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5 Ways to Maximise your Mobile Data Usage

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Detailed analysis of mobile data usage suggests that connectivity rates remain comparatively pricey in Nigeria.

According to the Research and Development Unit of Yudala, Nigeria’s pioneer online and offline e-commerce outfit, data has thus become a very critical commodity that must be efficiently maximized, especially in view of the tiered data plans currently used by service providers.

With the growing popularity of social media, we are in age of information overload; one in which content is not only king but also predominantly ubiquitous.

In addition to music streaming, watching videos online and other activities that drain your data, most smartphones are also loaded with tons of data-hungry apps.

If not checked, you might find your mobile data bills burning a huge hole in your expense sheet on a monthly basis. The following tips from Yudala will come in handy for maximizing data usage on your smartphone:

 

Monitor your data usage

Most users live in fear of exhausting their mobile data before the expiration date, but with the help of some useful apps, you can now monitor and limit the amount of data used. The best way to save data is to be aware of the activities or applications that drain your cellular data.  Most smartphones are equipped with data usage setting that enable you manage your data. Usually located in the Settings menu, you can set up alerts for when you exceed data usage for your most notoriously data-consuming apps.

 

Exercise caution with online video streaming

This is a known fact. But as much as we hate to admit it, the fun things consume most of your mobile data. Excessive streaming of videos, music, high quality images or GIF files, are things you need to avoid if you really want to maximize your internet usage. While we know these things are not entirely avoidable, there are some other ways to stay entertained responsibly. If you can’t avoid the entertainment your smartphone brings, you can set the quality at lower rates or decrease resolution in the settings menu of your smartphone.

 

Use Wi-Fi connection for updates or downloading heavy content

Wi-Fi is often regarded as a blessing by most smartphone users. While access to unlimited Wi-Fi connection is still rather limited in Nigeria, there are certain locations you can count on for free Wi-Fi. One of the most sensible ways of maximizing your mobile data usage is by setting up your smartphone for automatic updates only when on Wi-Fi connection. This way, you get to save some significant volume of the data drain that comes with auto-updates. Furthermore, downloads of heavy contents such as videos, high-resolution images and music files should also be done when on a secure Wi-Fi connection.

 

Restrict background data

Some applications use up a lot of data even when the phone is not in use.  This is a brilliant feature of the smartphone: allowing background data to keep the applications on your phone updated. However, not every app needs to stay active at all times. You can stop the constant update by going to your settings option to select the app you want restricted or simply disable background app refresh in your settings. This helps reduce data consumption and also preserves the battery life of your device.

 

Preload and Cache

Despite the anxiety over cellular data, developers have made things easy and included options that make smartphone apps less demanding. A very good example is a cache, a hardware or software component that stores data so future requests for that data can be served faster. The data stored in a cache might be the result of an earlier computation, or the duplicate of data stored elsewhere These days, certain apps allow you to store data temporarily so you can cache as much content as possible. Caching is enjoyable on a Wi-Fi network which enables you enjoy preloaded content at any time, without using your cellular data.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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E-Business

Oracle Forecasts Big Things for Big Data this Year

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Companies generate massive amounts of data, and this will rise exponentially as new computers and sensors are connected to the system.

This huge amount of data is unusable if companies do not know how to manage it and transform it effectively.

Multinational computer technology corporation Oracle forecasts 2018 will be the year when laggards will finally make the move to cloud, late adopters of big data will see immense benefits straight away, and those using artificial intelligence (AI) will drive the most insights.

Samina Rizwan, Oracle senior director for big data and analytics for Middle East and Africa, says Oracle has been in the business of big data since before it became the buzzword it is today.

She says the conversation around big data should be expanded to include analytics, AI, the Internet of things (IOT) and machine learning (ML), all encapsulated in the cloud.

“In the end, we are talking about a data management cycle, and managing all data – not just packets.”

She notes there is huge curiosity around big data at the moment in the innovative space of technology, although adoption is still new to some businesses.

However, this will change this year, as companies see the benefits and realise they will be left behind if they don’t catch up.

Rizwan pointed to a study by Forrester, which predicts businesses that use AI, big data and IOT to uncover new business insights will take $1.2 trillion per annum from their less informed peers by 2020.

Rizwan says her first prediction for this year is that companies that have not yet implemented a cloud or hybrid solution will soon do so.

“We have seen that 80% of data is moving towards cloud; very soon a lot more of the remaining data will too.

“The advantages that users are telling us about are far outweighing on-site data storage advantages.”

Rizwan says she does not know of any region in the Middle East and Africa that is ignoring cloud.

In a survey of Oracle cloud clients, the company found: “Cloud-mature companies have greater capacity for data analytics.

More than 60% of the cloud-mature group report a greater ability to analyse most types of data, in addition to improved automation and visualisation, based on ML. More than half also point to strong capabilities with non-relational data.”

Rizwan says: “We are seeing fewer and fewer companies deciding to stay on-premises. The CIOs of today are no different from the CIOs from yesterday. They want flexibility, some quick wins along the way, and need to show business value.

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MDXi Emerges Toast of Banks in Data Centre Outsourcing

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MDXi Data Centre, a subsidiary of MainOne Cable Company has become the toast of money deposit banks in the country in outsourcing of their data centre services as directed by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Mr Gbenga Adegbiji, general manager, MDXi Data Centre, said that 70 percent of banks in the country are now hosting their data with his company in line with directive by CBN that Banks should upgrade their data centres to Tier 111.

He explained that MDXi Data Center became toast of Banks because of its standard and processes which is of international standard and has also met CBN standard in certification among others.

“Data hosting has assumed a new dimension with organisation embracing off-site hosting of data whereby data hosting is handled by a hosting company unlike in the past where banks host their without even taking note of what goes on the building next to where the bank is located,” he said.

He disclosed that the MDXI Data Centre followed stringent rules both in the construction and management of the Centre explaining that the Centre operates concurrent maintainability, which means that there is no downtime when maintenance is going on.

Adegbiji while revealing that the data centre was built out of the demand of customers, who were receiving other services from the MainOne cable company, stressed that the investment made on the centre was not a one-off investment.

According to him, the business of data centre survives basically on the provision of the required infrastructure stressing that despite the huge investment made by data centres, Nigeria is still far from building the needed infrastructure.

He said Nigeria needs to move fast in tackling the infrastructure challenges since society has moved into the sphere of technology adding that government also needs to understand the dynamic role of technology in developing the economy.

Adegbiji revealed that the firm had so far invested $35 million out of the planned $40 million, adding that MDXi is the only data centre that guarantees 100 percent power uptime availability.

He said the MDXi, which is West Africa’s premier resilient, vendor-neutral data centre, is also the only data centre with direct connections to four submarine cables within 10km: ACE, WACS, Glo 1, MainOne.

The general manager explained that with its data centre and submarine cable, MainOne operates a central hub, which supports West Africa’s connectivity, cloud and data needs.

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Nigerians Ignore Warnings, Stake N1.3Bn on Bitcoin Weekly

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Nigerians have continued to invest in cryptocurrency, trading up to N1.38 billion across 13 local cryptocurrency exchanges in the country, despite warnings by regulators and legislators.

 

Leadership reported that analysts have urge government to embark on smart regulatory tactic in controlling the surge in the trend.

 

Emeka Okoye, software developer and chief architect at Cymantiks Nigeria Limited,  who spoke with Leadership, urged the government and particularly the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Deposit and Insurance Corporation (NDIC) who have been at the forefront in the fight against cryptocurrency in the country to do a rethink on the way to regulate the use of cryptocurrency

 

Noting that cryptocurrency will not take the place of fiat money, he said the criticism against cryptocurrency will further fuel speculation and encourage its use by outlaws.

 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had last week urged governments to look into regulation of cryptocurrencies in the fight against money laundering and financing terrorism.

 

Many countries in recent times are coming up with stronger regulations for the trading of cryptocurrencies. Although the value of Bitcoin which is the most popular and most traded cryptocurrency has been down since December, 2017, interest in the currency is yet to wane in Nigeria.

 

Having seen the highest weekly trading average of N1.94 billion in mid-December last year, weekly average turnover had dropped to N1.299 billion at the end of December before rising to N1.817 billion in January.

 

As at February 12, 2018 which is the latest data on Coin.dance a global cryptocurrency tracking website weekly average of Bitcoin trading on the exchanges in Nigeria was at N1.389 billion. This is asides the investments of Nigerians in other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Billioncoin amongst others.

 

Okoye while advising regulators in the country to adopt “smart regulation” rather than outright ban of cryptocurrency said “it is an attitude of allowing innovation to move forward and let regulation follow because at the end of the day it is about the consumers and not about the players.

 

“If they ban cryptocurrency, it means they are outlawing a tech tool and when you outlaw a tech tool, outlaws will use the tools and when they use them you have no control. People will have to live with the consequences.

 

“Right now we do $4.7 million dollars weekly and we are expecting more. Now we have more exchanges, by count we should have up to 13 crypto exchanges in Nigeria. If you really want to see its implication in Nigeria, think of MMM.

 

“MMM was a pointer that things are not alright. We cannot continue to regulate things. It is not going to work if we keep regulating things to work against the desires of the people. It should be about the people. When you talk of innovative product and services, we cannot use the same tactics we used in the old economy. This is a new economy. The power has gone to the consumer.

 

“The thing is regulators need to think very well before they start banning. First of all do they understand how it works? I can build a crypto exchange and it is not domiciled in Nigeria, they cannot regulate it. Secondly, do they understand that I also have a foreign card and they cannot control what I do with it?” Okoye queried.

 

He however noted that there was no way cryptocurrency will replace fiat money saying it will only complement its use and make it easier to move wealth around at convenience. He also noted that the current trend of speculation driving the value of cryptocurrency is a distraction from the real value.

 

“Speculation of cryptocurrency is a big distraction and it is turning the internet to be an internet of money rather than being an internet of value. This speculation has nothing to do with the value we can derive from it” he stated.

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