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NCC says telcos not to blames for data depletion, blames malwares, background apps, GPS, others

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The Consumer Affairs Bureau of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has identified seven factors causing data depletion for mobile subscribers in Nigeria.

This comes amidst an increase in complaints from subscribers about how their data subscriptions are getting drained quickly.

While many subscribers have been blaming the service providers for stealing their data, information released by the Commission suggests otherwise.

Specifically, mobile network operators comprising, MTN, Airtel, Globacom, and 9mobile have been at the centre of consumer complaints about data depletion.

According to the Commission, there are several factors causing data depletion for most subscribers and these include:

To reduce incidences of data depletion, the Commission advised subscribers to always monitor their data usage, turn off background data usage for specific apps, and switch off automatic updates.

The Commission also advised mobile users to disable location services for some specific apps as such services consume a lot of data. For unsolicited advertisements, the telecom regulator advised the subscribers to install ad-blockers.

The regulator also suggests connecting to Wi-Fi whenever possible for mobile subscribers to avoid using their cellular data. “You can connect to Wi-Fi at home, work, or in public places like cafes or libraries,” the Commission said.

Ultimately, the regulator said any subscriber that consistently runs out of data should consider upgrading to a larger data plan.

Meanwhile, in a move suggesting that the service providers might also be a factor in the data depletion complaints from the subscribers, the Commission recently directed Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to conduct an independent audit of their billing systems.

According to the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Dr. Aminu Maida, the Commission is also concluding a consultation process to simplify tariff plans, that would provide enhanced transparency to the consumer.

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