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U.S. Cellular offers tips for tackling data drain

July 3, 2018

Smartphone users don’t have to be music mavens, social media savants or gaming gurus to realize apps can drain data. One hour of social media browsing consumes up to 90MB1 and high-quality YouTube streaming for that same time frame eats away at two entire gigabytes2. To help combat this consumption and enable connected consumers to get the most out of data packages, U.S. Cellular is offering tips for tackling data drain.

“Some of the most popular apps are the biggest data hogs,” said Nathan Waddell, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Tennessee. “And, when given access to these apps through a high-speed, nationwide network that is available whenever and wherever our customers need it, data can drain quickly if users aren’t careful.”

U.S. Cellular encourages smartphone users to keep the following tips top of mind:


  • Stream Smarter – Video streaming on apps is one of the biggest culprits of data usage. While vlogs on YouTube and Netflix’s latest binge-worthy show might look great on the Samsung Galaxy S9 or iPhone X, reducing the video quality from high to medium or low can get users two to four more hours of streaming per gigabyte3. High-quality music streaming can also be a high-quantity data eater. Video and audio quality on most streaming apps can be adjusted manually in the app’s settings. Also, be aware that some streaming services and playlist building apps allow content to be accessed offline if users have available storage space.


  • Leverage Settings Features – A lot of data drain can be attributed to background syncing. Email programs push and pull new messages in real time, apps download updates automatically and videos and gifs on Facebook and Twitter feeds are on autoplay. It is important that users pay attention to their settings. Cellular access can be turned off on apps not currently being utilized or modified to only allow programs to sync when connected to WiFi. Autoplay features and push notifications can be disabled. Plus, location services can be turned on as needed.


  • Stay Connected (to WiFi) – It’s good practice to check for WiFi connections when visiting new locations, businesses and venues. Once an initial connection is made on a WiFi network, a device will automatically connect to it when it’s in range, thus allowing users to save their data.


  • Go Solo When Gaming – Compared to high-quality video and audio streaming, gaming uses low levels of data. Depending on the game, it could use as little as 10MB per hour4. That said, many single player games don’t use any data at all after the initial download.


  • Download a Device Protection App – Take advantage of apps that both protect and enhance the performance of a device. U.S. Cellular® Protect powered by Pocket Geek®5 is an easy-to-use application that helps secure personal information, solve technical issues and optimize device performance.

U.S. Cellular encourages smartphone users dealing with data drain issues to stop by a local store to speak with the wireless company’s knowledgeable associates. Getting advice on how to manage data use can be particularly helpful for those who are not on an unlimited plan to avoid any potential overages.





5The U.S. Cellular® Protect app is included in Device Protection+, with plans starting at $9.99/month for DP+ Standard and $11.99/month for DP+ Advanced.


About U.S. Cellular

U.S. Cellular is the fifth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier offers coverage where the other carriers don’t and a wide range of communication services that enhance consumers’ lives, increase the competitiveness of local businesses and improve the efficiency of government operations. For the fourth time in a row, U.S. Cellular has the Highest Wireless Network Quality Performance, according to J.D. Power’s twice-annual U.S. Wireless Network Quality Performance Study, and 99 percent of customers have access to 4G LTE speeds. To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with U.S. Cellular on, and