How much Wireless Data does an Uber/Lyft Driver need?


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One interesting issue that can is discussable is data handling for Uber drivers.Every driver needs their Uber app, and a mileage tracker as well as a navigation app.Some drivers ould also like social media and local attractions app, which they can use to improve their rides and offer interesting insights into what is happening, where is in and who is currently in fashion. On top of this, preparing and documenting drive information as well as manage entertainment and recorded information.

We decided to look into the data management and bandwidth that is needed.

Data Usage Breakdown

Let us consider a full-time rideshare driver working with four different companies, Uber, Lyft, Doordash and Amazon Flex. The average usage per test period of 4 hours led us to this table:

Amazon Flex 26MB for 4 hours, 1.04 GB for a 40 hour week

Lyft 48 MB for 4 hours, 1.92 GB for a 40 hour week

Doordash 36 MB for 4 hours, 1.44 GB for a 40 hour week

Uber 37MB for 4 hours, 1.49 GB for a 40 hour week

Note that when working for four different company's you won't drive 40 hours for each one, the actual result will be a mix of all, where Uber and Lyft might dominate followed by DoorDash and Amazon Flex. The average will be closer to 42 MB and 1.50 GB.

Another issue to note is that these apps will use up more data the more rides you receive, so if you are in a surge, a guarantee, a directional filter and any other instance that makes you drive more, the app usage will go up.

This only covers company apps, how about navigational apps such as Waze or Google maps:

Waze 18 MB for 4 hours, 736 MB for a 40 hour week

Google Maps 17 MB for 4 hours, 693 MB for a 40 hour week

If we add these figures to the app usage, we get a 40 hour week for an average rider reaching 2.2 GB. Now, this is the basic floor usage, it doesn't include and additional usage such as reading news, using other apps, watching youtube, scouring Facebook, downloading music, etc. Another thing that these figures don't take into account is the background refresh rates and data usage.

How to track data usage

Most smartphones and mobile devices have data usage statistics in their general setting area.

How to chose the best data package

If you don't want to run out of data, then you should research how much you need and add a bit more for emergencies. You never know when you will need it and in fact, sometimes you might just get the urge to work a weird hour and find you are on the road 50 hours a week and not 40. You don't want to be in a situation where you run out of data, the connection goes right down and its virtually impossible to use the apps. Hitting a data cap is not a fun thing, so always make sure you have a backup plan or a way to increase or top up your load immediately. You don't want to be at the mercy of free wifi spots.

Ridesharing cell plans

Uber and Lyft have strategic partnerships with some cellphone and ISPs. They offer discounted plans to their drivers, but the drivers must qualify for these plans by working to a particular threshold. You should also be aware that there are some cheaper options out there, resellers that offer a better price per GB than the main cell phone providers offer.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of working with a reseller is the fact that a contract won't bind you, all you will need to do is pay up front for the cellphone, which can be a one time strain, but eases your pocket on the monthly payments.

Since pans tend to change and fluctuate on a monthly basis, it's not worthwhile listing all the plans, since, by the time you read this, the plans will have changed. Also, may plans offer different incentives, so you should calculate those incentives into your payments. Sometimes the incentives will cost you more, so triple check everything.

Here is a basic outline of what the differences look like, the prices include unlimited nationwide calls and texts we only present the 4-8 GB range, which is roughly what most drivers will need.

Boost Mobile (Sprint): UnlimitedGB - $50

Cricket (AT&T): 8GB - $45

Republic Wireless (Sprint, T-Mobile): 4GB - $45

StraightTalk (all networks): 5GB - $45

T-Mobile: 5GB - $50

Review of the list

Boost Mobile operates on a Sprint Network and also offer a $5 reduction per month of ou accept their app which sends ads now and then. It can be frustrating, but if $5 a month, it can be worth it.

Crickets 8GB deal is a winner, and since AT&T cover most of the US, you get good coverage everywhere you drive. Their 8GB deal is an amazing deal and very hard to beat. They also offer good phone deals that don't lock you into a contract.

Republic Wireless has a unique service; their phones work with 3G/4G and WiFi phone calls and texts. This might not be the cheapest option but it offers the widest range of connectivity and as such can be very useful if you live in a problematic area where coverage can get spotty.

Straight Talk has a great 5GB plan for only $45, and if you pay $55, you get 10GB, which is really good value for money. Since Straight Talk works with all the three major phone company's, they get continuous coverage all over.

T-Mobile uses its network, and you should check if they cover your area. They offer some unique plans including unlimited music with video streaming that will not affect your data cap. The also provide interesting family deals, so its worthwhile checking if they are strong in your area.


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