Many people keep tossing the phrase “bandwidth allocation” without fully understanding the importance of the words. Those with mobile data plans know that bandwidth allocation plays an important role in their data usage. There are very vital reasons why bandwidth allocation exists, and why in some cases it plays a role on whether or not we can take full advantage of our smartphones.

What is Bandwidth?

Bandwidth, or more specifically your allocated bandwidth, refers to your Internet speed. This is the data rate, or amount of data your device receives per second. If your Internet speed test comes up 1 Mbps for example, it means that you are receiving 1 megabit of data per second. The higher your data rate, the faster your Internet connection is. Or at least it would seem faster.

How does bandwidth work, exactly?

A higher data rate or bandwidth allocation doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a faster Internet connection. The connection remains the same but the data is transmitted in a more efficient manner. Basically, if you’ve a mobile plan, you’re always getting data per second. It’s just a matter of how much data you receive.

What about upload and download speeds?

Upload speed and download speed are two different things. Sometimes, your bandwidth has different rates going and coming from your device. This is apparent when it seems that you can access your social network sites really quickly, but it takes forever to update a status or post a picture. Again, regardless of your bandwidth, upload and download speeds are not always constant.

What factors affect your Internet speed, then?

The biggest factor that affects your mobile plan’s speed is the actual connection that you have. If you have a capped or fixed bandwidth, that established bandwidth will basically be your device’s speed.

Another factor influencing your mobile plan’s speed is traffic. If you’re the type that likes to multitask, expect that your Internet speed will not always be the same. The more data to use (like when you have too many Internet dependent apps or you have too many tabs in your browser), the slower your Internet will be.

Hardware, also, is an important factor in how much Internet speed you get to enjoy. Certain mobile phones are more equipped to handle higher data requirements than others. Older gadgets simply will not be able to keep up.

How does bandwidth allocation factor in when applying for a mobile plan?

If ever you have decided to sign up for a data plan for your mobile device, bandwidth allocation is a key consideration. An unlimited data plan offered by a provider that only has 1 Mbps compared to a limited data plan from a provider that offers a much higher bandwidth allocation may be a determining factor in the mobile plan that you end up choosing.

Also, you can use bandwidth allocation in order to be save money on your mobile plan through basic self-assessment. You know what kind of gadget or mobile device you have or plan to acquire, and your usual Internet requirements. By taking bandwidth allocation and putting it into the mix, you can avoid paying for a specific mobile plan that you essentially don’t need.

Bandwidth allocation also helps you decide on which provider you sign up with. With a greater understanding of what bandwidth actually is, you can now better comprehend what the telecommunications companies are actually offering. By knowing that while they may advertise a specific data rate, there are several other factors that may affect your mobile plan’s bandwidth allocation, you’re now basically choosing your mobile plan from a more advantageous position.


This article is exclusively written for KLGadgetGuy by Money Hero. Money Hero is Hong Kong’s leading financial comparison website. Users can compare financial products like credit cards side by side, thus enabling to make better financial decisions when choosing financial products.

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