The evolution of mobile networks has changed the way we use our phones. We’re now shopping, watching, streaming and downloading more than ever. And as our habits change, our phones are changing too – screens are getting larger with higher resolution.

So what’s the catch? The high-resolution screens of the newest smartphones can have a significant impact on data usage. Higher resolution, larger screens, default data settings, and better 4G connectivity combine to enable more data to be downloaded from the internet more readily. Some of the newer phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S6 for example, even download video content at a higher resolution by default (e.g. High Definition v Standard Definition YouTube) to enable a better viewing experience.

The two areas which increase handset data the most are streaming services – such as audio or video – and webpages. You might have heard people that have upgraded to a new phone say; “I do the same things on my new phone that I used to do on my old phone, but get a much larger data bill”. But the higher the resolution of the screen means more pixels, and the more pixels, the greater the amount of data used.

As devices get larger and screens increase in quality, the need to be aware of this trend will also increase so that customers avoid getting unexpectedly high data charges.

Here are some simple steps to help keep your data usage under control:

  1. Where possible, instead of using the mobile network, connect to a Wi-Fi network before downloading a significant amount of content.
  2. Take note of the ACN alerts and check your usage regularly.
    • Check your data usage at MyAccount. Once you’ve registered at, you can check your data usage (and other usage) online at any time to make sure you stay within your monthly allowance.
    • ACN will send usage notifications when mobile customers have passed 50%, 85% and 100% of their plan’s monthly data inclusion. When you receive one of these alerts we recommend you modify how you’re using your phone until the beginning of your next billing cycle.
    • In the event you do exceed your monthly allowance, ACN will send mobile customers an SMS to advise excess usage charges of $50 above their monthly plan fee. We’ll continue to send you an SMS with every subsequent $50 increment of excess usage.
  3. To protect against unauthorised use in the event your phone is misplaced, we recommend you set-up a lock-screen security PIN.