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Mobile: How to manage your data usage

Responsable éditoriale




It’s not always easy to know how much data you’ve used on your mobile device, especially when you’re using mobile Internet on your cellphone for the first time. 


By Michel Baril, your PRO. 


  • What can 500 megabytes (MB) get you?
  • What about 3 gigabytes (GB)?
  • How long can I browse the Internet without going over my data cap?

These are very important questions to ask if you want to use data wisely and avoid overage charges.


The answers to your most frequently asked questions


First things first: What is mobile data? Mobile data is the Internet content delivered to your phone over Videotron’s mobile network when you don’t have a Wi-Fi connection.


Here are a few basic facts that should answer the most common questions:


1/ Your total monthly data usage isn’t based on how much time you spend connected to the Internet, but rather your upload/download volume. Some operations use a lot of data, while other things require very little. For example, spending hours on a text page uses much less data than watching 10 minutes of video.


2/ Mobile data will reset at the end of each billing cycle. So, even if your package comes with 3 gigabytes of data, your usage will still be reset to zero at the start of your monthly billing period. Data can’t be carried over, so if you don’t use your monthly data allowance the remainder won’t be applied to the next month.


3/ Most devices (except iPhone) will let you program a maximum data usage limit. Simply go into your device’s settings and look for “Data usage.” Not only that, but Videotron offers the User Centre + app, which shows your data usage in real time.

 Videotron also applies mobile data limits, in accordance with the CRTC’s Wireless Code. The caps protect our customers from unpleasant surprises on their bills. But before reaching that point, it’s a good idea to regularly monitor your data usage. You can see where you stand in real time, at glance, by going to the Customer Centre (on the Web or via the User Centre+ app). Then you can adjust your daily data usage if necessary.

4/ If both cellular data and Wi-Fi are turned on, your device will use Wi-Fi by default. Therefore, if you use data at home, it will go on your home Internet and not your mobile data plan.




5/ Plans can vary substantially. You can switch plans at any time to suit your usage. However, any discounts you were given when you signed the contract will still apply. If you reach your limit too soon, you can purchase a data add-on to cover you until the next billing period.

You can also remove and reactivate your data usage limits whenever and as many times as you wish. While it’s good to have this flexibility, it does mean you have to be watchful: once the cap has been lifted, there will be no limit on your data usage and you will be billed for any overages. Tread carefully! 


6/ GPS apps use a lot less data than you’d think. Even with Videotron’s Basic package, you can use a GPS app on occasion without a problem. Downloading maps is the most data-intensive operation for these apps, but that’s something you can do in advance. Simply open Google Maps and look for the “Offline areas” section in the left menu.


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