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December 16, 2013

How to spend less on data on your Nokia Lumia

According to a recent report by digital agency Walker Sands, 28% of Americans now surf the Internet on a mobile device, up from just 10% in May 2012. And this trend is mirrored across the globe.

These stats speak for themselves. We love browsing on our smartphones. The only problem is, the more we browse, the more data we download and, for some people, that means bigger bills. No surprise then, that our resident Nokia Care guru, Wayne Spillett and his crack team of experts on Nokia Support Discussions so often get asked about ways to save on data. To answer this and more, Wayne is sharing some top tips to help you make the most of your money. Over to you, Wayne.

Controlling costs on your Nokia Lumia

I come from Northern England, where we are reputed for being careful with our cash. I’m not saying that we’re mean, but there is a story told that copper wire was invented by two northerners fighting over a penny; and I refuse to comment on the rumour that I once dropped a Pound coin which then hit me on the back of the neck when I bent down to pick it up…

But seriously, we do get many questions from customers concerning the cost of internet usage, so we’ve put together some useful information to help you make the most of your Nokia Lumia smartphone without breaking the bank.


A modern smartphone is designed to make your life easier by taking on many different tasks, and keeping you connected to the world around you – and many of these useful features use an internet connection. We all know that when you browse the web or download apps the phone is connected to the internet, but here are a few more that you might not have considered, including:

  • Live tiles on your Lumia’s start screen offering information updates,
  • E-mail synchronisation, instant messaging and notifications from social media accounts,
  • Apps that use GPS can use assisted positioning if the GPS signal is weak,
  • Free apps and games that are funded by ads downloaded from the internet,
  • The “Photos” gallery showing albums in Facebook, Skydrive etc.,
  • Notifications of software and app updates,
  • Downloading apps and app updates from the Microsoft Store,
  • Data backups will connect to your network data connection if they don’t see a WiFI network for a whole week,
  • Photo backups can use your data connection depending on your settings.

5 simple ways to save data costs

Most of these features use only a tiny amount of data at a time, but over a month many small connections can still mount up. If you are not lucky enough to have an unlimited data plan from your network operator, here are some tips on saving money on your internet phone bill:


1. Make sure that you have WiFi networks of places you visit frequently are saved in your phone. As long is WiFi is activated in your settings, your Lumia will automatically choose a WLAN network in preference to your operator’s network.

2. Should you need to deactivate your connection, just go to Settings>Mobile network>Data connection>Off. It’s just as easy to switch it back on when you need it again.

3. Frequent traveller? Roaming data charges can be an unpleasant surprise. Make sure that your phone cannot connect to data services outside your operator’s network to avoid a nasty shock on your phone bill or to prevent running out of pre-paid credit too quickly. Go to Settings>Mobile network>Data roaming options>Don’t roam.

4. Your phone can automatically back up your photos to your SkyDrive. If you have the phone set to upload photos at good quality, which is the default setting, photos you take with the camera or save from the web or messages will be uploaded to SkyDrive in a reduced format to save data use – but this could be using your data connection if no WiFi is in range. Setting to Best quality gives two advantages, firstly the photo is uploaded at full resolution so you have the best copy saved to SkyDrive, and secondly the phone will not upload the photos until it is connected to a WiFi network, which means that it’s free to you! Go to Settings>Backup>Photos+videos>photos>Best quality.


5. By far the best way to manage your data usage is using Nokia’s excellent Data Sense app, giving you a clear view of what you have used and letting you control what you will use, available once you have the Amber update on your Lumia phone (note that this app may not be available on certain mobile networks).  With Data Sense you can set the limit for a certain period so that your phone will stop connecting once you have reached your monthly limit. Data Sense can be set according to monthly plans or pre-paid credit. Just open the Data Sense app, tap Set limit, choose Pre-paid or Monthly and then set the relevant limits and validity dates. Keeping your hands on your money was never easier!

Some awesome tips from a man who know everything there is about making your Nokia Lumia run smoothly. If you have any other tips you’d like to share, or if you have any questions for our very own Captain Care, please drop them, free of charge, in the comments below.

Nokia Care