What is a data rollover?

Our mobile phones consume mobile data when we access any internet services through the phone while not being connected to a WiFi network. In other words, when our mobile phones don’t show the WiFi symbol and show 4G+, 4G, 3G, H+, H, E or G symbols instead, our phones will consume mobile data for using any web services. Web services include services like Google search, WhatsApp calls, web browsing and any other online work. Data rollover is a concept that is linked to the usage of mobile data.

Data rollover takes place when your mobile operator allows any leftover mobile data (e.g. 2GB) in a given month to be available for use in the following month.

Example of data rollover

Imagine you are on a pay-monthly tariff from a mobile operator that gives you 1000 mins and texts, and 10 GB of data. Let’s assume that in the month of July, you only use 7GB of your allocated data leaving you with 3GB. Data rollover will allow you to carry the remaining 3GB to the following month i.e. August. Generally, your mobile operator will expect you to use all of this 3GB in August otherwise you lose it. Of course, it depends on your tariff and how your operator defines the data roll-over policy.

Nowadays with 5G maturing, many mobile operators are already offering unlimited data which basically means that you don’t have to keep counting how many GBs of data you are consuming. However, it is important to pay attention to the small details and the Fair Use Policy (FUP) of your operator. Some operators have a policy where they can apply throttling on certain tariffs if customers don’t abide by FUP. With throttling, your mobile operator can put a cap on the maximum speed you get on their mobile network. Alternatively, they can also limit you to, for example, only 3G after having consumed a certain amount of data. But like already mentioned, it depends on the policies of your mobile operator.

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