3 Things about Cellular Data Settings that can Save You Money on Your Phone Bill

1. First of all, you can turn Cellular Data off or on. When it is off, you can still use the phone and text message. And you can even use apps. But if those apps use the data plan you will not have information updated. For example, you can still open your email and see anything that was downloaded previously. But no messages will be sent or received until you have wifi connection or you turn Cellular Data on.

2. Next, you can “Enable LTE,” which “can load data faster and improve voice quality.” The choices are “Off,” “Voice  & Data,” or “Data Only.” I did not realize my phone calls were using up my data plan. Since we have unlimited talk and text this was an unnecessary use of our data plan. Use “Off” if you want to use 4G. Use “Data Only” if you want to use it for apps.

3. Additionally, you can decide which apps will use cellular data. I turned off all my apps the day we were getting the overage charges. Over time I have turned back on various apps as I needed them. You may want to only turn on things like weather, maps, and email.

With all this information, keep in mind audio and video will use up much of your data plan. With the Data Calculator at AT&T you can see how much is used for various activities. For example, the calculator shows that 4 hours of streaming video is .93 GB.

UPDATE: We thought it was all under control. Then we were hit again. This time because when your phone goes to sleep, it changes from wifi to Cellular Data. An app that continuously checked for updates was using the Cellular Data all through the night. It showed up every three hours rather than the actual time used. Things we did to improve this situation.

  1. In Cellular Settings, disable that program.
  2. Make sure and turn off Cellular Data when home.

Here is a bonus tip

Your apps could be refreshing in the background, read “How to control when apps refresh in the background on your iPad” article for details of how to turn this feature on or off.


What are your settings? Which apps do you need running?

Post your comments below.

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Julia Atkinson

Helping you market your network marketing business online.

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Jen - August 17, 2016 Reply

Thanks really great article on how to save money on our phones. Many people I know don’t even have home phones anymore so this was perfect. Thanks so much!

Lauren - August 17, 2016 Reply

Great tips – unfortunately not all cellphones have the option to simply shut off data, but it is definitely a good choice. I like to change my phone to Airplane mode when I am not using it – saves both data and battery. I also changed the sync settings so that Facebook, email etc. do not sync as frequently, that saved a lot of data!

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