MTN cautions its customers about bill shock and depleting data
Data is the gateway into the rich digital world, however due to lack of insight, customers have unwittingly experienced bill shock and their experience spoiled by inexplicable or rapidly depleting data.
In a bid to improve customer experience, MTN has embarked on an education drive to empower its customers to make informed decisions on data usage and educate them about cost-effective ways to use data to minimise bill shock and manage their data bundles.
Access to popular social media platforms, streaming and software updates account for the bulk of the data consumption, which accounts for significant amounts of data consumed.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram have become an integral part of our lives. Since their introduction to the market, these platforms are continuously being updated in response to customer demands, and new functionalities and bug fixes are added to make them more interactive and user-friendly.
Furthermore, not all devices are created equal. Independent tests have found that devices running on certain operating systems consume more data than other devices for the same usage patterns. For example, consumers are unaware that on average they consume approximately 4.6GB and 1.4GB of data over a four-day period when they logged on Instagram and Facebook on the 2G and 3G network. According to the findings of these tests, the depletion rate was as high as 10% between different devices in certain instances.
The transition from a feature phone to a smartphone has a significant impact on data usage. Many of the smartphones that are available in the market comes with a default setting that allows for automatic software updates without the user's interference.
Often, the updates are automatic and run in the background without having to be prompted by the user. Consumers are urged to manually deactivate updates in the cellular data settings if they wish to save their data bundles and update more cost effectively using WiFi.
In order to minimise data usage, it is critical that consumers familiarise themselves with the settings of their handsets and ensure that they close the apps that are not being utilised.
The expansive rollout of 4G or LTE networks has enriched network experience as it resulted in higher upload and download speeds. The devices that have been released to the market over the past few years are compatible with these high performing networks.
The faster networks means that LTE compatible devices use a great deal of data when they access applications as faster speeds lend themselves to more data consumption.
As a result, time spent on a 4G network using an LTE compatible device will consume considerably more data bundles than previously on the 3G networks using a 3G device.
Instant messaging platforms have become the preferred mode of communication and sharing content such as photos and video content. While this might appear to be cost-effective, many users are unaware that sending videos and pictures consumes data bundles, and this can escalate to up to 16 MB per message.
Most Web sites are very interactive and logging on these sites often results in data being unknowingly consumed by adverts running on the page while one is browsing a specific article. This is another reason that accounts for faster data depletion.
Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a multinational telecommunications group, operating in 21 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code: "MTN".
As at the end of 30 June 2010, MTN recorded 129.2 million subscribers across its operations in Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Iran, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia. The MTN Group is a global sponsor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa and has exclusive mobile content rights for Africa and the Middle East. Visit http://www.mtn.com and http://www.mtnfootball.com.