CEM REPORT, ICT | Perhaps the cry of Nigerians over the unexplained quick depletion of data has hit the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) as it has come out to explain the possible causes of quick data depletion experienced by many Nigerians.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) explained that the issue of data depletion being experienced by telecommunications subscribers is attributable to several factors, which can be categorized as technical and non-technical.
The Commission’s Director of Technical Standards and Network Integrity, Edoyemi Ogoh, during the 91st Telecoms Consumer Parliament (TCP) organized by the Commission, highlighted automatic updates of apps and automatic uploads of videos and pictures to the cloud on smartphones as other factors that drain data quietly.
He added that most browsers play videos by default even when the user only opened a site to read text.
He also noted that the increase in internet speed due to migration to 4G, which automatically plays video in high-quality formats is also a contributing technical factor consuming more data.
The TCP themed: “Data Depletion: Discussions on Various Perspectives,” was organized by the NCC to understand the various perspectives on the prevalent issue, identify the possible causes, and brainstorm on the way forward.
Speaking at the event the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, s data depletion was one of the most prevalent complaints received from telecom consumers in the country.
He noted that most of the complaints came as a result of the consumers’ recent migration to 4G/LTE technology.
“It is, therefore, important that we completely appreciate and understand the issues surrounding data depletion, its usage, and consumption in the era of 4G technology before we fully commence 5G usage. It is against this backdrop that the Commission invited the key industry players today to dialogue on the theme.
“As much as the commission has an obligation to the telecom consumer, it also has an obligation to the Industry; a symbiotic relationship in which one party cannot survive without the other.
“The consumers are the basis for the operators’ business; if their interests are ignored, the operators’ investments would collapse, and there would be no industry for the Commission to regulate.”
Highlighting non-technical the commission said subscribers utilise more volume of data to access online content as against what the subscriber believes should be used leading to exhaustion of allocated data before the expiration date.
NCC noted the growth of social media, online advertisements and default audio-visual activations in web browsers and apps.
Additionally, the low purchasing power of subscribers leads to the purchase of small bundle sizes with short periods of use leading to an increased frequency of data depletion complaints according to the NCC.
Furthermore, the commission added; Lack of consumer awareness and education; Use of sub-standard and fake subscriber devices