How to reduce mobile phone bandwidth costs

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 22, 2007
Updated • Jul 30, 2013
Mobile Computing

Reducing the bandwidth costs of my mobile phone is one of my top priorities in this month. You may remember that I used my Nokia N73 as a modem to go online during my summer vacation which did cost me more than $400 for just a few hours of going online and writing articles. It was quite a shock that I was charged this much because I did ask O2 support how much it would cost me and they gave me a different answer at that time.

I decided to order a 200 Megabyte package for €10 after finding out about the bill which is enough to check for emails and write the occasional article. Bandwidth on the other hand is still a huge problem, just take a look at the size of some of the websites out there, they sometimes have a size of 100+ Kilobytes just for the homepage.

It is also possible to sign up for so called fair-use flatrates which give you a huge monthly quota (5000+ Megabytes for instance) but those are only available in selected countries at the moment. I'd like to share a few tricks that I use to reduce the traffic and the money that I have to pay monthly for using my mobile phone.

  • SMS: Use a free service like Cellity to reduce SMS costs. You pay a standard rate of €0.07 ($0.10) if the recipient is also using Cellity or €0.09 ($0.12) if he is not. Cellity is only available in selected countries in the moment but will soon go international. All you need to do is to download a small application and install it on your mobile phone to save costs.
  • Downloads:Reducing downloads from your mobile phone can make a huge difference at the end. Instead of downloading those ringtones, games and applications directly from your mobile phone you should consider the option to download them with your computer instead and transfer them to your mobile phone afterwards. You can save huge amounts of money this way if you download content regularly.Another option is Wi-Fi if supported. Just connect to the Internet using a wireless connection from either your home or a public place and you will not have to pay for that bandwidth.
  • Using your mobile phone as a modem:The idea is to reduce bandwidth by removing unnecessary objects from Internet pages for instance. I decided to get rid of images and multimedia contents completely. I did install a tool that checks my pop3 accounts displaying only the mail headers giving me the option to download only the mails that I want to read at that moment.You should also make sure that automatic downloads and updates are disabled during that time.
  • Bargain for a better deal: Bargaining is a very effective method to gain a better deal or some bonuses. You could try to get a number of free sms per month from the provider if you either complain about their service or are in the position to renew the contract which is a powerful argument when dealing with your mobile phone company.

What's your way of dealing with it? Let me know if you have more tips that reduce the monthly mobile phone bill.

Update: The rise of smartphones has not really changed the situation that much, it only means that users have additional options at their disposal. The majority of smartphones support wireless connections for instance which you can take advantage of. You can also install browsers such as Opera to use compression technology to reduce the data that needs to be transferred to access websites on the Internet.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Rush said on August 28, 2023 at 9:50 pm

    If Nothing OS is nothing more that an overlay with Google still in the midst….then I ain’t interested.

    1. Seeprime said on September 12, 2023 at 4:12 pm

      Another unrelated comment older than the article. Pathetic.

      1. Robenroute said on September 13, 2023 at 9:06 am

        it is becoming mindbogglingly annoying indeed…

  2. ThisIsTheWayTheGhacksEnds said on September 13, 2023 at 9:09 am


    Apple was forced to add USB-C to a phone and the maccultists start talking about “revolution” and “paradigm shift” (as if USB phones had never come out before). It’s so ridiculous it’s reminiscent of comedians doing the “stepped on a water hose” stunt – that was at least somehow funny a hundred years ago.
    Reading this on a site that used to be a technical resource is especially ridiculous.
    How pathetic

  3. Anonymous said on September 14, 2023 at 4:28 pm

    “An iPhone 15 with a USB-C port will mean more than you think”

    That Apple can finally stop hindering progress if spanked hard enough ?

  4. Alex Hales said on September 21, 2023 at 12:51 am

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    As an active Instagram user, this feature is a relief. It showcases Instagram’s commitment to improving user satisfaction and addressing common pain points. It’s all about making the platform more user-friendly, and this feature certainly accomplishes that.

    I can’t wait to try out Live Activities and enjoy a stress-free posting experience. Kudos to Instagram for continually innovating and making our social media lives easier!

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  5. Alex Hales said on September 25, 2023 at 6:02 pm

    I found this post really insightful! It’s always intriguing to learn about the various ways we can navigate and understand social media platforms. The idea of checking someone’s Threads following list might seem like a niche topic, but in today’s digital age, it can be quite relevant.

    As someone who uses social media regularly, I appreciate the tips and guidance provided here. It’s not just about curiosity; it’s also about understanding our online connections better. This information can help us engage more effectively and stay updated with the content that interests us the most.

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