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Old 12-18-2009, 10:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Need help to reduce data usage - BB for work

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Hello, I've spent a few hours searching these forums, some great info...however...here is my issue that I'm looking for some help with - reduction of data usage:

I have AT&T through work, BES, unlimited data usage. However, each month, they send out a "report" on data usage and unfortunately, I'm top on the list. Last month I was 200,000ish and this past month I was 205,000. (Is that 200,000 kb?) My boss is questioning why my usage is way higher than other users, the next closest person is like 35,000. (Even though there is no extra charge on our dept. bill for data, it's the same cost if you use zero, or 200,000 like me.)

1) I use my BB all the time at work. Walking back from meetings, I check e-mail and reply or delete as needed. I always have it on. I have reconciliation on, so it deletes from my desktop also for e-mail and calendar. I probably get 50-100 e-mails at work on most days. When at work, I use the desktop probably for 75% of those. When I'm not at work, I'm reading, replying to and deleting e-mails (which also continue to reconcile on my desktop.)

2) I use about 100-200 minutes a month on the BB. Not a heavy talker, but this is all data usage, correct? Or, does talk time count differently?

3) I have Ubbertwitter and Facebook apps. I recently have kept UT closed and hardly use now, for fear of extra data usage. Same with Facebook, I keep it closed and use it a few times a day. (Anyone know what either of these use for data usage for an average user, on an average day?) I have in the past uploaded quite a few photos through FB, I assume that's chugging quite a bit of data.

4) I have BBScanner and FlyCast and have also stopped using those, for fear of the above. (However, the last time I really used BBScanner was September or so and this does not seem to be a reason why my data usage is high for November.) How much do these programs chew up in data usage per hour or so?

5) Where I have the 8310, I don't have WIFI as an option, it's all data feed.

6) I have two personal e-mail accounts hooked onto my work BB, I probably get 10-20 e-mails a day. Do external e-mails pulling into the BB take up a ton of data?

7) I'm going to download mini monitor and see if that works, although with OS 4.5, I've read it won't accurately read.

Any advice would be great, to get my boss off my back. I can't check my usage online, as they won't hook our phones up to an online account and the #3234 thing won't send a SMS message to the phone for the same reason.

Reading many posts, many folks are chewing up 500,000 or more a month. My 200,000 isn't too bad, but compared to my peers, it's way high I guess.

Thanks...
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Last edited by Cravenfan : 12-18-2009 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like you're using 200,000kb which equates to 200MB. So your co-workers are using about 35MB.

From what I understand, emails shouldn't use up too much data. If you were doing webmail, then yes data usage would increase. Even with your extra personal emails, it shouldn't make muc of a difference, especially when you say you get 10-20 of them.

Your phone minutes do not count as data. Its counted simply as minutes used.

Unfortunately I can't comment on those apps you mention in terms of data used. But I have a feeling those may be the greatest contributors to your data usage amount.

If you're willing, might I suggest an experiment: try only to use your device for the emails and nothing else. See if that doesn't change your data amount.
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (Scared of sea bunnies)

Check out post #5: BB Email Data Usage

Email on a BB is highly compressed, resulting in a small amount of data used.

Last edited by Trimix : 12-19-2009 at 12:30 AM.
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks, it will be hard not to use some of these fun apps!

I did download the Mini Monitor, seems to be working on my 4.5 OS. Flycast is indeed a huge drain on data, as one would expect...the monitor graph goes up above 10 bytes for in/out going data and just hangs there for each minute it's on. Ubbertwitter makes small mini spikes, Facebook as well. I tested sending a picture to FB and it spikes up about 10 bytes and makes a decent blog on the graph for about 10 seconds or so. (Still not 100% sure yet on the increments and time relation of the graph.) I see the bottom of the graph is minutes, so I'm guessing on the seconds. BBScanner only goes up to about 2 bytes in/out for as long as it's on.

The mini monitor logs your data usage by day and I can type in notes. I'll have to see how a work day vs. weekend effects the data pulls and what my average is per day. Relating my data usage to my peers, some of the guys at work don't even know you can open attachments on their Blackberry's. I'm no expert, but I do use this thing for it's intention, which is to balance work and family and life in general.

I'll have to do some more homework on usage and repost my findings here. Still will take any advice on the internal settings regarding data usage. I can't change the BES settings, but anything within the BB itself I can change. I usually do see what's running in the background for memory leakage and don't let things like BBScanner or Flycast run and walk away from the BB.
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Old 12-19-2009, 12:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I think your main data usage culprits are the apps. I know with UberTwitter there's a setting where you specify how often you want the app to refresh and look for new tweets. You might try to lengthen the intervals at which it does this.

Aside from that I can't think of any settings within the BlackBerry itself that would help too much with keeping data volume low. Because they are apps, any control measures would be something adjusted in the app itself and not your BB device.
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Perhaps one thing that is going on is those data intensive app are always running in the background. You should make sure you close each app rather than just exit out.

Given the fact that the company is curious abut your usage, that might be an indication that you need to delete all the personal stuff on their device that they pay for and get another device for yourself and those personal apps (facebook, flycast, ubertwitter, etc) and your personal email.

They could also be wondering why are you spending so much time using the BB when you should/could be working.
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Old 12-19-2009, 08:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubdub View Post
Given the fact that the company is curious abut your usage, that might be an indication that you need to delete all the personal stuff on their device that they pay for and get another device for yourself and those personal apps (facebook, flycast, ubertwitter, etc) and your personal email.

They could also be wondering why are you spending so much time using the BB when you should/could be working.
+2 to this suggestion. While they are not paying anything extra for the higher data usage, it sounds like they want to know what you're doing with your BB and if you should be doing something else with that company resource.

This is part of the reason I carry 2 devices - and I'm the person that runs the usage reports.
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Old 12-19-2009, 08:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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+3 to dub's suggestion. If the device is company owned, personal information / applications should not be used on it unless given approval.

Read your COBC policy.

As juwaack68 suggested, carry a personal device for such apps and data.
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Old 12-19-2009, 09:06 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Uh, I hear you, however I have no time at work for these apps, believe me, this is not when it's occuring. Flycast I use while at the gym, while riding the bike. I also read and reply to company e-mails in the gym, on the bike, on my own time. My belief is that a company owned/provided BB pays dividends for the company while on my vacation and days off, nights and weekends. Again, providing the work/personal balance. Facebook and Twitter are becoming as common as regular e-mail to stay in touch with folks. (They also do not seem to be clogging a lot of data usage.) I have a number of vendors that I keep up to speed with on Facebook as well, extending our relationships.

Using an app like FB or UT (both FB and Twitter are also used by the company to grow our business and communicate to customers, yet they would have an issue with me using it to stay connected?) or Flycast, etc. at night or on weekends, should not be an issue if the data plan is unlimited. If it causes extra cost into the sytem, or drags down performance, ok, I agree. At the same time I'm using these apps at night and on the weekend, I reply to company e-mails at the same time. I don't get paid any extra to be timely in response at night or over the weekend, vs waiting until Monday. I could just turn the BB off when I get home and turn it back on when I get to work, I guess. However, I just do reply timely as I feel it's the right thing to do.

Company policy asside, you should not be using your company provided laptop to surf the net on weekends, or post topics here, but everyone does it. You should not be streaming music over the internet on your desktop at work, but everyone does it. You should not be making/receiving personal calls on your office phone, but everyone does it, etc. You should never receive a personal call on your company provided Blackberry, but everyone does it, etc. I'm guessing some high majority, maybe nearly 100%of all these company provided services are used "outside of policy". I guess if you are surfing pron at home on your company provide stuff, than you are certainly causing issues.

Anyway, I think the majority of the data pull is Flycast from what I'm seeing with Mini Monitor. I do not have any other apps working in the background. Once I get a few days and weeks in, I'll have a better idea. I think to have two BB's, or a BB and another cell phone is a waste. However, I'm not on the administrator side either.
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Last edited by Cravenfan : 12-19-2009 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 12-19-2009, 09:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Just tell the "old man" you are using the device for what it's meant for...it is not your fault your coworkers know squat about the device or ONLY use it for work email.

In terms of getting your own BB/phone...I for one do not trust them company-run reports. The data they spill out can be used in so many ways...for that, I no longer make personal calls with the company phone (got two cell phones for that) nor access the web for personal use (got a data card for that, with my BB having a modem option as backup).

Big brother IS watching, so why make it easy on him?

Oh btw, I just looked at my personal BB usage-it is at 500MB+, my data card (used mainly when I am in the ofc) is over 2GB. I get my work done at work-take anything that's thrown my way! I just take lots of breaks (web surf) and use my BB for many things (data-wise).
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Old 12-19-2009, 11:03 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I agree with Cravenfan. His company gave him a BB so he can be connected to work during "off" hours. If they want him to work during those times, then he should be able to use the BB for non-work tasks also.

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Old 12-21-2009, 09:08 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cravenfan View Post
Uh, I hear you, however I have no time at work for these apps, believe me, this is not when it's occuring. Flycast I use while at the gym, while riding the bike. I also read and reply to company e-mails in the gym, on the bike, on my own time. My belief is that a company owned/provided BB pays dividends for the company while on my vacation and days off, nights and weekends. Again, providing the work/personal balance. Facebook and Twitter are becoming as common as regular e-mail to stay in touch with folks. (They also do not seem to be clogging a lot of data usage.) I have a number of vendors that I keep up to speed with on Facebook as well, extending our relationships.

Using an app like FB or UT (both FB and Twitter are also used by the company to grow our business and communicate to customers, yet they would have an issue with me using it to stay connected?) or Flycast, etc. at night or on weekends, should not be an issue if the data plan is unlimited. If it causes extra cost into the sytem, or drags down performance, ok, I agree. At the same time I'm using these apps at night and on the weekend, I reply to company e-mails at the same time. I don't get paid any extra to be timely in response at night or over the weekend, vs waiting until Monday. I could just turn the BB off when I get home and turn it back on when I get to work, I guess. However, I just do reply timely as I feel it's the right thing to do.
So why aren't you telling your boss this? If your company applies part of the BB's cost as imputed income like my company then you have an additional leg to stand on as you're technically paying for personal use of the BB.

That said, I carry a separate device for personal use anyway.
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Old 12-21-2009, 09:28 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cravenfan View Post
Uh, I hear you, however I have no time at work for these apps, believe me, this is not when it's occuring. Flycast I use while at the gym, while riding the bike. I also read and reply to company e-mails in the gym, on the bike, on my own time. My belief is that a company owned/provided BB pays dividends for the company while on my vacation and days off, nights and weekends. Again, providing the work/personal balance. Facebook and Twitter are becoming as common as regular e-mail to stay in touch with folks. (They also do not seem to be clogging a lot of data usage.) I have a number of vendors that I keep up to speed with on Facebook as well, extending our relationships.

Using an app like FB or UT (both FB and Twitter are also used by the company to grow our business and communicate to customers, yet they would have an issue with me using it to stay connected?) or Flycast, etc. at night or on weekends, should not be an issue if the data plan is unlimited. If it causes extra cost into the sytem, or drags down performance, ok, I agree. At the same time I'm using these apps at night and on the weekend, I reply to company e-mails at the same time. I don't get paid any extra to be timely in response at night or over the weekend, vs waiting until Monday. I could just turn the BB off when I get home and turn it back on when I get to work, I guess. However, I just do reply timely as I feel it's the right thing to do.

Company policy asside, you should not be using your company provided laptop to surf the net on weekends, or post topics here, but everyone does it. You should not be streaming music over the internet on your desktop at work, but everyone does it. You should not be making/receiving personal calls on your office phone, but everyone does it, etc. You should never receive a personal call on your company provided Blackberry, but everyone does it, etc. I'm guessing some high majority, maybe nearly 100%of all these company provided services are used "outside of policy". I guess if you are surfing pron at home on your company provide stuff, than you are certainly causing issues.

Anyway, I think the majority of the data pull is Flycast from what I'm seeing with Mini Monitor. I do not have any other apps working in the background. Once I get a few days and weeks in, I'll have a better idea. I think to have two BB's, or a BB and another cell phone is a waste. However, I'm not on the administrator side either.
So, I guess I'm confused. You asked how to reduce data usage because someone (your manager?) wanted to know why your data usage was so high.
Did you tell them what you have told us - what you have installed and how you are using your device off hours? And if so, what did they say?

I absolutely do receive personal calls on my company (although not many anymore) and do use the company PC for personal use as well. However, I don't have anyone coming to me and saying "What are you doing?"

The way I read your original post was that you had high usage and wanted to reduce it so as not to get into trouble for having such high usage. Perhaps I read that wrong, but if the usage is all legitimate, why worry about it?
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Old 12-22-2009, 07:07 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Yes, so far, he's satisfied with the response. I guess I was wondering if there were tips or tricks to reduction of data. So far, since downloading Mini Monitor, I've used 14k total in three days. Not a whole lot. I'm suspecting maybe my phone is being reported in bytes and not kilobytes, as it appears others are. But, I'm going to get a few more weeks in before I dig around a bit.
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