once, 1GB.
If you don't stream video, you can pretty much do anything you want without concern. It's just media streaming that burns data like crazy (or, if you use it as a hotspot)
Anything you use that access the internet uses data - web, email, and apps that use the web (apps like facebook that talk to the facebook website use data, just as if you went to the facebook website.)
Playing local video, music, podcasts that you have copied to the iPhone's internal storage does NOT use data.
Doing anything that would normally use data, while connected to WiFi (for example when at home if you have wifi, or while at work connected to work wifi, or at starbucks on AT&T's wifi) does NOT use data, since the only data you need to keep track of is Cellular data.
Honestly, on a Phone, unless you are streaming video, it's fairly hard work to use more than 2GB of data.
I've been using iPhones for 3.5-4 years now, and in that entire time, I've managed to use a total of about 12GB of cellular data. Before I got my iPhone 4, I averaged about 430MB/month, and I peaked around 800MB/month. Since I got my iPhone 4, I average about 550MB/month and I've peaked at 1.1GB/month. That one month I know I sat and streamed Netflix for 4 hours while waiting for my wife, so I knew my usage would be high, and even then, I was far below a 2GB plan limit before additional charges would be applied. I last reset the data counters on my iPhone 4 on 11/222010 and I've only used 7.4GB total cellular data since then. I use my iPhone quite a bit, and I try to use wifi when available, but I don't refuse to use my phone if I'm not on wifi either...
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