We all use lots of data, right? Whether we use our devices for email, social media, navigation, remotely accessing systems, keeping in touch with clients or a range of other functions, a data connection is probably one of the most important things in our day to day lives.
The majority of people are becoming much more knowledgeable when it comes to data consumption, largely due to the mobile network operators becoming increasingly less inclined to offer unlimited data packages, and all those nasty overage charges. As a result we’ve all quickly had to understand how data is measured, how much we use, and how to connect to the things that are important to us in other ways.
Data in numbers
Data is commonly measured in kilobytes (KB), megabytes (MB) and gigabytes (GB) – bizarrely there are 1024 KB in 1MB and 1024 MB in 1GB. Technically speaking the terminology is incorrect because “kilo” means 1000 and not 1024. Does anyone know the reason why it is 1024 and not 1000? The explanation is not particularly exciting but here goes…
In computing, everything tends to be stored in binary, and data is stored by stacking smaller groups of data and adding them to groups of the same size. So essentially everything is to the power of 2. If you have 1 unit and add another you get 2, if you have 2 and double it you get 4. You keep doubling to 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512 and you get to 1024.
This is also partly why your 2GB hard drive has only 1.86GB (or similar) of space when you plug it into your laptop. It’s likely that the manufacturer measures a Gigabyte as 1000MB whereas your computer reads it as 1024MB.
Still awake? Good, let’s carry on!
Faster networks = more data usage = more overage charges
It’s predicted that mobile data will skyrocket 700% in the next 4 years. 700%! This is largely due to continued growth in the number of mobile phone users, mobile video, 4G networks and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Historically IoT and M2M (machine to machine) applications have used very small amounts of data to connect things such as meters, vending machines, and traffic lights to the internet. Now, with the development of faster mobile networks and increasingly intelligent solutions we are seeing data requirements climb rapidly.
Global mobile data traffic is expected to reach 49 exabytes per month, or 587 exabytes annually, by 2021. This is the equivalent of 13 trillion YouTube clips, and is 121 times more data than was being consumed ten years earlier in 2011. There will be 12 billion devices connected in 2021, up from 8 billion last year, largely aided by the increase in average mobile network speeds.
And as data requirements for both consumers and businesses climb, so does the threat of overage charges.
Most mobile providers give you a monthly data allowance as part of your contract. This can typically be increased during the contract but not decreased so flexibility is minimal. Great, so you can increase your data allowance if you exceed it? Well not exactly! You probably won’t know you’ve exceeded your allowance until you get your invoice, by which point it’s too late and you’ll be facing some rather unattractive overage charges for daring to use too much of a product that your provider initially seemed so desperate to sell you. A little unfair?
Here at Pangea we get to see and hear all of the horror stories about data consumption and overage charges –things such as a data allowance of 30GB but if exceeded the 31st GB will cost you over £200! Now, guess what? You won’t know how much data you have used until you get your invoice!
Avoiding overage with smart connectivity
Gladly, there is a solution to this conundrum: smart connectivity from Pangea! We can address all of your mobile data requirements while providing you with access to our Pangea Portal through which you can monitor all of your SIMs in real-time. Furthermore, you can set all manner of reporting, automated rules, alerts, notifications, and caps to help eradicate unexpected costs.
Pangea are proud to have a direct relationship, with no 3rd party involvement, with the three major UK mobile network operators as well as some International operators. We can offer any amount of data, on any network, on any number of SIMs; even a single SIM that roams across all networks whilst in the UK and on flexible contract terms to allow for fluctuations in data usage. We can even lock a SIM to a specific device through intelligent pairing so if your SIM is stolen it won’t work in any other device.
There are many reasons why Pangea remains the Channel’s choice for IoT, and continues to win awards. Helping to protect you and, just as importantly, your customers from excessive data charges means no nasty surprises, and no shocks upon opening an invoice – in simple terms, we play fairly!
If you want to know more about about smart cellular connectivity or find out how we can help you prevent overage charges, contact us here.