How much bandwidth can an iPhone use?

Blog | Sep. 9, 2010

Predicting that mobile video will only become more widespread in the future, I decided to keep my unlimited iPhone data plan, but how much data can I reasonably use in a month beyond the new AT&T data plans of 200MB and 2GB per month?

While reading Apple’s new app guidelines, I came across this gem:

Bandwidth:

  • Audio streaming content over a cellular network may not use more than 5MB over 5 minutes
  • Video streaming content over a cellular network longer than 10 minutes must use HTTP Live Streaming and include a baseline 64 kbps audio-only HTTP Live stream

So if listening to streaming audio, I have (1024MB x 2 per month used at 1MB per minute) a total of 34 hours of audio streaming, or over an hour a day just listening to the radio.

Video streaming at 64kbps (3.75MB/minute) yields nine hours of on-demand video a month, enough for four average-length films, or nearly all of Max Headroom.

Suddenly 2GB is starting to feel like a lot.

CORRECTION: Todd points out 64kbps is just the baseline audio-only stream, and doesn’t include video, which should be obvious to anyone who actually read the spec. That and Max Headroom isn’t available for Netflix streaming. Still, in a month, I was only able to use 1087MB, so 2GB isn’t what I thought it was, but it’s still quite a bit.

Comments

One Response to “How much bandwidth can an iPhone use?”

  1. Wes says:

    Yeah it’s funny how much of the bandwidth you actually GET to use.