Opera’s 8 Tips to Conserve 3G Data on Your Phone

Opera, which produces web browsers for desktop and mobile devices, took a look at the:

State of the Mobile Web, June 2011

The reports focuses on the monthly bandwidth limits mobile users face as U.S. mobile carriers abandon unlimited data plans. Opera’s “Opera Mini” browser for phones achieves its data efficiency by optimizing mobile page viewing through data compression on Opera’s servers before displaying web pages on a phone.

Opera provides examples of typical web page sizes of popular sites like Google search (24KB), Google Mail (20KB), Facebook (201KB) and Twitter (222KB). I find these numbers difficult to believe. Why, for example, would the relatively lightweight Google.com search page by 24KB while the text and Javascript heavy Google Mail be only 20KB? And, why would the typical dense Facebook page be lighter than Twitter (201 vs. 222KB)? That aside, Opera provides examples of how their server-side data compression lets you view more “pages” in Opera Mini on a phone using much less data. Opera claims, for example, that the typical 222KB large Twitter page in a desktop browser is a mere 14KB in Opera Mini after server-side compression.

Opera also provides tips to conserve 3G data use that makes good sense:

1. Open the full email only if necessary. Open email attachments sparingly, if at all.
2. Manage your apps’ hunger for mobile data. Disable push notifications.
3. Consider using a smart mini browser, like Opera Mini. These keep you from downloading too much data to your phone.
4. Spotify is awesome, but use your locally-stored playlist when on the go.
5. Update and download apps over WiFi.
6. Consider using mobile-friendly webpages. Our research shows they shave off a significant amount of data that otherwise would count against your cap.
7. Turn off images when nearing your cap. Most browsers make it easy. In Opera Mini, just click Settings > Load Images.
8. Avoid HD video on YouTube when browsing on a mobile connection. Just 10 minutes of HD video per day fills a standard 2GB plan.

My recommendation is to move Opera’s tip 5 to the top of your list: Use WiFi hotspots as much as possible.