Will we ever see the cause behind the #DataMustFall campaign becoming a reality anytime soon?

We don’t know, and while it completely sucks that we’re at the mercy of mobile networks, there are one or two things we can do to help ourselves.

We’ve rounded up a few, easy tips you can use to lower your data costs. We can’t promise that it will cut your costs down to the amount you’d like, but hey, better to do something that nothing at all.

So, here they are.

Turn your data off


For those of you who already do turn your data off when you’re not using it, this is pretty obvious. But many mobile phone owners simply leave it on all day and night, pretty much feeding the data sinkhole, one kilobyte at a time.

The reason this step is important is because most smartphones tend to run operations in the background even while you’ve turned you screen off.

Operations that can really plow through data are automatic app updates, which can use up anything between 6MB and over 100MB per app. (A quick way to solve this is to head to your settings and make sure your apps only update when connected to WiFi).

Turning your data off ensures you remain in control of how your data is used when needed.

Log out of social media when not in use


We know you don’t want to miss out on replies, retweets, tweets, likes, shares and posts shared on your social media account, but having apps such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter logged on all the time is not the way to go when you’re looking to save data.

Rather log in and out (it can be a chore, we know) each time. That way, you don’t get surprised with depleted data when you just recharged with about 200MB a few hours ago

Use WiFi when you can

free wifi

Whether you have access at the office or school, or are fortunate enough to be living in an urban area with free WiFi provided by the municipality – turn your mobile data off the instant you walk in and use it for as long as you can.

The Cities of Joburg, Tshwane and Cape Town all have free WiFi hotspots across communities in suburban and township areas, where you can use up to 500MB a day, depending on where you live.

If you’re not in these areas, you can still find free WiFi at coffee shops, restaurants and libraries.

Beware of out of bundle rates

If you think data depletes quickly, trying using apps and the internet using airtime.

Out of bundle rates are what your network charges you when your data depletes and you can only use your airtime – beware.

You can be charged around R1 per MB when using airtime. So if you have enough airtime to buy data, buy it, or top your airtime up if you don’t have enough for a bundle.

Again, it’s important to turn your mobile internet off in such a case, otherwise, your phone will use your airtime to stay connected.