How much data does the app use when talking to a Relay?


#1

When using the android app to communicate to a Relay, I’m assuming that the message is transmitted over data. This seems important to a republic user that is communicating frequently via the phone app but may not be on wifi. Have you determined average data usage when using the app to talk to a Relay? Perhaps in terms of Mbytes per minute of talking? Perhaps I have this all wrong and communication from the app to a Relay will not count as data usage for a Republic Wireless customer using the app?


#3

I just realized inbound messages to the app from the relay might be using data also. If there is any information on what to expect for data usage I would find that useful. If using the app to communicate uses up a couple more GB of a data a month I will want to consider that additional cost.


#4

It looks like no one has tried to take this on. Let me give it a shot.

  1. Yes, using the app to communicate with a relay, while the phone running the app isn’t on wifi will indeed use cellular data, even for Republic customers.

  2. The amount of data is a great question. Not knowing what codec is being used for the audio, bitrates, etc, I’m going to take a SWAG. I’m first going to make the assumption that the Relay is using Opus (like Republic wifi calls). Based on the review by PC Mag saying the audio was a bit scratchy, I’m then going to assume narrowband at 12kbps. So, that would mean for each minute of audio, 90KB of data or $0.0004 of data if on the Republic My Choice plans or $0.0012 on the Refund Plans. LET ME BE CLEAR. THIS IS NOTHING MORE THAN PURE GUESSING.


#5

This is important information to understand. It might start impacting my refund plan.

Hopefully someone from Relay or Republic will weigh in.


#8

@dobberrw the amount of data that the Relay app will consume will obviously depend on the number of messages you send/receive and the length of those messages. On average in our testing, we see Relay messages using about 40kb per message. Hope this helps.


#9

Sam, that answers my question if you can also tell me the average duration of a message. With that we can know the kb per minute of Relay talk. Thank you.


#10

Is that really 40kb? Or do you mean 40kB? In other words, 40k bits or BYTES ?


#11

@homelessonwheels kilobytes.

@dobberrw messages are averaging 4-6 seconds.


#12

Thanks for the update.

So lets assume 4 seconds for 40 KB and therefore 600 KB per minute. To predict the impact on data usage you would need to estimate how often you are using the app to talk with a Relay while off wifi. Since this device basically functions like a walkie talkie I’m imaging most users won’t typically use it for long conversations.

If you averaged 5 min a day for a month you would only be at 90 MB of data. That sounds pretty reasonable to me. You would have to be talking on the app for about a hour a day off wifi all month to use up 1 GB of data which would only cost you an extra $5 on Republic.


#13

Thank you for your Maths wizardry! I only get 250 megabytes a month on another service provider and this answer really helped me feel relieved to use Relay on data.


#14

So we used the Relay for 4 hours since we have received it. I am at 10MB of use on my data. This is mainly because to have an open channel to the Relay I must leave the app screen on and turn off my phone’s ability to turn off the screen. Also, the battery on my phone loses 1% per 3 minutes while the app is on.