Do you remember when we had data disappearing from our phones? What was that? It’s still disappearing? If your data is still being ‘stolen’ let us look at why that is and what may be causing it. It will all depend on which mobile network operator you subscribe to.
Are you on Netone or Telecel’s network ?
The reason your data is disappearing is probably ‘out of bundle’ browsing which is quite expensive. In short this is just how much internet access costs when you have not bought any bundle, be it a general data bundle or a social media bundle. For Telecel it’s around 10.5cents/mb, and it’s 7 cents for Netone. We talked about this before and it maddens me that nothing has been done by these two operators. To this day you still cannot deactivate ‘out of bundle browsing’.
This means if you recharge your phone and data usage is not turned off, your hard won dollar will be wiped out by background apps before you can use it. Sometimes you recharge so that you can buy a WhatsApp bundle for example and by the time you try to purchase the bundle you have insufficient funds for that. How? In out of bundle browsing the $1 gets you 9.5mb (Telecel) and so as soon as you recharge, WhatsApp syncs up and a 3 minute video auto-downloads and uses 4mb. Two such videos and your dollar is spent. Ridiculous!
For now what you can do is keep mobile data off before you recharge and first purchase whatever bundle you need before turning it back on.
We need to pressure these networks to give us the option to deactivate out of bundle browsing. We have not been as vocal as we should be. Let us make noise on all social media and everywhere else and we will not be ignored.
Are you on Econet’s network?
If you have not already, deactivate out of bundle browsing. Dial *143# and go to Account Services, select option 3 (out of bundle browsing) then select option 2 (do not allow). That is all. Once it is off it will stay that way until you change it (why would you though) and so you do not need to keep doing this. Now you do not have to remember to turn cellular data off before you recharge. Nothing will ‘steal’ your data without your say so.
Remember though that by default out of bundle browsing is activated for everyone and so you might want to help others by telling them this. We have to do that because although Econet allows us to do this they do not really communicate this, for obvious reasons. Go tell it on the mountain top.
Are you on the LTE network on Econet or Netone? (Shame on you Telecel)
So you may have deactivated out of bundle browsing on Econet and yet your data is still being stolen. Or maybe your turned cellular data off on Netone and still your data disappeared. What is that about? Down south, MTN had the same problem and they discovered that LTE was the culprit. The default bearer concept in LTE specification sometimes causes the device to remain connected to the network even when mobile data is disabled on the device, depleting your data in the background.
This was not affecting every subscriber of MTN’s and if this is happening here in Zim this may explain why some do not seem to experience data disappearance but some do. MTN claim to have fixed the problem but I don’t know if Econet and Netone are even aware of the issue and if so if they are working to fix it.
There are some issues out of our control that may steal our data. Having shared some of the steps we can take to minimise this though, all we can do is hope most of us won’t have to deal with disappearing data again. In the meantime let us make noise and demand action from the mobile operators, especially from Netone and Telecel. They need to let us deactivate out of bundle browsing. Do let us know if you have still been experiencing disappearing data and let us know which operator is responsible.