Internet Bundles: When will Telecom providers listen to our cry?

If there’s anything Smartphone users other than Blackberry in Nigeria have complains about, it’s most definitely the cost of internet subscription.

Android and iOS users are not smiling
Android and iOS users are not smiling

Users of Android and iOS Smartphones have decried the unavailability of data plans that meet their daily internet needs; as major telecommunication networks in the country have internet plans that seem to be convenient for Blackberry users only.

Unlike Blackberry users who pay a minimum of N1 000 to have access to unlimited data plan – or 3gigabyte of data depending on the network – users of other Smartphones have had to struggle with what was described as “peanut” data by an Android user.

Looking at internet data plans in the same price range as that of Blackberry users; little will one wonder why the hash tag #androidUsersDemandFairness, garnered momentum some weeks ago on social media.  Android users took to twitter, to express their dissatisfaction concerning data plans made available by Telecoms providers.

For the price of N1 000, MTN offers 100MB with a bonus of 260MB; Glo – 260MB; Etisalat – 200MB; Airtel-200MB with 260MB bonus.

Data usage

Research by various groups has revealed that Blackberry smartphones use less data compared to others aforementioned.

According to a research by New Product Development (NPD) Group, iOS users burn an average of 1.12 gigabytes/month (over 37MB daily), while Android users consumed an average of 0.92 gigabytes monthly (over 30MB per day).

Also, a report released by the largest independent software provider in mobile optimization, Actix , stated that BlackBerry users consume about 50% less data than Android and iOS counterparts.

Going by the statistics, Smartphone users other than Blackberry will have to spend more if they are to keep up with the internet demands of their Smartphone.

Nuhu Muhammed, an Android user said; “I paid for 260MB but within two weeks, I got a message from Etisalat that the data bundle had been used up. This is a data plan that was supposed to last for a month”.

“I pay N2 000 for 500MB on Etisalat but I tend to use up my data before the end of every month. I always have to resubscribe ,“ – Ayo Oyediran, an iPhone  user.

“I don’t know how my data gets used up. 500MB disappears within three weeks. I paid N2 000 for 500MB on my MTN, but how it got used up is what I don’t understand.” – Preciuos Emmanuel

They all called on the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to intervene by giving Telecoms providers the mandate of regulating the prices of internet data plans.

“These plans are not good enough for us. I spend a lot on internet subscription, all because I need to get mail updates and be on par with happenings around me.

I believe the NCC can make these telecommunication networks regulate the way we are being charged for internet access,” Babayemi Oluwafemi said.

Besides all the complains and before the NCC springs into action, there are few ways to reduce data usage on your Smartphone. Well, I’ve done the honours of listing them below

Use data monitor apps- e.g Onavo:

Onavo is a clever free mobile application that compresses and tracks data usage. Features of this app include;

  • Getting alerts when an app is using a lot of data in the background
  • Block specific apps on 3G or shut off 3G data when they exceed their cap.
  • Limit data usage on certain apps to Wi-Fi only. e.g Updates

Disable Push content

This might not be an option for most people but it’s a good way of saving your data bundle. Android 4.0 users or higher can disable push content per-app through the Data Usage menu.

Just tap on an app in that menu, and then tap the View App Settings button. Those with an iOS device can find relevant options under Settings -> Notifications. Each individual app with notifications will be listed there.

Use Lightweight Browser

Default browsers on Smartphones are known for chunking up data as they load Web Pages with all contents including flash contents.  It is advised to make use of lightweight browsers such as Chrome Beta or Opera Mini.

Caching pages

You can cache Web Pages while using Wi-Fi connection. This will reduce the time and data it will take to open the page when next you need to visit that particular website.

For those of you who don’t like long stories, click here >>>