Two major cellphone providers defend data usage

MTN and Vodacom say new-technology connections like 4G mean more data is used by devices.

FILE: Two of South Africa's major cellphone networks have warned some of their customers may not be fully aware of how much data is used by modern smart phones. Picture: Free images.

JOHANNESBURG - Two of South Africa's major cellphone networks have warned that some of their customers may not be fully aware of how much data is used by modern smart phones.

This comes after concerns were raised by cellphone users who claimed they were being charged for data which they did not use.

MTN and Vodacom say new-technology connections like 4G mean more data is used by the devices.

MTN's Eddie Moyce says in all of the cases they've investigated, they've never found any evidence of so-called data vanishing.

"As we've gone through each case we haven't found a case of data depleting all by itself."

Vodacom's Jannie van Zyl says people underestimate how much data it takes to send even a single hi-res photograph.

"Five megabyte photos are now the norm and we upload 20 or 30 when we've gone away."

Both warn that apps can be updated automatically often requiring big chunks of data.

MTN adds it's about to launch a social media campaign to deal with these and other issues.