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Exactly how much data am I using?

So, how much data do voice and video calls use? It depends on which application you are using for video and voice calls. They use different amounts of data because they’re doing slightly different things. For our examples, we’ll talk in terms of data used per hour, and we’ll use both Megabytes (MB) and Gigabytes (GB). For reference, 1024 MB is equal to 1 GB. Let’s use a 50 GB Internet package so we can compare the numbers, too.

Voice calls

Voice-only calls use the least amount of data on video calling platforms, which means that you can make more calls and spend more time on calls using just the voice feature instead of video and voice.

Let’s say you were to make an hour-long voice call – this would use around 90 MB for most apps. So, for each GB, you will get 11 hours of voice-only talk time, and if you’re really chatty, for 50 GB you can talk for 398 hours. That’s over 16 days!

Video calls

Depending on the quality of your video call stream, you'll generally consume between 540 MB (for default SD) and 1.62 GB (for 1080p, full HD) of data per hour if you're using Zoom to meet one-on-one with another user. Meanwhile according to Microsoft, Teams is quite conservative on bandwidth utilization as It roughly uses about 225MB of data per hour for video calling. In the case of HD group video calling with 540p videos on a 1080p screen, Teams will consume about 450MB of data per hour, and can go up to 1.3 GB for full HD calling (1080p).

As for Skype, in one-on-one video calls, Skype uses only about 270MB of data per hour on standard quality. The consumption will increase to up to 450MB per hour for high quality and 1.35GB per hour for HD streams.

Screen sharing and group video calling increases the data consumption and bandwidth requirements of your internet connection. Participating in group video calls on Zoom for example uses anywhere from 810 MB to 2.47 GB per hour. Skype on the other hand uses between 2.2 GB to 7.6 GB for group video calling depending on the number of participants on the call.

You can lower the amount of bandwidth video calling apps use by switching off HD video, avoiding the screen-sharing feature unless needed, and closing out other apps while you’re on those apps. You would also want to watch out for doing other speed-intensive activities such as streaming video, playing online-games while on a video call, as it will slow down your video call connection.

Finally, please note that mobile users will likely consume slightly lesser data as video calling apps will optimize its bandwidth based on your connection.

How can I stay on top of my data usage?

Managing your data can be easy if you know how much you’re using and how much data you have left in your monthly Internet plan. You can use the Usage Tracker on MyXplornet to get details on your current data usage. If you need more data, consider topping up or checking out our Internet packages for other Xplornet Internet plans that may better suit your needs.

And remember, our support team is always here to help answer your data usage questions! We’re available 24/7/365 to help connect you to what matters most.