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 >>> http://telegraphng.com/2013/08/data-bundles-prevent-android-and-iphone-from-dethroning-king-blackberry/

Apps a business user of Android should have

Although Blackberry has been tagged the business smartphone, other smartphones (iOS, Android and Windows) are not doing bad in that area.Blackberry has a secure messaging service (Blackberry Messenger) which is mostly preferred by professionals for interaction between colleagues, but that hasn’t stopped its market share from crashing since 2010.
Recent years has seen Blackberry users migrate to other smartphones (Iphone, Samsung, HTC etc.); but these migrants are most times faced with the challenge of what app they should have installed on their device(s).

Android-from-BB_1

Here is a list of apps that most business users can benefit from when they are getting started on Android.

1) Whatsapp

This is undoubtably the most used messaging app across all platforms (Symbian, Android, iOS, Blackberry and Windows). With over 200 million active monthly users, it competes with one of Blackberry’s major advantages over other smartphones: Blackberry Messenger.

2. Swiftkey
Since most Android smartphones are touchscreen; a far cry from what Blackberry offers (hardware qwerty keys)this app aids easy typing. Swiftkey lets you swipe
across the keyboard with one finger in the general direction of the letters you want to make up a word and then it predicts with startling accuracy the word you are making.3. Genius Scan
Smartphones have not only replaced most point-and-shoot cameras, but the cameras in smartphones can also replace most of the functions of two other technologies; scanners and photocopiers. With Genius Scan you can take photos of a multipage document, order the pages, turn it into a PDF, and then save it to Dropbox, Google Drive, Box.net, Evernote, or SkyDrive. Or, you can just print it or email it.

4. Evernote

Evernote can be a tremendously useful tool for note-taking and information retrieval. It offers online synchronisation and backup services; meaning whatever you do on your mobile can be accessed while on desktop.

5. Tripit

It is a trip planner that keeps all of your travel plans in one spot. Simply forward confirmation emails to plans@tripit.com and TripIt will automatically build an itinerary for your trip
that you can access anytime, either online
or from a mobile device. Part of Tripit’s magic is that it’s powered by some excellent backend systems that automate things for you.

6. Google/Yahoo Finance
If you work in the corporate world then you typically are going to track market performance and business developments, since the stock market is traditionally
considered a future economic indicator. This App gives real-time updates on the various international stock markets and lets you set up portfolios so you can track market segments like tech or health care or aerospace and the most important companies in those markets.

7. Linkedin
With over 150 million users, Linkedin used to just be an online resume network, but it has methodically added more and more business-friendly features to

that point that it’s become an indispensable professional tool. Linkedin has dedicated a lot of resources to improving its mobile apps recently and with more people using the service to share links and updates, this is arguably the most valuable social media app for professionals.

8. Accuweather

With NEMA’s prediction of Tuesday’s heavy downpour that went unrealised, Accuweather would be a recommended App. There are tons of weather apps

and widgets on Android, but the one that offers the best combination of convenience and in-depth information is Accuweather. The app itself has in-depth meteorological data, hourly and daily views, maps, and video.9. Google Translate
If you work in a growing, expanding business or a larger organisation then there’s an excellent chance that you now work with people in other countries and you have to overcome the language barrier. Whether you’re studying another language to help bridge the gap, translating documents or emails, or just quickly looking up translations to words or phrases, the Google Translate app will be a valuable resource.

10. Speed TestThis takes care of phones lag while doing simple things like loading web pages or sending files or downloading images. While surfing the internet, the best way to quickly tell if you’re being limited by your connection is to fire up the Speedtest and see if you’re experiencing any lag in Ping (latency) or Download/Upload speeds (bandwidth). This will tell you if your cell site is overcrowded or if your Wi-Fi connection is throttled or overloaded.
Other important apps are email/IM apps or Office Suite (Google drive, SkyDrive, Drop Box; Kingsoft, Office Mobile; Google Talk, Windows Live messenger, Y!Messenger etc.). Those are also essential apps (some are pre-installed) every business inclined person will inevitably have.