WhatsApp Data and Bandwidth Usage Calculator

This post explains how much data and bandwidth is required by WhatsApp.

Enter the amount of time spent on either

  • Voice calling or
  • Video calling

The tool will provide the bandwidth with the desired units

Example Calculation

A one minute WhatsApp voice call uses 720 kilobytes.

A one minute WhatsApp video call uses 15 MB.

💡A Whatsapp video call therefore uses over 20 times more data than a voice call. Something to remember if you have a data cap or your carrier limits the amount of data you can download and upload every month.

Background

WhatsApp bandwidth consumption depends on whether it is a voice or video call and the app settings.

For instance when you select Use Less Data for Calls within the app settings, expect the bandwidth numbers to be lower than what’s provided below.

Voice Calls

WhatsApp uses the Opus audio coding format. The bandwidth required for voice calls on both the uplink and downlink is 48 kbps.

Opus supports bit rates between 6 kbps and 510 kbps. For mono audio applications, the bit rate is 30 kbps and for stereo it can be as high as 100 kbps. For VoIP calls, 24 kbps is the recommended bit rate for full band. Considering overhead due to Ethernet packets, the required bandwidth is higher at 48 kbps.

Video Calls

WhatsApp uses Advanced Video Coding or H.264 codec for video calls. We tested video calling and found a five minute call consumed a total of 77.8 Megabytes. See the picture below.

A WhatsApp video call therefore uses (77.8*8)/(2*5*60) = 1 Megabit per second on either the the uplink or downlink using the data transfer rate calculator.

Data consumption vs Bandwidth

In the above calculator we used either typical codec bandwidth (specified in kbps) or measured numbers and used that in conjunction with the call duration to find the total data consumption (in Megabyte).

Bandwidth is sometimes referred to as throughput.

A question that comes up often is – what’s the difference between bandwidth measured in kbps, Mbps or Gbps and data use measured in MB or GB?

Data usage as the term suggests, measures the total amount of data consumed when you’re using a mobile device (laptop, tablet, phone). Note that a device can continue to consume data in the background – even when you’re not actively using it.

When you download a PDF file for example that is 10 MB in size, the total data downloaded is 10 MB. It will be a little more in practice due to overhead associated with data packets used to carry that information.

Streaming applications like YouTube on the other hand might adjust the quality of audio over a lower speed link.

Units for data usage: kilobytes (kB), Megabytes (MB), Gigabytes (GB) and Terabytes (TB).

Bandwidth is a measure of how fast data is transferred to and from your mobile device. A larger bandwidth number indicates faster data transport. WhatsApp does not provide any guidance on bandwidth requirements. We had to do some digging to find the codec and the requirements based on that. What we learned is that it is variable and adapts to the quality of the connection.

Units for bandwidth: kilobit-per-second (kbps), Megabit-per-second (Mbps), Gigabit-per-second (Gbps). The conversion between kbps and Mbps is simple once you remember this.

In general however, if you don’t want to rely on mental math 🤓, use this calculator to convert units – for example kbps to Mbps. Note that bandwidth is specified in Megabit per second and not Megabytes per second. What’s the difference between Mbps and MBps?

Use this tool to compute the total data usage given a bandwidth number and time for which the connection is active.

Related Calculators

How does this compare with

WhatsApp Data Consumption Table

The following table shows the data use in Megabytes for Voice and Video calling.

MinutesVoice Call (MB)Video Call (MB)
10.7210.5
21.4421
32.1631.5
42.8842
53.652.5
64.3263
75.0473.5
85.7684
96.4894.5
107.2105
117.92115.5
128.64126
139.36136.5
1410.08147
1510.8157.5
1611.52168
1712.24178.5
1812.96189
1913.68199.5
2014.4210
2115.12220.5
2215.84231
2316.56241.5
2417.28252
2518262.5
2618.72273
2719.44283.5
2820.16294
2920.88304.5
3021.6315
3122.32325.5
3223.04336
3323.76346.5
3424.48357
3525.2367.5
3625.92378
3726.64388.5
3827.36399
3928.08409.5
4028.8420
4129.52430.5
4230.24441
4330.96451.5
4431.68462
4532.4472.5
4633.12483
4733.84493.5
4834.56504
4935.28514.5
5036525
5136.72535.5
5237.44546
5338.16556.5
5438.88567
5539.6577.5
5640.32588
5741.04598.5
5841.76609
5942.48619.5
6043.2630