Data usage on your phone plan.

This support article will give you key information about keeping track of data usage on your phone plan. It will also provide tips to help you avoid going over your data allowance.

How to manage data usage on your phone plan.

The best way to manage data usage on your phone plan is through My Vodafone.

If you’re on a Red or SIM Only Plan, you can get a Data Add-on through My Vodafone.

If you’re sharing data with other Vodafone services, the account holder can use Data Control through My Vodafone to restrict access to the data pool.

Most smartphones also have in-built data monitors to provide details of your data usage. For more information, check out our device guides.

How much data will you need?

As an estimate, here’s a guide describing how much data you’ll need each month for various online activities. These estimates are based on typical sizes and are subject to change - your usage may vary but in general we estimate streaming videos/movies in standard definition at 0.7GB per hour, streaming music at 128MB per hour and app downloads at 1GB per item – all on the Vodafone 3G and 4G mobile network. As apps become more sophisticated and cameras create higher resolution images and video, it’s likely that your data consumption will increase.

30 mins/day
60 mins/day
90 mins/day
120 mins/day
150 mins/day
180 mins/day
Streaming videos/movies (SD) 14GB 27GB 41GB 54GB 68GB 81GB
Streaming music/podcasts/radio 1GB 3GB 4GB 5GB 7GB 8GB
Video calls & messaging 4GB 7GB 11GB 14GB 18GB 22GB
Browsing – websites and email 1GB 3GB 4GB 5GB 7GB 8GB
Social – social media browsing and sharing 5GB 11GB 16GB 22GB 27GB 32GB


1 app downloaded/day
2 apps downloaded/day
3 apps downloaded/day
5 apps downloaded/day
10 apps downloaded/day
App downloads 1GB 2GB 3GB 5GB 10GB

Tips for limiting your data usage.

Here are some other ways you can limit your data usage.

Connect to WiFi.

When you’re connected to a WiFi network, you won’t use your plan’s mobile data.

To reduce your mobile data usage connect to WiFi when completing data tasks such as:

  • Installing software updates.
  • Downloading and updating apps.
  • Syncing cloud storage services.
  • Streaming video and audio.

For more information, check out our WiFi support  page.

Device data monitors.

Most smartphones have in-built data monitors to provide details of your data usage. For more information, check out our device guides.

Switch off mobile data access.

You can limit your data usage by switching off mobile data access in your phone’s settings. Some devices also allow you to restrict mobile data access for certain apps or features. For more information, check out our device guides.

Switch off background data.

Your device may still be using data in the background, even when you’re not actively using it. To reduce your background data, you can try switching off automatic:

  • Backups
  • File transfers
  • App updates
  • Email refresh and attachment downloads
Data saving in apps.

Many popular apps have data saving features that can be configured to help reduce the amount of data they use.

Facebook Turn off Video Autoplay.
Instagram Turn on Use Less Data.
Snapchat Turn on Travel Mode.
YouTube Turn off High Quality setting.
Google Chrome (Android only) Turn on Data Saver.

Additional information

What do I do if I can’t connect to mobile data?

Most new phones are automatically set up for mobile data when you insert your Vodafone SIM. However, some devices may require manual configuration. For more information, check out our APN settings support page or check out this tool to push the correct settings to your phone.

If you can’t connect to mobile data, check out our network troubleshooting support page.

How much is 1GB of data?

1GB is equivalent to 1024 megabytes (MB) or 1,048,576 kilobytes (KB). As a rough guide, 1GB of data would let you do one of the following:

  • • Watch one hour and 20 minutes of video at Standard Definition
  • • Stream roughly eight hours of high quality music (320kbps)
  • • Send or receive about 1000 emails
  • • Send over 1.5 million WhatsApp messages (without pictures or video)
How is data usage charged from my plan?

Data usage and Add-ons are charged in 1KB increments.


What happens if I use all of my included data?

If you use all of your Red, SIM Only, Data, Tablet or Mobile Broadband plan’s included data, we’ll automatically add an extra 1GB data for $5 to use in Australia.

If you’re on a Red or SIM Only Modem Plan and you use your included data, we’ll automatically add an extra 10GB data for $10 to use in Australia.

If you’re on a Plus Plan and use all of Your Max Speed data, you’ll then have access to data at speeds of up to 1.5Mbps in Australia. With 1.5Mbps you can stream music and standard definition video, make a video call, browse the internet and catch up on social media, however content may be slower to load and is not suitable for high definition video or high speed applications. For more information, check out our speed guide.

How am I charged for data while using $5 Roaming?

If you’re using $5 Roaming, your data usage is charged at the same rate as if you’re in Australia unless you’re on a Plus Plan.

If you're on a Plus Plan, you can only use Your Max Speed data with $5 Roaming, along with your call and text inclusions. If you use all of Your Max Speed data while you’re on $5 Roaming, we’ll add 1GB data for $5. This additional data can only be used with $5 Roaming, isn’t shareable and expires at the end of your billing month.

If you’re travelling to a country where $5 Roaming isn’t available or your plan isn’t eligible for $5 Roaming, data is charged outside your inclusions at Pay As You Go roaming rates.

Do downloads and uploads count towards my data usage?

Yes. Both downloads (data you receive) and uploads (data you send) count towards your data usage.

Is data usage charged at a different rate while tethering or using my device as a Wi-Fi hotspot?

No. Data usage is charged at the same rate, whether you’re tethering or using your device as a WiFi hotspot.

How much data does tethering / using a hotspot use?

Tethering is using your mobile phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot to provide an internet signal for another device (such as a tablet or laptop.) The amount of data you use will depend on what you're using the tablet or laptop for. For example, streaming a movie on your tablet while tethered to your phone will use a similar amount of mobile data as streaming the movie direct to your phone.

What if I use data for something that’s not included in the chart above?

If you can't find what you're looking for in our data chart, it's probably because it doesn't use a significant amount of data. Using Siri, or Google assistant, for example uses very little data.

Using Google maps or Maps uses very little too. This is because once you've input the journey, your phone downloads the map you need and 'caches' the information.