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NCC Explains [II]: How do internet service providers estimate data usage?



Internet Service Providers
In continuation of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC’s) public enlightenment on reasons some telecom subscribers in the country do experience data depletions, today’s discussion centers on how Internet Service Providers estimate data usage.

Part of the Frequently Asked Questions regarding internet data consumption/depletion or usage:

Your data consumption depends on a large number of factors. As mentioned in the previous discussion, the nature of technology (2G, 3G, 4G or 5G), the quality of the network, the speed of download, the type of websites you visit, the specifications of your handset, and so many other factors contribute to your data consumption.

For instance, two handsets can use different amounts of data to download or stream the same video on YouTube!

The following ​approximations give an estimation of data usage. ​

Please note that these are mere estimations provided by an operator based on typical/average file sizes​.

1 Hour of Social Media = 200mb

1 Hour of Browsing = 60mb

1 Hour of Instant Messaging with video calls = 140mb

1 Hour of streaming music = 60mb

1 Hour of Streaming Videos = 350mb (Non HD) and 1GB (HD) 1 Email sent or received with attachments = 500kb

1 minute of connected game play = 60mb

What activities use up the most data?

As you will notice from the answer to question 6 above, the most common activities (inclusive of uploads and downloads) that use large amounts of data are as follows:

  • Downloading and watching videos online especially on sites Like Netflix and YouTube.
  • Sending and receiving emails with large attachments
  • Software updates and virus​ definition u​ pdates
  • Going on Social Media sites such as Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok etc.
  • Playing Games on a website or via a downloaded app
  • Remote security cameras
  • Data sent between sites on a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
  • Mobile App online Notifications from social media, social marketing sites etc.
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…To be continued