How Far Can TelOne’s 500GB/Month Package Take You; Is It The Same As Having Unlimited?

Farai Mudzingwa Avatar
Woman watching live video on Facebook

TelOne’s relatively new 500 GB package is sparking a lot of debate due to one question. “Is the package the same as having unlimited internet?”

Of course, if we are speaking in literal terms, that package is not unlimited and really TelOne clearly lists it under capped packages. But the true question people are asking when asking if it’s the same as an unlimited package is whether or not you can run through the data cap in one month.

We had this exact conversation amongst my colleagues and a few Do’s and Don’ts became pretty clear to me from our discussion…

Don’t: Stream 4K!!!

If you like streaming YouTube/Netflix or videos from any other sites in 4K, then you might want to slow down a bit if you’re on the 500GB package. Why? Well, streaming 4K consumes 7.2 GB per hour.

Reaserch by GBH Insights estimates Netflix watch time to be around 10 hours a week. Which equates to around 72GB a week and 288GB a month. That’s quite reasonable but if you couple that with data-heavy applications like Snapchat, Instagram or you download high-definition movies then you might just find yourself exhausting the data cap.

Do: Play Games Online

Playing video games online doesn’t consume that much data and is far less taxing than actually watching Full HD (1080p) videos. I’ve played a couple of games online and I’ve never depleted the data cap. Fortnite, for example, has been reported to use anywhere between 45-100 MB/hour and the equally popular Apex Legends can use around 230 MB/hour . The requirements will differ from game to game but not drastically to the point where you have to worry about playing online.

Don’t: Over Instagram/Snapchat

Instagram and Snapchat are image and video heavy sites and this means they can chew through data pretty quickly. I’m an avid Instagram user (though I’ve been using it less of late) and my monthly data consumption between February and March is 14.38 GB which is pretty sizeable. This is bound to be much higher if you watch IGTV (is in-built in the IG app) or Instagram Live Videos which. This plays videos but unfortunately, there’s no resolution slider which allows you to lower or increase resolution.

I don’t really use Snapchat (I only talk to one person there) but one of the main reasons I stopped using it was because it used to chow data and back then I was on a 15 or 25 GB package (I don’t remember)… However the application hasn’t changed much and images and videos are more integral to the experience now than they were back in 2015 so you might not want to spend too much time on these two applications.

Do: Tweet and Facebook to your heart’s content

Facebook and Twitter can contain many images and videos but since these mediums are not integral you can tune the settings such that functions like auto-play are disabled.

On Twitter you can go a bit further and activate a data saving mode. This ensures that pictures and videos only load once you’ve opened them. It doesn’t even load thumbnails, which is a bit on the extreme side and probably unnecessary if you’re on a 500GB package.

Do: Stream your music in peace

What about your beloved Spotify/Apple Music? You can safely continue using these services, even if you’re a premium subscriber (premium subscribers listen to higher quality audio which in turn consumes more data).

Android central had a breakdown of how much data streaming uses and they discovered the following:

Low quality is typically 96kbps. On average, Low-quality audio streaming uses 0.72MB per minute or 43.2MB per hour.
Normal quality is typically 160kbps. Normal-quality music streaming uses 1.20MB per minute or 72MB per hour on average.
High quality music is typically 320kbps. High-quality streaming music uses 2.40MB per minute or 115.2MB per hour on average.

Android Central

So for someone who listens to 5 hours of music per day that would be between 216MB-576MB everyday. Which is translates to 1.08GB-17.8GB per month. At most 3.565 of your total bandwidth for the month… That’s quite reasonable if you’re asking me.

Different use cases

It’s hard to give a definitive answer of whether or not the 500GB data packages will last you an entire month and that’s because there are number of differences between users;

  • How many people are using this package
  • What are the habits of the user(s)

One thing to acknowledge is the fact that people have different use cases and usage scenarios but this article was meant to highlight some of the things you can or cannot do with the 500GB and hopefully better inform you on whether or not this package will last you the entire month.



  1. Dudley

    I* am using this package and I am happy with it. A lot of Netflix and Youtube and DSTV Now. I work though so a lot of times I am not at home during the week, but weekends its till I drop. Still have over 200 gig to go and month end is when it ends

  2. oh my wordy !!

    does the 500GB package support downloads of 7.2GB per hour? must be like 20Mbps or better , sounds good !

  3. fotchwaz

    @oh my wordy! !I am on this bundle and am failing to getting 8 mbps max and fail to get 10mbps on fiber, it buffers a lot on dstv now and youtube and Netflix buffers at times. my question is what’s the speed limit on this bundle?

  4. fotchwaz

    I am getting 8mbps

  5. wilo

    How much?

  6. Dudley Mutero

    @fotchwaz where are u located? Could it be the latency

  7. Anonymous

    How do I get Spotify in ZIM?

  8. tendy

    download the app and register you account while connected to a vpn using a USA proxy

  9. Tsungai Kaviya (@tkaviya)

    I have been on Infinity Pro package for a few months, I download nonstop and stream without caution, and Instagram. I have never run out, but I suspect it is because my speed rarely increases beyond 2mbps, meaning I largely stream 480p and sometimes throttle my downloads to do other tasks (only download 1K & 4k videos I really want to keep). Got just over a week remaining and Im just over half my cap. At 500 GB a month, you are more likely to have a space issue than a cap issue. I am a software developer working from home and I use my internet heavily every day, and I often download those 5-10GB programs and I play online games. For most power users, this package is sufficient. Oh? did I mention I share this cap with 4 other users?