Smartphone users warned on download costs

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The Independent Online

With more than a quarter of all adults using a smartphone, price comparison service Consumerchoices is warning users against exceeding their monthly downloading limits.

Last week, industry regulator Ofcom said that smartphone usage in the UK had exploded over the past year, with the amount of content downloaded on to the handsets increasing 67 per cent in 2010. Smartphone users are able to access specialist applications (apps), social networks, email and download music and video content.

However, Consumerchoices warns that download limits on the phones can be an expensive issue for some users. "Smartphone download limits, with the exception of the iPhone, can be rather stingy and the penalties can be over 10p per MB of content download above your usage limit," said Dominic Baliszewski, the site's mobile phone expert. "These costs mount up very quickly."

Mr Baliszewski urged phone users to take some simple steps including setting the phone's warning system to go off when the download limit was approached, using free Wi-Fi wherever possible and turning off apps that surf the net and update automatically.