It can happen to anyone: you forgot about a Zoom meeting and you’re in the one location in the area that has a spotty internet signal. You’re lucky if you get one bar on your phone and that’s only when you’re standing in an uncomfortable position. So does this mean that you’re going to miss your scheduled Zoom meeting or can you still log in without Wi-Fi on your phone?
You can use Zoom on your phone without Wi-Fi through your mobile carrier’s network but there are often some limitations that you might not expect.
If you’re out of Wi-Fi range, you can still sign-in to your Zoom meeting using your mobile network. However, you still can encounter some unforeseen problems with your phone. If you do have to attend a Zoom meeting using your phone, there are a few precautions and things you need to understand beforehand.
What you Need to Use Zoom
It’s not hard to start a meeting on Zoom or sign into one you’re invited to. Though, as easy as the free app is to use, there are some requirements your phone must meet. Along with a built-in microphone and camera, your phone’s network must meet Zoom’s minimum requirements for internet speed.
If you have a 4G phone, its network speed shouldn’t give you any problems. If you’re making a one-on-one video call, you only need a download speed of 0.6 Mbps. Group calls require 1 Mbps. You’ll need a little more if you want a group video chat in 1080p resolution on Zoom. It requires an internet speed of 2.5 Mbps or more, because, as we’ve discussed in another article on the differences between resolutions, a higher resolution demands more data and speed.
Whichever way you choose to host or attend the Zoom meeting, you shouldn’t have a problem with your mobile carrier’s network speed. All carriers use a 4G network, and some are offering a 5G to their customers. With that in mind, there still may be some issues that you run into.
It Still Might Not Work
Sometimes even the best phones like the iPhone Pro Max 12 (on Amazon) have network problems. You could have entered a dead zone, where there isn’t any type of internet signal. This usually only occurs in remote locations or when you’re underground in a subway or highway tunnel. When this happens, there’s nothing you can do until your phone can receive a Wi-Fi or cellular signal.
Even though mobile carriers offer unlimited data, it comes with limitations. If you go over your data usage, you aren’t charged but the network could slow down. Sometimes, as low as 3G speeds. When this happens your Zoom meeting might get dropped or stutter. You can also have problems with video streaming unless you’re on an LTE network.
Tips for Using Zoom on your Phone
You can take a few steps to minimize your risks for some problems that can occur with your mobile network. Using a headset instead of your phone’s tiny speaker and microphone will improve clarity on both ends of the Zoom meeting. Planning will also help eliminate potential problems with your Zoom meeting. Whether you’re invited or scheduled the Zoom meeting, remember the date and time. From there you can plan your day if you’re going to be away from a reliable network.
Avoid Dead Zones
You can’t avoid every dead zone. But you can plan to stay away from known ones before the remote meeting is set to start. Pay attention to your location and check the phone’s signal strength before it’s time to sign-in. If you have low bars move to a spot with a stronger signal.
Watch Data Usage
Even though most mobile carriers have unlimited data plans, it doesn’t mean network speed stays the same. Zoom meetings don’t use a lot of data but they do need a fast network, especially with video chats to ensure smooth images. Start conserving your data when the meeting is set up if your carrier slows down network speed when you’re over the monthly data usage rate. Along with conserving data to ensure a smooth connection, use audio instead of video during the Zoom meeting.
Check Your Settings
You can avoid a lot of problems and reduce data usage during the meeting by adjusting your phone’s settings before it starts. It only takes a second to disable the HD video resolution in Video Settings. It also reduces bandwidth usage which helps to compensate for the occasional slower mobile carrier networks.
You can use your mobile carrier network on your Zoom meeting but the results aren’t always a success. A lot does depend on your phone’s network, along with Wi-Fi or cellular signal strength, and data usage. It’s always best to plan ahead and have the meeting on a reliable network, but sometimes it’s not possible. If your phone is the only option try to have a headset or earbuds because it will improve communication. You also want to disable HD resolution. The video might look blurry, but it will be smoother too.