Using too much data?

Manage your data usage

If you are having issues with mobile data usage on your device and you are not sure what is using your data, use these walkthroughs to restrict your applications from using mobile data in the background. This means that your applications will only use your data connection when you are actively using those applications. It is recommended leaving the background data usage active on applications for which you require notifications and connection such as Whatsapp, Facebook or Gmail.

If you do not see your exact device listed below, your phone is probably similar to one of these and should have settings to manage your data usage.

Android devices

Huawei P20

  • Go to “settings”
  • Select “wireless & networks”
  • Select “mobile data”
  • Select “networked apps”
  • Deselect apps that should not make use of mobile data

Huawei P8 & P8 lite

  • Go to “settings”
  • Select “data traffic management”
  • Select “networked apps”
  • Deselect apps that should not make use of mobile data

Samsung S6

  • Go to “settings”
  • Find either “apps” or “data usage”
  • Select which app you would like to change your data usage for.
  • Go to “mobile data” or if you already have the option, go to the next step.
  • Switch off “Allow background data usage”

Samsung S9/S10

  • Go to “settings”
  • Select “connections”
  • Select “data usage”
  • Select “mobile data usage”
  • Select an app (below the usage graph).
  • Tap “allow background data usage” to turn off .

Do this for all applications for which you do not require ongoing data connection.

Other things to check for on Android devices

Google Play services are data hungry so you will also want to ensure that “auto-update apps” is set to “auto-update apps over wi-fi only.”

Downloading apps can also use alot of your data, so you will also want to set “app download preference” to “only over wi-fi”.

You can do the above by following the below instructions.

  • Go into your “google play application”.
  • Open the “menu option” in the top left hand corner.
  • Select “settings”
  • Select “app download preference”
  • Select “over wi-fi only”
  • Select “done”
  • Then, select “auto-update apps”
  • Select “over wi-fi only”
  • Select “done”


If you use an iPhone, then you can follow the below instructions.

You can limit background data usage on iPhone devices. If background data usage is enabled, apps will refresh their content in the background when your device is connected to the internet and use your data without you doing anything. Follow the below instructions to disable background data usage for your applications.

  • Go to “settings”
  • Select “general”
  • Select “background app fresh”
  • Then there are three options: “off”, “wi-fi”, and “wi-fi & cellular data”. You may want to select “wi-fi”. Turning this off will also increase your battery life.

Updates for your applications and operating system can also be data hungry. Follow the below steps to disable automatic updates on your iPhone.

To turn off automatic updates on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch:

  • Open the “settings” app.
  • Swipe up until you find “iTunes & app store”.
  • Under “automatic downloads”, turn off the toggle next to “updates”.

Things that might cause loss of airtime and data

  • Out-of-bundle data usage will use your airtime and at a higher cost rate.
  • Some software updates are set to auto-update and can consume large amounts of data.
  • HD, YouTube and social media (streaming) consumes large amounts of data
  • 4G smartphones will use more data faster.
  • Viruses and malware can access the internet via your phone internet connection and use data in the background without your knowledge.
  • WASP subscription services.

Steps users can take to avoid over usage of airtime and data

  • Apps often run in the background without your knowledge. Switch off mobile data when not in use.
  • Do not surf the internet without data bundles as out-of-bundle rates are priced higher than in-bundle rates.
  • Turning your phones automatic updates for applications or device from using mobile data and rather use the Wifi only option for updates.
  • Try to limit streaming to wifi connection and not use mobile data.
  • Activate uncapped daily data bundles before using the Internet.
  • Set your mobile data usage on your handset to avoid apps using mobile data without your knowledge.
  • Make use of an anti-virus on your device to avoid viruses.
  • SMS notification of mobile data usage
  • Most smartphones have a feature to track data usage. This can be accessed via your setting menu.
  • Limit your data usage by adding a limit to your account (Vodacom and MTN).
  • Unsubscribe from WASP services by either contacting WASPA at or
  • by making use of network options on this page