Let’s tackle the basics
Important questions to ask yourself:
Do you stream movies, videos or music? Do you chat constantly? Are you always on social media?
In the UAE you have the option of committing to a one to two-year plan or you can enjoy the flexibility of prepaid, which may even be more cost-effective.
We help you get a clear picture of whether or not you will benefit from going post-paid or if you really need to ditch your pre-paid data plan.
Data usage explained
Unless you have unlimited broadband, everything you do online is taken from your data allowance.
While some data plans let you have unlimited access to WhatsApp, Instagram, BBM, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, normal web browsing and email are sometimes not included at all.
Tip: You may subscribe to a monthly data pack; however, once it expires you’ll automatically be charged Dh1 per MB until you buy a new data pack.
Calculate how much internet data are you using?
The table below will give you a better idea of how much data is consumed with your basic online activities. These are average user numbers - your actual usage may likely be around these estimates, but may depend on a number of factors.
|One hour of web surfing||10 - 25MB|
|Download a file||2MB|
|One hour of Facebook or Instagram||20MB|
|Stream 30 min. of YouTube video||175MB|
|Download a standard film (720p)||700MB - 1GB|
|Download an HD film (1020p)||4GB|
|Stream one hour of standard video||250MB - 500MB|
|Stream one hour of HD video||2GB|
|Stream one hour of music||150MB|
(Averages were taken from different providers, including Etisalat, Du, and international surveys.)
So how much data do I really need?
Frankly, the answer depends on you. There are a lot of benefits that come with pre-paid data plans while you may find your most suitable one in post-paid.
Try out this data calculator by Du to find what your monthly needs are. Etisalat also has a similar calculator that helps you estimate how much data, on an average, your monthly online activities consume.
Over to you: Pre-paid vs Post-paid
- Ideal for those on a fixed budget
- Pay upfront and refill when you need more airtime
- No monthly fees or contracts
- Pay per minute, or take up a bundle service
- More flexible
- More benefits (minutes, data, international calls etc.)
- Hassle free and uninterrupted monthly service
- You don’t have to worry about recharging
You need to consider the features you always use. You will end up spending more on a pre-paid if you want to check your e-mail, social media accounts, and stream mini-videos online regularly. But if you are someone who can connect to Wi-Fi for a large chunk of the day, you may not need any data at all. Then pre-paid plan might be your best option.
Post-paid would be perfect if you are someone who makes a lot of calls. Long distance calls are sometimes included for free when on a monthly plan.