How much data does Optus Sport use?

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While not as big as other streaming services, Optus Sport has garnered a faithful audience of sports fans in Australia, especially football (or soccer) fanatics after securing the streaming rights to the English Premier League and UEFA Champions League. As Optus Sport is owned by telco giant Optus, there are a number of packages that combine an Optus Sport subscription with a phone plan and include unmetered data usage. But for those who may not be an Optus customer, this leaves the question as to how much data does Optus Sport actually use, and is there a way to reduce its data usage to prevent you from going over your monthly limit? Find out below.

How much data does Optus Sport use?

Optus does not publicly disclose specific details regarding the data usage of Optus Sport. However, estimates suggest that Optus Sport uses about 30MB of data per minute, meaning a full 90 minute football match will use around 2.7GB of data. See Optus Sport data usage stats below.

Minutes of Optus Sport Mobile Data Used
1 30MB
30 900MB
60 1800MB
90 2700MB

Estimates only. 

Optus Sport is unmetered on the Optus network, meaning that if you have either an eligible Optus mobile or broadband plan, you can stream Optus Sport without using your own data. In saying this, browsing in the app, authentication, analytics and advertising, such as the ads which play before your streamed content, all use data, meaning how much data you use will vary depending on a number of factors.

Experience buffering on Optus Sport?

If your Optus Sport content is poor quality, or you’re constantly being interrupted by buffering, it may be because the speed of your internet or data is too slow. Optus recommends using a fixed broadband internet service that provides an average download speed of at least 3 Mbps, or over 7 Mbps for 2nd Generation Fetch boxes, for optimal Optus Sport streaming.

When watching Optus Sport content, a bandwidth indicator in the top left-hand corner of the screen can tell you the bandwidth you’re receiving, with Optus outlining the following:

  • Red – less than 1.1Mbps
  • Amber – between ~1.09Mbps and 2.59Mbps
  • Green – Greater than 2.59Mbps

Optus Sports Football

How do I reduce my Optus Sport data usage?

According to Optus, the Optus Sport app and website support adaptive bitrates, meaning the video quality adapts automatically to match the bandwidth your device is using. As with most streaming platforms, the higher the quality of the content, the more data is required to support it. You can manually select the video quality by clicking on Settings in the top right-hand corner of the player.

The speed ranges for mobile video quality are:

  • Low quality – 0.11Mbps
  • Medium quality – 0.5Mbps & 0.8Mbps
  • High quality – 1.1Mbps & 2Mbps

The speed ranges for a fixed network video quality are:

  • Low quality – 0.11Mbps & 0.5Mbps & 0.8Mbps
  • Medium quality – 1.1Mbps & 2Mbps
  • High quality – 3.6Mbps & 5Mbps

Mobile Phone Plans with Optus Sport

Many postpaid phone plans are available with Optus Sport included, both bundled ones and SIM only plans. For free access to Optus Sport, you can choose between the $49, $59 or $79 postpaid plans — the cheaper $39 plan doesn’t include access to Optus Sport. You can also get Optus Sport on the special ‘Optus One’ plan at $119 per month.

However, for those looking for a new phone, Optus has quite competitive iPhone 11 deals, which include a lot more for the price you pay. Plans are separate to your device payments, which can be over 12, 24 or 36 months. iPhone 11 64GB plans with Optus Sport included start at $49 a month plus $34 for the phone repayment, totalling $83 a month over a 36-month payment period.

Optus has a very large selection of postpaid mobile phone plans, and there is one to suit most budgets and needs. Below are the Optus postpaid month-to-month SIM-only plans with Optus Sport included.

The following table shows a selection of published Optus postpaid plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of lowest standard monthly cost to highest. Use our comparison tool to see all plans available on our database. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

How much data do other streaming services use?

Although Optus doesn’t provide exact figures for Optus Sport’s data usage, it’s likely that the amount would be similar to other streaming services, like Foxtel Now, Netflix, Stan, Hayu and Amazon Prime. A comparison table of the data used for each level of quality can be seen below.

Streaming Service Low Definition Standard Definition High Definition
Foxtel Now 0.47GB 1.4GB 3.2GB
Netflix 0.3GB 0.7GB 3GB
Stan 0.57GB 1.13GB 2.89GB
Hayu N/A 1.18GB 1.92GB
Amazon Prime N/A 0.7-0.9GB 2GB

Data Usage based on hourly use. Information gathered from respective websites and online sources, Jan 2020.  

What’s the deal with Optus Sport and data usage?

With plenty of sports content, Optus Sport can easily slip past the keeper when it comes to using more data than you think, so it may be worth paying close attention to how much data you’re using when you tune in to watch your team in action. While Optus offers data-free streaming to Optus customers, those on a different network may have to settle for a lower quality stream to keep under their monthly data limit, or look for an unlimited data plan.

Photo credit: Optus sport.com

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