How much data do the devices use per month?


This question comes up often, and depends on a few factors:

  1. Device Type: the type of device affects how much data is sent and how often
  2. Device Setup: what is the device setup to do?
  3. Network: what is the minimum connection charge?
  4. Network quality: how often is the device forced to reconnect?


Rules of thumb:

  1. Remora, Oyster and other battery powered devices use about 5MB per month
  2. Dart, G60, G100 and other powered device use 10-15MB per month:
    • Roughly 0.25 MB per month for aiding data
    • About 30 kB per hour in-trip, on default settings
    • About 2 kB per upload in connection overhead, plus any minimum connection charge


Keep in mind:

  1. The minimum connection charge has a massive effect on the data usage. Consider Vodacom in South Africa. Each new data connection is charged a minimum of 10KB. The device may send less than 1KB on a heartbeat, but it is still charged for 10KB. With hourly heartbeats, this adds up fast. 10KB per heartbeat x 24 hourly heartbeats x 30 days = 7.2MB. That's just on heartbeats. MTN in South Africa charges 25KB minimum per connection. That's 18MB.
  2. Dropped connections have an effect: each reconnection could be charged the minimum connection charge.