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Smartphone Data Usage

09.27.2018

Summary

How is your company dealing with employee smartphone data usage?  Here’s a great Direct Connect discussion among members sharing experience and solutions.  Different member perspectives give a few options to consider:   

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How is your company dealing with employee smartphone data usage?  Here’s a great Direct Connect discussion among members sharing experience and solutions.  Different member perspectives give a few options to consider:   

Member:   We have 2GB data plans for our staff on each of their iPhones. We have some users using more than 30-40GB/month and need to figure out what is causing this high usage.

I am looking for information as to how much on average iPhone applications use in terms of data/bandwidth. Average daily/monthly MB or GB used by Google Maps, Apple Maps, GPS in general, Music Streaming, FaceTime, etc….. The staff uses these phones for emails, but we do not have large files and the busiest person maybe gets 100 emails in a day at the most.

I have reached out to Verizon Wireless for this data since they are my provider, but am not sure what they will come back with and wanted to ask the NOREX family as I am sure someone out there has this data especially for larger organizations that have to really plan their usage/plans.

Response: We have a very large user population with the average data usage being 2.3GB. If I remove the top 10% hitters the average usage drops to 1.2GB. Normal business usage will generally not reach 30-40GB. To reach those levels of data usage video streaming is normally required. Tethering is also a possible cause (using phone for WiFi connection on computer or iPad) if they do have tethering enabled on the account the usage could be work related. We do not turn on tethering unless the users has an approved business need.

We regularly contact high usage employees requesting they utilize WIFI as their data usage is excessive. After the email data usage on those lines generally drops to the expected norm. 

Response: The first thing to do is make sure the phones connect to WiFi whenever possible, being cautious of Security concerns in public places of course. If you have an office WiFi they can connect to it will help a lot and the same with home use.

There is no real "average" for data use as it depends on the application and how much it is used, however, the iPhone does keep statistics on data usage. Go to Settings -> Cellular, then scroll down and you will see a list of all applications that consume data and be shown which applications are approved to use Cellular Data and how much data each has used. If not approved for Cellular use it means the application can only connect via WiFi. Pay special attention to streaming applications such a music services or YouTube and social media things like Facebook as they can use lots of data and should be WiFi only - not approved to use Cellular data.

At the top of the applications list are summary counters of Data used during the current period, each application shows data used during the current period and at the bottom of the list will be a summary of time in the current period and an option to reset the counters.

Response:  We experienced the problem for a while as well. One method that may be effective is to establish policies to move offending staff to an allowance plan (not on the company plan) after their third strike, or something like that.

Response:  We use Meraki to manage our iPhones and iPads. It reports back on Data usage by device and you can drill down to see the App data usage as well.

Also our data plan is a pooled plan. We get 2GB for each device but it is in a pool that all users pull from. This helps balance those data heavy users with the light users so we don't incur additional charges.

Members can click here to add to the discussion thread.  To address this issue via policy, check documents MOBILE DEVICE & USAGE POLICY and MOBILE VOICE & DATA SERVICES.  

Data Management IT General Management Mobile Technology Security