October 17, 2021

Over time Telecom Subscribers are becoming worried about data depletion even when they are not browsing. This has drawn concerns from the Telecom Regulatory Body about detailed Education and enlightenment on Data Depletion and Usage

Data consumption can occur on your account with or without your knowledge.

● With your Knowledge​: Data is consumed when you open web pages, when you browse, while downloading/uploading files, streaming videos or doing any of the other activities mentioned above.

● ​Without your Knowledge​: Most smartphones are configured to automatically search for, and download software updates, app synching, uploads, updates, etc. Your data is therefore consumed by your phone without your knowledge when there are software upgrades and updates to apps on your device. To stop this from happening, you have to disable automatic updates as demonstrated in Question 11 (above).
*Since I migrated to 4G network, my data doesn’t last for long?

4G networks are generally faster than 3G. This increased speed brings about usage of more applications making the data to deplete faster. 4G is configured for fast transfers of heavy amounts of data – OS updates, synching of photos and videos, streaming on high definition all take place much faster than on earlier generation networks. 

Also, most of the popular media platforms are designed to provide you with the best user experience, so they would automatically present you with the highest quality videos (HD) once they recognise that you are on a fast connection.
*Is it possible that someone is stealing my data?
This could be because your hotspot or Wi-Fi password might have been compromised​. You should therefore ensure that your password is secure at all times. ​You should also be careful of who has access to your phone since data can be shared or transferred without your knowledge.

* Why should network service provider display pop up messages to ask if the recharge is to be used for data or voice?The pop up message is basically a method of easing the process of converting your airtime to data or leaving it for voice services. This is intended to empower you to decide how you wish to use your recharge. This should be ignored or cancelled by consumers who are not interested.

*Why is it that additional data given to subscribers after making subscription to data promos, get easily exhausted?
The terms and conditions of the promo data must be noted and understoodby the consumers before subscribing for any such promo.

*What brings about fluctuation in internet access after making data subscription?This may be due to network problem and/or settings of your phone. For example if there is no network in your location or the strength of network is weak or unstable, then there will be fluctuation. Also, if your data SIM is off you may not be able to use the internet unless you are connected to Wi-Fi.

*Does speed or time contribute to depletion of data?Yes, it does. The faster the speeds, the more data bundles will be utilised. Logically, the faster the speed, the quicker you can complete a task such as downloading or uploading a file. That means that you’re able to do more, and consume more data, in the same amount of time if you have fast speeds. You naturally do more and probably use higher quality while streaming videos.

* Why is it that monthly subscriptions do not last a whole month?
The monthly subscription usually comes with a data size or value and once the value is exhausted before the month end, you would be unable to access the internet. So, what it means is that the data allowance can be used over one month, but it can be finished before one month, depending on how youuse it.

*What is the reason behind getting a deducted data value when you subscribe for data?

This could happen where the Consumer has borrowed airtime or data from the network service provider. It is important to read and understand the terms and conditions of the services rendered before you start using it. However, if you have any issues, be sure to complain to your service providers immediately and escalate to the NCC for redress if the matter is not satisfactorily resolved.

*Why do Network Service Providers usually deduct from the normal data subscription while leaving the bonus data untouched? 
Again, you need to check the terms and conditions of your package. Bonuses are usually given to stimulate usage and the network may specify the terms on which you can access the bonus. If your experience is different from what was promised, then lodge a complaint to your service providers and escalate to the NCC for redress if the matter is not satisfactorily resolved.

* Why does the shared data among consumers exhaust quickly unlike the direct subscription?

The shared data and individual data are usually charged at the same rate. You must note that you cannot control usage of data you share with others.

 Apart from the fact that network quality unlocks the full functionality of applications on a device, download rate is also very fast, what can be done to avert this?

This can be averted by reducing activating data saver to reduce the speed of the data or step down the technology from higher generation with high speed or throughput to lower generation with low speed or throughput.

What brings about decreases in the balance of data when all that is done is mere internet surfing without downloading heavy files?Many websites are very interactive, and logging on to these sites often results in data being unknowingly consumed by video adverts running on the page while one is browsing a specific article. This is another reason that accounts for faster data depletion.

Why should data deplete when the network doesn’t permit usage and it expires at the end of the month?
If you experience this type of problem, please check the terms and conditionsof your service and contact your Service Provider for prompt solution.

How do I Seek Redress if I am not satisfied with my Data Usage? 

● Your first point of call is your service provider. The NCC has mandated all service providers to provide multiple channels for their consumers to complain, and that they should ensure prompt resolution of complaints within specific timelines. NCC sanctions operators who fail to meet these timelines.

● The service providers can be reached on their free 24/7 customer service short codes: ​9mobile – 200; Airtel – 111; Globacom – 121; and MTN – 180​.

● When you complain to your service provider, demand a “trouble ticket”: the ticket provides evidence of the time/date/nature and timeline for the resolution of your complaint.

● If your complaint is not resolved within the stated timeline, or if you are not satisfied with the resolution, then please report to the NCC using any of the following channels:

● Call toll free – 622

● Email – consumerportal@ncc.gov.ng

● Twitter – @consumersNCC

● Instagram – @ngrcomcommission

● Facebook – Nigerian Communications Commission.
● Be sure to include your trouble ticket – NCC will then take the matter up with the network service provider to ensure speedy resolution.

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