6 tips to minimize data usage when you travel
28 Nov 2016

Based on a survey by Ovum1 in Q1 2016, the average business traveler consumes 85MB of data per day, while a typical non-business roamer uses 42MB when traveling. So if you are looking forward to traveling during the coming holiday season, here are five items to avoid so as to ensure roaming data charges are in control.

1. Change your email settings to 'PULL'

When it comes to e-mail access, you can do it by 'pull' or 'push'. 'Push' – leaving emails on automatic refresh, and thus constantly downloading new emails – takes up LOTS of your data. You may not realise it when you are in Singapore...but when you are roaming, such settings will incur huge amount of roaming data charges.

So, ensure you change your email settings to 'Pull', before you fly off.

2. Compress data

Some apps like 'Onavo Extend', available for both iPhone and Android, promises to give you the ability to do up to five times more with your current data plan without additional fees.

Onavo Extend also provides a breakdown of your mobile data usage, showing you how much data is being consumed by each app and so allowing you to make better informed data usage choices. Onavo Extend compresses your data so that you can do more with your mobile device. It also reduces roaming charges by providing a leaner version of the web.

3. Select WiFi only for WhatsApp Media Download setting


WhatsApp > Setting > Data Usage > Select WiFi only for Media Auto-Download

WhatsApp > Call Settings > Low Data Usage > Select On (May compromise voice quality)

4. Download and use Google Maps offline

If you're going where the Internet is slow, mobile data is expensive, or you can't get online, you can save an area from Google Maps to your phone or tablet and use it when you're offline.

Note: Downloading offline areas isn't available in some regions because of contractual limitations, language support, address formats, or other reasons.


To download an area to use offline, follow the steps below:


  1. On your phone or tablet, open the Google Maps app maps.
  2. Make sure you're connected to the Internet and signed in to Google Maps.
  3. Search for a place, like San Francisco.
  4. At the bottom, touch the bar that has the name of the place you searched. If you search for a place like a restaurant, touch More
  5. Select Download


Tip: The biggest size for an offline area is 120,000 square kilometers. If you try to save a bigger area, you'll be asked to zoom in to a smaller area.

5. Stop Videos from playing automatically in my News Feed in Facebook

You can adjust the Facebook app's auto-play settings to On, Wi-Fi only or Off.


To adjust the auto-play settings on your Android phone or tablet:

  1. Open the Facebook app
  2. Tap More
  3. Scroll down and tap App Settings
  4. Tap Video Auto-play
  5. Choose an option

Note: If you don't see the Video Auto-play settings on your Android phone, log out of the Facebook app. When you log back into Facebook, Video Auto-play should be visible in App Settings.


To adjust the auto-play settings on your iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open the Facebook app
  2. Tap More
  3. Scroll down and tap Settings
  4. Tap Videos > Autoplay
  5. Choose an option

Note: If you don't see Videos in your iPhone or iPad's Facebook app settings, try updating the Facebook app.

6. Set up data alerts

Prevention, as they say, is always better than cure, and one of the best ways to prevent bill shock is by setting data usage alerts on your mobile phone. There are also data manager apps that allow you to set caps to your data usage, and sends you regular notifications when you approach this limit, such as StarHub's Roam Manager app and Data Cap service.


After All Of That, Take It Easy


Ultimately, the best tip to roam worry free is for you to get on a worry free data roaming plan that is easy to use and gives your good coverage such as RoamEasy!

For more information on RoamEasy, visit starhub.com/bizroaming

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