October 22, 2021

Traditionally, Basic Human needs are Food, Clothing and Shelter but interestingly, there seems to be an addition which is “Data” Internet.

Over time, questions on internet data consumption and usage especially with the need to always be on the internet and making use of data. Some subscribers have complained that they may not get to use up all their data bundles before the termination or expiration date but some get to use theirs within days of subscription or before expiration date and may not want to subscribe anymore till they need it again.

In line with the mandate of the Nigerian Communications Commission of Protecting, Informing and Educating consumers, the Regulator immediately investigated the complaints and ensured resolution as necessary.

This is aimed at empowering consumers with information on data consumption and usage to enable them get better value from their data subscriptions and to get prompt redress where necessary.

The following FAQs will help with regards to data consumption and usage:

Q- What is Internet Data Usage?
Internet data is a service provided by telecom service operators to the end users to enable them access the internet. The speed of the access and the nature of activities which the consumer can carry out often depends on the nature of the technology in use. Access technologies are usually classified into “Generations” to denote their age and characteristics, as follows:
a) 2​nd Generation Technology (i.e. 2G) is circuit switched technology which is relatively low-speed GPRS, EDGE mode or their equivalents;
b) 3​rd Generation Technology (3G) is packet and circuit switched and is in HSPA, HSPA​+ m​ ode or their equivalents;
c) whilst, 4​th Generation Technology (4G) is packet switched technology, that is, LTE, LTE-A mode or their equivalents.

Q- What causes Data Consumption/Usage/Depletion?
Your data is used whenever your phone connects to the internet. The following activities are the most common uses that reduce your data:
● Sending and receiving emails,
● Downloading and uploading files (pictures, documents, videos, etc.) –
the larger the file, the more the data consumption,
● Browsing the internet – the more pictures, videos or graphics on the
websites visited, the more data is used,
● Instant Messaging – like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, etc.
● Streaming music/ videos on YouTube, Hulu, Netflix and other channels,
● Games – games use a lot more data than most people imagine, due to
the intense graphics and algorithms that power them,
● Social media applications such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter,
Instagram, etc.
● Video-chatting and conferencing applications like Zoom, Skype,
WhatsApp Video, etc.

Q- How can I use my mobile Data wisely or avoid Data wastage?
There are number of things you can do to manage your mobile data usage so that it does not deplete quickly, but instead last longer. The following are examples:
● Disable mobile data when it is not needed
● Use data compression in your browser
● By reducing video streaming quality from video sites such as YouTube,
Netflix, Hulu, Showtime – you can use from 1080p or default/ auto setting to 240p for optimal viewing and lower data consumption. This may however affect the quality of your experience.
● By deactivating all cloud storages except when / where necessary.
● By not breaking or interrupting downloads in-between video sessions.
● Turn off automatic updates for apps for mobile devices, laptops and
personal computer.
● Use Wi-Fi hotspots wherever you can to save your mobile data – you
should however note that there are data security risks to using open/free Wi-Fi connections. Your passwords and personal data are often exposed on such connections.
● Limit sending and receiving files and push notifications
● Delete email messages that won’t send and are no longer required.​
● Send big files when connected via Wi-Fi or use Wi-Fi for big files
● Monitor time spent on Social Media
● Closing apps when you’re done using them can also reduce data usage
● Set up usage alerts.

If the subscriber is not satisfied with the services of Network Providers, the subscriber can call NCC’s Toll Free number, (622) that is after they have called their Service provider and they are unable to resolve the complaints.

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