A heavy internet user on iPhone may at some point receive a surprise bill from Maxis totaling to RM350 (i.e RM100 monthly commitment + RM250 max capped for additional data usage). It happened to me too during Hari Raya holiday last year, where I use iPhone as tethered modem to get online on my laptop.
Maxis iPhone 4 most basic iValue 1 plan has free data usage of 1GB (used to be 500MB for iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G), where the additional data usage is charged at 5 sen/10KB.
Just to illustrate how expensive that is, let say you download a 5MB MP3 after you have reached your monthly quota.
MP3 downloaded = 5MB
MP3 downloaded = 5 x 1024kb
MP3 downloaded = 5120kb
MP3 downloaded = 5120kb x RM0.05 / 10kb
MP3 downloaded = RM25.60
RM25.60 for a single MP3 downloaded? Go figure! You will reach the max RM250 capped price in no time.
But how to check how much bandwidth that you have already used for that particular month so that you will never be in this situation? If you are a Maxis Broadband user, there is an SMS reminder sent when you are reaching your monthly quota, and you can also easily check the current data usages mylaunchpad portal.
But unfortunately, these are not available for iPhone user. No SMS whatsoever when you are reaching the allowed monthly free data. And again, But how to check how much bandwidth that you have already used for that particular month?
The trick here is to look at Usage screen (Home Screen->Settings->General->Usage). Towards the bottom of the screen, there a section of the amount of Cellular Data Network that you have sent and received. Below is what recorded on my iPhone from the last round of billing.
And below is the data usage that I found on my last round of the billing. It’s not the same number as what shown on our phone, but at least, you get the idea of how much data that you have been using for that particular cycle.
But you have to remember tough, the count shown on the iPhone is accumulative. So, at the beginning of the new billing period, you have to reset that count on your iPhone.
In my case, my billing period is from 14th of the month until the 13th of the next month.
So just before the midnight of the 14th of the next month, I reset the counter back to zero.
But this means that I have to do this every month? What if I forgot to reset the counter? Well, there’s this very useful calendar app in your iPhone. What you can do is to set up a reminder for you to reset the usage counter before the start of the new billing day.
It’s just a simple reminder, where in my case, I set it up at 11:50pm on 13th day of every month. Then I repeat this reminder every month.
And even I fall asleep already at 11:50pm on the 13th day, I should be able to look at the reminder the next day when I woke up.