When I first got my Android mobile phone, the first thing I did was to connect it to my home wi-fi network at home and browse the internet, download apps, navigate Google maps and even tried video chat on gtalk for android.
Surfing the internet using your home wi-fi from your android phone may be a trouble-free experience, but when it comes to using your mobile network for your internet usage it can get quite expensive.
There are 2 ways you can be connected to a mobile network to use the internet on your android device, either 2G/EDGE/GPRS or via the new 3G services. GPRS came to India way back in 2002 but it became popular recently with the rise of social networking sites like twitter and facebook.
Popularity of mobile internet sky rocketed after smartphones running android, symbian or the iOS had support for location based services including Maps, Places, Navigator etc which helped users a lot to find places and never get lost on a journey and also for sharing files, uploading photos to facebook, use Google and to sync backup documents directly from their mobile phones on the go.
But mobile internet is expensive in most countries. Previously when I was using my Nokia 5233 mobile with Vodafone, there wasn’t much expense on mobile internet because you could only connect to the internet via Vodafone Live through your browser. So you had control over how much bandwidth was consumed from your phone.
In case of Android smartphones you are automatically connected constantly with VMC (Vodafone mobile connect) or your mobile carrier and android devices work in a different manner. It constantly checks for updates for software installed, new emails on your Google account, social networking profiles, weather reports and other information which require an internet connection. That’s a waste of precious bandwidth and for VMC at 10p/10KB that’s quite expensive.
So the best was to reduce your expenses is you turn off and disable GPRS on your android temporarily and enable it only when needed.
For most android 2.2 devices like my Motorola Defy, Go to Settings > Data Manager > Data Delivery > Data Enabled (Uncheck).
This will disable mobile internet on your android phone. You will see that the E icon has disappeared beside the network signal icon on the top. You can turn it back in the same way.
If you have a HTC android phone you can add the Mobile network widget to your Home screen. This toggle widget is an on/off switch that you can tap to easily turn the mobile network data connection on or off.
If you want to avoid making settings, use this very useful app called Quick Settings. This app lets you quickly switch some of the most important android settings with just one tap and lets you control battery consumption by disabling unused services.
Hope this helps. If you already have wi-fi at your home then there is no use keeping the mobile network internet activated even if it not used. Also, if you are not using it outside, since it drains the battery and makes unnecessary checks for updates etc.