Does Facetime Use data and How Much ? Facetime Data Usage Details


Does Facetime Use data ?

Facetime is a video telephony product that lets you communicate with your dear ones not only via calls but you can also see them on your iPhone or Mac book. It is mainly voice over the IP which was developed by Apple and is compatible with supported mobile devices that run on iOS and Macintosh computers that run Mac OS X 10.6.6 onwards. Its video version supports any iOS device, the requirement being the device must be having forward facing camera and any Macintosh computer equipped with FaceTime camera, previously called iSight Camera.  And most importantly, the feature of FaceTime calling is completely free.

Alternatives to FaceTime for the Android Users are- Google Hangouts, Skype, Viber, Tango, ooVoo, etc.

Does Facetime Use data

What uses data in iPhone ?

For managing your IPhone cellular data usage wisely, firstly it is necessary that you know and analyze how much data you are using or you require on a daily basis. To view the details of your usage the following needs to be done- Go to settings->Cellular (or Mobile Data), scroll down to see Mobile Data usage.

You have one more alternative also to monitor your data usage individually per calls by- go to Phone – > Recents and then tap the “ i “ on the FaceTime video/audio call and you get the data consumed for that particular call.

How much data does FaceTime use on video calling?

Most trending question nowadays is “Does FaceTime use data?”. The answer to this question isYes. Facetime uses data for calling and video conferencing.

FaceTime has now become an integral part of how we choose to communicate. People all around having iPhones or Mac books prefer FaceTime calling over any other alternative. So accordingly one has to find out how much data gets consumed when you use FaceTime. This is important for lots of users depending upon the factor that many may not be on an unlimited data plan be it 3G or Wi-Fi.

So to make sure you never cross your data limit and not getting over billed for the usage, you got to keep an eye on how much data FaceTime is using.

If using FaceTime on a Wi-Fi connection then no deduction will be made from your data plan and in the same way no cellular calling minutes are used during the video portion of a FaceTime call.

FaceTime calling can be used over a cellular data connection too as an alternative to Wi-Fi connection with an iPhone which with no doubt, use your data plan.

For example, five minutes of FaceTime video calling uses up to about 15MB of data. So we can get estimation that it uses approximately three megabytes per minute.

Does FaceTime use Minutes ?

When it was first introduced, the application depended only on Wi-Fi connection but then later from iPhone 4s and above it was upgraded to be able to be used by cellular data network. So FaceTime uses minutes but the minutes are counted by the time of data plan usage. So, Facetime does not use minutes as normal mobile phone minutes coverage plan. The video communication is done via the cellular data network via 3G or LTE. These data plans are normally covered by the Cellular Data Network by measuring how much usage of data that you used per month.

Is FaceTime using data or minutes ?

If working on a Wi-Fi network, Facetime will use that connection by default and no charges will be deducted against your cellular data plan at all. If not on a Wi-Fi network, then again as previously mentioned Facetime calls will use the cellular data network and you will be charged against the data plan you have availed.

Some users may find that their cellular data is more consumed after the update iOS9 was introduced. The reason being a new Wi-Fi Assist Feature, which automatically switches to cellular data when the Wi-Fi signal gets poor. If you have limited data plan, it is advised you better check whether this feature is enabled or not. You can do so by – Go to Settings, Cellular and ensure Wi-Fi Assist is disabled.

Facetime Vs Skype Data Usage

Like FaceTime, Skype also provides features like video chat and voice call services. However, unlike FaceTime it is available for Microsoft Windows or Linux, as well as Android, BlackBerry and both Apple and Windows smartphones and tablets. Mainly Skype service is free but if you want to make calls to a landline or a mobile phone number then Skype credit or a subscription is required.

The following table shows the expected usage of data by Skype –

Communicating Devices Data used (per minute of calling)
Skype-to-Skype 50kbps
Calls to mobile nos. or landline 6-20 kbps
Video calls between two mobile phone devices 500 kbps
Mobile phone-to-computer 600 kbps


So, approximately 3.75 MB data is consumed for a video call between two cell devices for the duration of one minute.

And, also different bandwidth requirements are recommended by Skype for different situations. Skype tries to make the best use of the bandwidth it has available. For example, for HD Video calling the recommended upload and download speed is of 1.5Mbps both ways that is 22.5 MB per minute.

Usage of Skype among the Mac users went down the road with the arrival of the FaceTime as it provided better interface and better communication. And also the data usage in FaceTime is less compared to Skype.

Mainly the result varies from device to device or network speed or the software version, although the average being around 3MBs per minute.

The table below represents the Facetime data Usage details :-

Per Unit Time Average data used ( in Mbs)
Per second 0.051
Per minute 3.01
Per hour 183.9

And if planning on cutting down on mobile data, the easiest way out is turn off mobile data and enable it only when needed.

Leave a Reply