How Much Data Does a 3G FaceTime Call Use on Rogers?


I’ve been testing FaceTime on my iPhone 4 and I must say it’s a pretty sweet feature. It’s literally bringing back chatting with humans in real life, instead of texting, tweeting, emailing, etc (that is for those who like to spend time in a dark basement in the summer).

With the return of the easiest iPhone jailbreak yet,, users have once again been able to access the amazing work of 3rd-party app developers within Cydia. My3G is the one benefit of jailbreaking as it will enable you to do FaceTime calls over your 3G network. I tried this out and it worked really well–exactly like a WiFi FaceTime call.

How Much Data Does a 3G FaceTime Call Use on Rogers?

Now that we can do 3G FaceTime chats, how much data will be consumed out of your data bucket? I decided to do a test with my iPhone 4. I reset my network statistics and timed a 2-minute FaceTime call over 3G with a friend. Here are the results:

Total data usage for a 2 minute FaceTime call over 3G: 4.6MB

Let’s do some math here to see how much 3G data FaceTime calls will consume in…

…10 minutes of talk: 23MB
…30 minutes of talk: 69MB
…60 minutes of talk: 138MB

How many hours of 3G FaceTime calls can you make if you have…

…a 500MB data plan? 3.6 hours
…a 1GB data plan? 7.2 hours
…a 2GB data plan? 14.4 hours
…a 3GB data plan? 21.6 hours
…a 4GB data plan? 28.8 hours
…a 5GB data plan? 36 hours
…a 6GB data plan? 43.2 hours

Keep in mind, these times are calculated on if you only used your data plan for FaceTime, and nothing else. So keep in mind, that 3G FaceTime calls will consume your data plan quickly if you don’t have a healthy plan, such as the 6GB plans from Rogers/Bell/Telus.

Of course, data usage may vary when you’re using 3G for FaceTime. But given these loose tests, this should give you a rough idea of how much bandwidth is required for FaceTime!

FaceTime tip: initiate a call using the “FaceTime” icon within the info page of a contact, and you’ll save money by not using voice minutes for the initial call.


  • Wow. Takes quite a bit. Pretty close to what I expected. I guessed 2-3megs per minute
    Thanks for the details

  • hibeat

    That's pretty nifty. Does my3g cost anything to download? And also a bit off-topic, how do you feel about putting the invisible sheild on the iPhone 4?

  • Hold on, what? You have 3 days and 20 hours of calling on a phone that has only been out for 3 days?

  • Mee

    He probably restored his phone with a backup of his old iPhone.

  • Sam

    Putting on the IS for iphone 4 is the easiest IS to install, ever.

  • Frayne182

    Agreed. Easy as hell. Just read the instructions.

  • Vince To

    i thought facetime doesnt use minutes or data from dataplan since its usable through local wi-fi?

  • Ex

    That is correct. But if you hack your iPhone 4, you can use FaceTime on your
    data plan anywhere!

  • Vince To

    oh ok thanks. if u hack ur iphone to use FaceTime, but u are also in a Wifi zone, im guessing it will use wifi instead of ur 3g connection?

  • Ex

    So long as you connect to your local WiFi, then FaceTime will use WiFi.

  • To answer your other question, yes my3G costs money (under $5 though) read:

  • This is actually much *lower* than I expected. I mean, it's reasonable to use even for those on limited data plans. I was thinking that unless you had the 5/6Gb plans you should Avoid Avoid Avoid.

  • You probably should have used it for longer to get a better sample set. Or at least done a few calls to get it down exactly.

  • iphonelover

    does anyone know when fido will be gettin more iphones in montreal ?

  • Yes for sure… how i got my idea of how much it would take out of my data was comparing it mobile youtube data rates of consumption

  • Mastdesi

    I am waiting for my iphone 4 also from fido montreal, Called yesterday and they said out of stock and they dont know when its coming. Called all apple stores in quebec today and got the same answer.

    If anyone knows when will fido or apple store get there stock plz share.

  • Whiterhino

    I'm glad they did this with the jailbreak. I'm hoping it will force apple to include Face time with 3g in a upcoming update. I've jailbroken phones before and found it a hassle not being able to update my iphone when new updates came out. I would rather not jailbreak my new iphone 4

  • If you in Sweden you get UNLIMITED 😛

  • kingofpsn

    I contacted Fido yesterday and the representative said there is a 90% chance of restocking from now til friday but it all depends on Apple's speed to send them… Hope it helps…

  • Tyler

    Any idea if apple or carriers (whoever is in charge of this) will come out with an update to allow NON-jailbroken phones to use FaceTime on a 3G connection? I'm not to keen on jailbreaking my iPhone

    Thanks in advance for any responses

  • At the WWDC Steve jobs said that facetime would be able to go over carrier networks, but not on 3G. He said they would have to update their networks to 4G in order to support facetime, and it “might” come available at that time (not his exact words, but just summed It up)

  • John

    It’s done. Download V4.3 and use my personal hotspot under settings

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