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Mobile data saving tips for consumers from WASPA

South Africa’s Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (WASPA) has been looking out for the interests of the country’s mobile consumers since its inception in 2004.

An important milestone that has boosted consumer confidence in the local mobile content and applications industry is the alignment of the WASPA Code of Conduct with national legislation such as the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act (ECTA), the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) and the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI).

Acting in the interests of consumers to help ensure the long term sustainability of the greater mobile industry also means proactively offering consumers helpful advice. “A wealth of knowledge exists amongst WASPA’s 286 members regarding how best to experience mobile technology,” says Ilonka Badenhorst, WASPA General Manager.

With one mobile network operator’s total data revenue up by almost 30% this past financial year, the mobile industry needs to provide guidance on reducing data bills, or risk consumer reluctance to try out the latest and greatest mobile has to offer.

With the above in mind, WASPA provides the following helpful advice to consumers interested in avoiding data bill shock:

  • It’s a good idea to download your mobile network’s usage app, opt to receive SMS data usage updates and download special data-saving apps to remain on top of data usage.

  • Get to grips with Wi-Fi. Many cellphone, laptop and tablet users remain connected to relatively more pricey 3G, HSDPA or LTE mobile networks when we visit restaurants and other public places that offer free or inexpensive Wi-Fi connectivity.

  • Super-fast LTE mobile networks are very handy during working hours when efficiency counts. But it’s probably a good idea to think of using slower connectivity options that save gigabytes for some after-hours tasks.

  • Try out a few different Operating Systems. Some of these are notorious for behind-the-scenes updates that seem to deliver little but hefty data charges at the end of the month. You may even choose to use your corporate-issue laptop with its data-eating abilities during work hours, and switch to an entry-level tablet for light browsing when you’re off the clock.

  • In your mobile device’s settings, select ‘pull’ over ‘push’ email service as the latter consumes data rapidly. In addition, close apps when you’re not using them as social media apps, in particular, use a lot of data when they’re running in the background.

“Data should be enjoyed – not feared – as much as we enjoy a phone call with friends and family,” concludes Ms Badenhorst.

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