How Does Mobile Data Work On Laptops And Mobile Phones

mobile data

Everything you need to know about how mobile data works on your laptops and mobile phones.

Mobile data allows your smartphone access the internet when you can’t access a Wi-Fi connection. Mobile-enabled devices can transfer – receive and send – information over a wireless cellular connection. This means that while you have a cellular connection, you can access the internet.

Mobile internet usage statistics


Both mobile data and Wi-Fi do the same thing. Using both connections, you can access the internet at anytime, anywhere, and however you want, provided there’s a strong enough signal available.

The major difference between both internet connection methods is cost. Smartphones and tablets can be connected to Wi-Fi using a wireless router. You might have a similar wireless router installed at home or any other nearby location that allows customers easy and quick access to a free internet connection. Wi-Fi only works within the router’s range, but it allows users to access data for no additional charge in some cases, or the charge of whatever broadband connection it latches on to.

If you are using internet data through your data plan, you can still access the same content as you would access on Wi-Fi – your apps, emails, cloud services, games, movies, etc. However, it goes through your mobile carrier’s network, such as Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone, and is subject to the terms of your mobile data plan.

The benefit is that while Wi-Fi only works within your router’s range, your mobile data plan allows you to access the internet anywhere within the range of a network signal. For instance, if you are traveling and you want to access the maps app on your smartphone, your mobile data will help deliver that app to you.

How does the internet get to your phone?

As stated, you can connect to the internet using your mobile data through a cellular service provider. Through the network provider, your phone connects to the internet through data transfer the same way your desktop or laptop does. Just like your desktops, you connect to the internet using a Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)-enable mobile phone. WAP refers to the universal standard for wireless communication and applications.

For operating mobile phone networks, Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) and Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) are the most commonly deployed technologies. GSM and CDMA allow multiple mobile phone users to access the internet on the same digital radio frequency without any interference between each other.

Cell phones feature an inbuilt antenna that transfers digital information back and forth with cellphone towers using radio waves. Smartphones connect to a cell tower in the area, and it connects to the Internet and can retrieve data.

Where can people buy the mobile data they want to?

In Australia, people can buy mobile data from telecommunications operators, including Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, and many more.

The majority of the network service providers have an official website where they sell their phone plans, and some have brick-and-mortar stores as well. Consumers can log on to their website and create their accounts with them. You can buy any desired mobile data plan with these providers. All of them offer 4G services, and you can easily buy a plan using your account with the company.

Most of Australia’s major mobile networks are planning major upgrades to avail 5G services within their country.

Final words – Reducing your mobile data usage

Ever-Increasing apps and services need to use the internet. If you do not have access to a Wi-Fi connection, you can connect to a mobile data network. Mobile data is a bit expensive when compared to Wi-Fi connections. So it makes sense that you should make efforts to reduce the amount of mobile data you are using when possible. Every cellular data plan comes with a limit, and if you go beyond that limit, you have to pay additional charges for the extra data you have used.

Fortunately, YOU can reduce the amount of mobile data consumed by restricting your background data, accessing the mobile version of the websites you want to browse, not clearing your cache, and using text-only browser.

Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.