Nigeria is one of the countries with the most expensive data costs in the world with internet users groaning in pains while accessing information.
Despite the efforts of the Federal Government to fully revamp the Nigerian economy in a post-recession era, it is very important for individuals and organisations to reduce their disposable income, especially expenses made on airtime and data connection.
This is an issue that has an adverse effect on the standard of living of individuals, as more consumers leave above their means buying airtime or data.
There is a particular time of the month when our service providers debit some crazy amounts from our accounts, because they claim that we used that much in data.
WHAT TO DO
Financial coaches have advised that airtime and data bills should be kept in check with effective concepts. Some of the tips below will help avoid the ridiculous monthly charges:
TURN WI-FI ON
Using Wi-Fi will save a lot of your airtime because you are using someone else’s data for free. So, the first tip is to use Wi-Fi as much as possible! To access Wi-Fi, turn your Wi-Fi setting on, and a network will become available when you are near a Wi-Fi hotspot. When you do access the internet via Wi-Fi, be sure to turn your ‘mobile data’ setting off.
RESTRICT BACKGROUND DATA
If you cannot access free Wi-Fi, the next thing to do is to restrict the background data. Facebook notifications, email alerts, Whats App notifications, all have one thing in common: they use background data transfers that end up eating your monthly data.
To disable background data transfers when connected to your device, from the home screen, press the ‘menu key’, and then tap ‘settings’. Tap the ‘Accounts & Sync option’. Tap to check (enable) or uncheck (disable) background data and your changes will automatically be saved. Press the ‘home key’ to return to the home screen.
Instead of installing the app belonging to certain websites, ditch the app and open the mobile version. Instead of downloading a Facebook app, go to m.facebook.com to access Facebook. It uses less megabytes.
SET A DATA LIMIT
By setting a data limit, you are in control of how much your monthly cellphone bill will be. To set a limit for how much data your smartphone uses over the course of a month, this can easily be done.
To set a data limit and a data warning, you need to go into ‘Settings and Data usage’. In Data usage, you will see a large graph detailing how much data you have used over the course of the month. You can adjust the date range either via the vertical lines in the graph itself, or simply by clicking into the drop-down box and setting the date manually. All that you need to do next is drag the horizontal bar to your desired data limit/warning
An IT expert, Mr. Dele Afolabi, says, “Mobile services are designed to use as little data as possible, but a Personal Computer or laptop rarely has that in mind. So avoid treating them as the same.”
According to him, browsers like Opera can be set to compress web pages and are able to save up to 85 per cent of data cost. You can also set your phone to download at midnight when most operators slash the cost of data.
Applications that you no longer use could be stealthily downloading data in the background, causing you to blow through those bundles.
“You often hear about app fatigue, resulting from someone trying out too many apps. But how often do we delete the apps we don’t use? Those will continue to be updated and connect online. Deleting will save both data and battery life,” Afolabi added.
Ensure you close apps correctly. Apps will often continue to run in the background after you hit the ‘Home key’. Close them by checking for running or recent apps and close them.
Most applications require updates but you can set whether they update over 3G or Wi-Fi networks. On Android phones, go to Google Settings -> Data Management, and set your apps to update over Wi-Fi only. App updates are very important, because they may contain security patches. “But not every update is so important that it has to happen right away,” he counselled.