Most new smartphone owners complain about one thing on their phones…”my phone is eating airtime”. Well, English lessons aside, that how we say it in Ndebele or Shona.
The main culprit here is not your phone or the fact that you did not set up your phone right, the main culprit here is Econet, Telecel and Netone and their exorbitant, selfish and stingy pricing regime.
Well if these companies had data plans that would make us enjoy our smartphones to their full potential. Right now we are left to use our phones as feature phones, (read dumb phones: whatever that means.
Here are the hints to make that data bundle or $1 dollar last longer.
1. If you are using Econet (what are you using, Econet has 8 million subscribers) buy data bundles. These are cheaper than using straight airtime.
Here is how you buy data bundles.
– Juice your phone the normal way, well some would like to sound sophisticated and say top up your phone. Its one and the same thing.
– Dial *140# and Choose option 1, buy data bundle
– On the next screen, choose the bundle that you want to buy, Option 1 for 5mb, Option 2 for 10mb and so forth.
– You are all done and dry, besides if you use your bundle between 12am and 5am in the morning, you get a further 50% discount.
– If you use your airtime directly, you only get 7mb for a dollar and no discounts for using your phone between 12am and 5am.
2. Secondly, the biggest culprit to eating airtime is background data sync… You kill that you will realise your phone money not getting eaten up.
– On an Android phone, Go to Settings
– Look for Accounts and Sync
– Disable those
3. Walla, the whole process of owning a smartphone is to enjoy the smartness is the phone. Well it would be cool to use Google Maps and show off to your friends that you will never get lost. Unfortunately Maps uses GPS which in turn chews up airtime like a hungry lion. Disable Maps for good and ask strangers for directions when you get lost, who knows you may make a new friend.
– On a more practical note though, save Maps to view off line.
4. Forget about using that built in Browser, no matter how cool pages look in it. It sucks airtime like a Hoover Cleaner. Instead, dumb as it may sound, Download Opera Mini and use that instead. It compresses pages like hell and still retain the page quality.
Now you have done all that your phone won’t eat airtime. But wait I have just turned my smartphone to a dumb phone. Not really, once in a while, go to an internet Cafe, visit the internet via Wifi and enjoy the smartness in your phone.