Are you afraid of investing in a route mapping app because you think it’ll eat up a bunch of data?
Relax. The data usage isn’t half as bad as you think.
How Much Data Does A Route Mapping App Actually Use?
It’s hard to know exactly how much data a route mapping app uses. We tried Googling it, but we couldn’t find the answer.
So we decided to find out ourselves.
Before we started testing data usage, we had to figure out what the typical user does during one session on a route mapping app.
We decided that the following actions are an accurate representation of the average route planning session:
- Loading the first page of the route listing
- Creating a new route with 30 stops
- Validating the addresses
- Optimizing the route
- Adding notes to five of the stops (two notes included images, two were signature attachments, and one was just text)
- Adjusting the route by adding two stops, deleting three stops, then re-optimizing the route
- Loading the activity feed
We found that performing those actions used the following amounts of data:
- 17.5-20 MB on smaller Android devices
- 6-9 MB on larger Android devices (tablets and such)
- 12-15 MB across all tested Apple devices, regardless of size
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So, that’s just one session. Using a route planner for an entire month would consume the following amounts of data:
- About 270 MB a month on Android devices
- About 225 MB a month on Apple devices
But what do these numbers tell us?
According to Whistleout, browsing the web eats up about 60 MB an hour. Facebook is an especially heavy program – it uses 80 MB an hour. Snapchat and Facebook Video each use about 160 MB an hour. YouTube? 300 MB an hour. Instagram? 720 MB an hour!
With that context, certainly you can see why it’s a little silly to worry about data usage with route planning software. Using a route planner for an entire month takes up the same amount of data as watching YouTube videos for an hour.
What About Fleet Tracking?
You may have noticed that in our rundown of what the typical user does in one route planning session, we didn’t include GPS tracking.
If you use GPS tracking, you’re probably aware that it consumes a decent amount of data.
The cost of this data is negligible, though. It shouldn’t run you more than a couple dollars a day. Also, most insurance providers will give you a discount if you use GPS tracking – that’ll definitely offset the extra data expense.
What Can An Average Data Plan Do For Me?
Finding the best mobile carrier and plan will save you hundreds or maybe even thousands of dollars every year.
Which carrier is best? Well, that depends on your location and situation.
Unless your business requires your drivers to talk on the phone a lot, you should prioritize data allowance over talk time. In fact, you might want to choose a plan that covers data and nothing else. You can get a good deal that way.
Look into the smaller carriers that operate in your area. See what they offer, and crunch the numbers. Smaller carriers often need to set their prices pretty low to compete with the likes of Verizon and AT&T.
The major mobile companies might be your best bet, though. In more cases, they offer wider coverage and more reliable service.
Here are some of your options:
- AT&T offers a Mobile Share Data for Business plan with unlimited talk, and their Share Advantage Business plan is specifically designed for mobile devices
- With T Mobile, you can get 4 GB of data with unlimited voice and text for $30 per month per user
- Verizon’s S plan starts at $35 for 2 GB of data per month. Their U plan starts at $45 per month for unlimited talk, data, and streaming
Of all these options, AT&T’s Share Advantage Business plan probably makes the most sense for your businesses. It allows you to share your data cap across 10 devices. You can get their 6 GB plan for $60/month, which should be more than enough data for a team of 10 drivers.
But My Driver Insists That Their Route Mapping App Is Using Up A Lot Of Data
Now you know that a route planner app doesn’t really require much data.
If one of your drivers is racking up excess data charges and blaming it on their route planner, tell them that you know something else is the issue. They might be leaving apps open in the background, or maybe they have a habit of scrolling through Instagram at every red light. Something else is surely the culprit, not the route planner.
Of course, as the saying goes, nothing good in life is free. An Android route planner or iPhone route planning app will use data each month. This isn’t a magical, data-free solution. Our point is that, while these apps do use data, they don’t use enough data for you to worry about.
Do you still have concerns about using a route mapping app? Let us know in the comments section below.