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

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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, JailbreakMe.com, 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.

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