NCC Lists Seven Causes of Data Depletion for Mobile Subscribers, Gives Steps To Stop It

NCC Lists Seven Causes of Data Depletion for Mobile Subscribers, Gives Steps To Stop It

  • The NCC has provided an explanation as to why data depletes so quickly amid complaints from mobile subscribers in Nigeria
  • The commission identified seven reasons data subscriptions seem not to last for the duration subscribed
  • Nigerians have been advised on steps to follow to ensure they get maximum value for the data they subscribe to journalist Dave Ibemere has over a decade of business journalism experience with in-depth knowledge of the Nigerian economy, stocks, and general market trends.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has identified seven key factors contributing to the rapid depletion of mobile data for subscribers nationwide.

The announcement comes amid rising complaints from consumers about the swift exhaustion of their data bundles.

NCC speaks on causes of data depletion in Nigeria
NCC explains depletion of data in Nigeria Photo credit: Tim Robberts
Source: Getty Images

NCC gives reasons for data depletion

According to the NCC, several factors and apps can contribute to data depletion on mobile devices.

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Here is a list of these factors and some apps that might be affecting your data usage:

Background data usage:

NCC said many apps run in the background, consuming data even when not actively used. Examples of such apps include social media apps (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), messaging apps (WhatsApp, Telegram), and email apps (Gmail, Outlook).

Automatic updates:

Another reason identified is that apps, operating systems, and other software often update automatically, using significant amounts of data.

Examples include Google Play Store, Apple App Store, and system updates for Android and iOS.

GPS and location services:

Also, NCC said location services can consume a lot of data, especially apps that require continuous GPS tracking. Examples include Google maps, Waze, and fitness apps like Strava.

Ads in apps:

The commission further noted that some apps display ads that use data even if you do not interact with them. Examples include free-to-play games, ad-supported apps, and some news apps.

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According to the NCC, one major reason for fast data depletion is that using your phone abroad can result in data roaming charges, quickly depleting your data allowance.

Malware and viruses:

Another reason is malware and viruses can consume data without your knowledge. NNC advised that it is important to have a reliable antivirus app installed.

Excessive usage:

The commission also said streaming videos or music, downloading large files, and using data-intensive apps for extended periods can quickly deplete your data limit. Examples include YouTube, Netflix, Spotify, and large online games.

NCC advises Nigerians on data depletion

To reduce incidents of data depletion, the commission advised subscribers to always monitor their data usage, turn off background data usage for specific apps, and switch off automatic updates.

It said:

"When traveling abroad and using your phone, you may incur data roaming charges that can quickly accumulate and deplete your data allowance. If you suspect your phone is infected, it's crucial to remove the malware promptly."

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According to the NCC, one of the primary causes of data depletion is excessive usage.

It added:

"Streaming videos or music, downloading large files, or using data-intensive apps for extended periods can rapidly exhaust your data limit."

Regarding unsolicited advertisements, the telecom regulator advised subscribers to install ad-blockers.

NCC warns Nigerians against Google extensions app

In a related story, NCC called on Nigerians using five Google Chrome extension apps to remove them immediately.

The commission warned that the apps were designed to steal users' information.

Proofreading by James Ojo Adakole, journalist and copy editor at


Dave Ibemere avatar

Dave Ibemere (Senior Business Editor) Dave Ibemere is a senior business editor at He is a financial journalist with over a decade of experience in print and online media. He also holds a Master's degree from the University of Lagos. He is a member of the African Academy for Open-Source Investigation (AAOSI), the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations and other media think tank groups. He previously worked with The Guardian, BusinessDay, and headed the business desk at Ripples Nigeria. Email: