To understand how your airtime “disappears” or is “stolen” by your mobile operator, you have to understand the concept of out of bundle browsing.
Out of bundle browsing charges subscribers a high data tariff for any internet related activity done outside of a bundle (WhatsApp, facebook, twitter or opera). Out of bundle browsing is ridiculously expensive, and if left active, your airtime will definitely disappear/”get stolen”.
Econet’s out of bundle browsing rate is $0,15/mb, Telecel’s is $0.12/mb and NetOne the cheapest at $0.07/mb. On $1 you can get close to 7mb of data or $150 you can get 1GB data.
So, if you are caught unaware, and happen to update your WhatsApp which is 88,7mb, that’s $13,30 for just an update. Even if you don’t have enough airtime to complete the airtime, what is in your phone will be used up. If you have not realised it by now, out of bundle browsing is EXPENSIVE!
There are many services and background applications that may be running on your phone that consume out of bundle internet, last week we covered an article on how to manage your data on your mobile device.
At the moment, only Econet has an option to deactivate out of bundle browsing. It can be deactivated by going to *143#, Option 6 “Out of Bundle Browsing”, then option 2 “Deactivate”. However, some subscribers have reported that this option is only available for “show” but does not actually deactivate it.
Currently, NetOne and Telecel do not give their subscribers the same option to choose to opt out or in of out of bundle browsing. A call to customer support team may do the trick, though, because, by default, ALL subscribers on ALL mobile networks are actively out of bundle browsing, this is why with a $1 you can do close to nothing online.
Its interesting that information on out of bundle browsing rates and its activation/deactivation cannot be found anywhere on the Econet website. Very little effort has been made to communicate this option to subscribers. At the moment, it seems to be a well-kept secret, as neither Telecel nor NetOne have bothered to educate their subscribers as well.
Very little effort has been made to communicate this option to subscribers. At the moment, it seems to be a well-kept secret, as neither Telecel nor NetOne have bothered to educate their subscribers as well.
For your own savings, we advise you to deactivate out of bundle browsing immediately and take more control of your mobile data.
Also, when you load airtime to convert to bundles, have your data turned off, only when you’ve converted to bundles should you switch it on.