Browse Definitions:
Definition

data plan (mobile data plan)

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

A data plan is an agreement between a mobile carrier and a customer that specifies how much mobile data the user can access, usually per month, for a specific fee.

Since the advent of the smartphone, most mobile service providers offer data plans at  varying rates based on the amount of data transfer allowed before a data cap is imposed. Some data plans include voice, text messaging and data while others are broken into separate charges, one for phone and text and another for data. Some mobile users opt to forgo data and make do with Wi-Fi for Internet access. However, a data plan enables access in areas outside of the range of available  Wi-Fi networks.

Data plans are often considered to be more expensive than they should be, and they tend to cost more in the United States than elsewhere. Unless there are protective mechanisms in place, such as alterting users when they have reached the limits of their data caps or automatically turning data off when that limit is reached, people can often  go significantly over without realizing it. A single hour of streaming Netflix content, for example, uses up to 3 gigabytes of data. Horror stories of customers shocked to receive bills well over $1000 are not uncommon.

Default  settings can catch also catch many users with new smartphones unaware.  A phone’s default setting might be, for example, to switch to mobile data automatically when the device moves out of Wi-Fi range or to use mobile data in conjunction with Wi-Fi for more bandwidth. A user’s failure to switch the phone to Wi-Fi when it’s available can also result in unexpectedly high mobile bills.

This was last updated in June 2016

Continue Reading About data plan (mobile data plan)

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

SearchSecurity

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • incident management plan (IMP)

    An incident management plan (IMP), sometimes called an incident response plan or emergency management plan, is a document that ...

  • crisis communication

    Crisis communication is a method of corresponding with people and organizations during a disruptive event to provide them with ...

  • Zerto

    Zerto is a storage software vendor that specializes in enterprise-class business continuity and disaster recovery in virtual and ...

SearchStorage

  • network-attached storage (NAS)

    Network-attached storage (NAS) is dedicated file storage that enables multiple users and heterogeneous client devices to retrieve...

  • SSD write cycle

    An SSD write cycle is the process of programming data to a NAND flash memory chip in a solid-state storage device.

  • data storage

    Data storage is the collective methods and technologies that capture and retain digital information on electromagnetic, optical ...

Close