A few years ago, 1GB worth of data could take you for a month. But today, 1GB can barely get you passed a day.
One time I subscribed for 6.5GB. In less than 48 hour my network operator notified me that my data had been exhausted. And no, I did not download my destiny!
This is precisely how most Nigerians feel when it comes to internet data subscriptions.
As a business person who runs a small or home-based business, your interractions are probably done via mobile (WhatsApp, Telegram or Facebook Messenger) .
However, you can’t afford the luxury of going overboard with your internet data subscription spendings.
With the substandard services network providers are offering, you’d expect data to be cheap. But that’s far from the case… Truth is, data is expensive in Nigeria. And to cap it all, the data doesn’t stay the expected duration!
So why is data expensive, and most importantly, why does your data burn so fast even with minimal usage?
Thing is, the telecom industry in Nigeria is still at its infancy— suffering from poor infrastructure and lukewarm regulations by the NCC.
Coupled with this fact, the number of internet users in Nigeria currently stands at 113.3 million in 2019, with the country’s annal population growth averaging at 2.6%.
While this poses as good news to entrepreneurs (Increase in population growth means your business can offer solutions to more people).
Unfortunately, as the number of internet users continues to increase in Nigeria, data isn’t going to get cheaper anytime soon.
As internet users increase, the demand for data would increase too. Consequently, the price of data would be on the rise as well. Basic Economics—an increase in demand will lead to an increase in price.
However, It’s no longer news that Nigeria is the poverty headquarters of the world. In an attempt to make data affordable for Nigerians, network providers slash the prices of their data. But in so doing, they offer you meagre quantity.
You feel you’re buying 1GB; at least that’s what it says in theory. But what you’re actually paying for seems like 450MB!
No, you’re not being cheated. Although you’re not being offered what is advertised, but in the practical sense of it, you’re being offered the standard rate of what your money can carry.
This isn’t the fault of telecom operators; but largely due to multiple taxations, poor policy regulations by the government, and unfavourable economic indices currently plaguing the country. This kills competition and chases investors away.
Take, for example, Nigeria has less than 7 active internet service providers (Glo, MTN, Airtel, etc). India has 302! And that’s why 1GB in India is less than N95 due to effective market competition.
While you might not be able to change the cost of data in Nigeria, you could make your data stay much longer.
What's in this guide?
Here are some tips to help you minimise Internet data usage and save cost.
Tip 1: Restrict background data.
A bulk of what consumes your data are the apps that run in the background. These apps automatically refresh their content immediately you turn on your data.
While this functionality is meant to give your phone a seamless experience, they come at a cost. These apps bite in on your data whether or not they’re being used.
Restrict your background.
Here’s how to restrict your phone’s background data.
- Open up Settings on your device
- Locate and tap “Data Usage.” When you arrive here, you’ll find a list of all your apps with the respective amount of data they each consume.
- Locate and tap the app you want to prevent from using your data in the background.
- Scroll to the bottom of the app listing. There you’ll find Restrict Background Data. Click on the toggle to enable.
Restrict all apps you notice consumes your data the most.
Clear enough? Good.
Tip #2: Set up Datally.
Datally is an app developed by Google LLC which helps you track and monitor your data usage in real-time.
It comes with inbuilt data saver functionality. The moment you turn it on, it minimises and restricts your data usage.
You can also use this app to set and limit the amount of data you want to use for a day.
The moment you reach the limit, your data automatically goes off. Also, you can block apps that you don’t often use to prevent them from tapping your data.
The Datally app is available on PlayStore. Head over there and install it.
Another good data saver is DataEye. It provides the same functionality as Datally with a lil added tweaks.
Tip #3: Minimise Instagram data usage.
Instagram consumes a great deal of data! Also, it quickly drains your cellular battery and eats up a chunk of your storage.
Why does Instagram consume so much data?
In an attempt to offer you a swift and smooth surfing experience, the developers crafted the app to preload videos by default.
This means that while you’re watching a video, 5-9 other videos are being buffered and loaded in the background.
This can be quite costly depending on your internet speed and carrier data plan.
To cut down the amount of data Instagram consumes, implement the following…
- Go to your profile and tap settings.
- Tap account > cellular data
- You’ll find “Data saver”. Then go ahead and put on the toggle.
By so doing, you’ll be saving a substantial amount of data by preventing the app from preloading videos you aren’t viewing.
Extra tip: within the Data Saver option, tap on “High Resolution Media” and change it to “Never.”
This will stop Instagram from showing you media (videos and photos) that are heavy and takes up a lot of data to load up.
Tip #4. Use LITE versions of apps.
If you’re a frequent user of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, you can greatly minimise your data usage by using the LITE versions of the apps.
The original apps of these platforms can be quite reckless in consuming your data.
This led to the developers creating a LITE version—primarily designed to reduce data consumption and enhance faster browsing experience.
Simply go to Playstore to have them installed by searching for “Facebook lite,” “Twitter Lite,” or “YouTube GO.”
Don’t forget to uninstall the original apps before having the LITE versions installed. What’s the point of having two apps that perform the same function?
There you go, folks… That’s all for now.
Incorporating these tips will save you lots of data especially when you’re surfing on a limited data carrier plan.
Enjoy, and don’t forget to share.