Ads Could Account For More Than 50% Of Your Mobile Data Usage

So you’ve got a free minute and decide to read some news on your phone, but you’ve got no wi-fi so load up your mobile data roaming. A few minutes later you close down your browser after reading two maybe three articles, but there is one thing you don’t know about all that data you just used. The scary fact being those ads could account for well over 50% of the mobile data you just used.

In what was described as a “small-scale” study, a group explored six “popular publishers”, with the intention of finding out just how much data you use on your phone when it comes to online advertisements.

The results are shocking, to say the least. When comparing visits to the site, both with and without an ad blocker, the group found that somewhere between 18% and 79% of the data downloaded for the pages accounted to ads. If that surprises you, maybe knowing that anywhere between 6% and 68% of that came from JavaScript providing interactive elements.

With mobile provider Three blocking adverts at a network level you can see why if pages are swarmed with ad’s that do nothing but eat up your data.

Do you use an adblocker? If so what made you first start using it and are there sites that you don’t block ads to? Do you have rules for when to block a site and when you want to give them their revenue from adverts. I, for example, block any site that decides to play video adverts. I didn’t come to watch them and I don’t want to search a page to click pause only to have it load a new one a few seconds later. Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

Free Data Day Went Bad for Mobile Carrier

People use their mobile phones for a lot of things, from texting and playing games to browsing and downloading. The problem with using something like your mobile or even your computer is that when the networks go down, you lose everything. Not being able to watch your latest show can be troublesome and so Telstra, an Australian provider, offered a day of free data to say sorry for an outage only to find it had a bad impact on the more than just their network.

With no restrictions on what the data could be used for, the “Free Mobile Data Sunday” promotion showed everyone just how much restrictions make us hold back, with users going as far as using 1.8 thousand terabytes in less than 24 hours. If this wasn’t enough of a figure to startle you, it equates to someone downloading an episode of Games of Thrones 5.1 million times.

While this may not seem like much, it was reported that the traffic was so high it even slowed down network speeds in parts of Australia.

Do you use your mobile phone for browsing the internet? How much do you use and would removing restrictions change how often you use it? Some users even used as much as 421 gigabytes, over 52 times the normal monthly cap of 8GB.

T-Mobiles Binge On Service Throttles Connections To Video Sites

T-Mobile recently announced a new service in which customers would be allowed to stream unlimited video without it counting against their data limits. The problem being, those videos can only come from select partners. Now it looks like agreeing to this new service slows down every other video you wish to see.

The new service, Binge on, would provide users with unlimited access to Hulu, HBO Now and SlingTV, while T-mobile also stated they would double the data limits for their current plans but if you sign up to the new service, don’t expect a new smooth connection on other sites. The result of signing up to the new service is that you will find your connections throttled to other sites and even downloading videos will be slowed down and showed at a much lower quality (thanks to many sites automatically downgrading your quality so that you can keep watching without the show being interrupted).

This news comes courtesy of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) who reported that all connections were throttled, regardless of where they come from. The results of this can be seen in the graph below that was produced by the electronic frontier foundation.

When it comes to getting answers though it hasn’t been a good time. John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile, didn’t take too kindly to being asked by the EFF is the service alters the video stream or just limits its bandwidth. His response was the video posted on twitter below, please be aware that it does contain bad language.

Tweets since have said that it is not a personal mission against EFF and that Legere is aware of who the EFF are, but claims that they are using this as an opportunity to spearhead a campaign about a different topic. The topic he refers to is Net Neutrality, a principle that many declare is a founding principle of the internet and that can be summed up as “no single bit of information on the internet is more important than another”. Net Neutrality means that throttling some data at the expense of others, or even creating fast lanes for certain services, goes against what many believe to be the fairest and the only way the internet can continue to work.

Some have taken this news badly, some with some humour. While you can turn the service off, remember that you automatically are opted in, so if you use Youtube or other streaming sites a lot, remember to look into disabling it.

Images courtesy of EFF and Android Police.

Europe Gets New Laws to Protect Net Neutrality

It’s the weekend and you decide you’re going to pop over the channel to go do a bit of shopping and enjoy a bit of Europe. While you’re abroad you realise you need to make a few quick phone calls, and maybe send a snap chat of what your buying, maybe even video chat an order from your friend for real french cheese or Belgium chocolate. Suddenly the biggest bill is your phone bill, with data roaming charging you for every single use of your phone, and even costing the people who have never left the country. This will soon change.

As of June 15th 2017, roaming charges will be scrapped in Europe. This means that everyone in Europe will pay the same price no matter which European country they are in. This does come with a catch though, in order to prevent abuse of foreign and local networks there will be a “fair use limit”. This means that after a certain amount of use you will find yourself being charged a basic fee, ultimately stopping people from grabbing cheap SIM cards abroad and using them as their main SIM.

On April 30th 2016 new net neutrality laws will come into effect, these will effectively ban not only “fast lanes” (where people pay extra for a service provider to prioritize their connection) and prevent internet service providers from blocking or throttling online content. While this seems to be a case for celebration, EU networks will be allowed to put aside a specialist part of their network for “higher quality” service. While under the condition that this doesn’t affect other people’s access to the rest of the internet, it does leave them open to a broad definition of “specialized services”.

Have you been charged for using your phone abroad? What was your biggest bill?

Thank you Engadget for the information.

Image courtesy of ItsAGadget.

No More Data Roaming Charges in EU from 2017

Nothing can sour the vacation more that roaming charges, but that will soon be a thing of the past in the European Union as a new law will abolish those charges by June 2017 after a 14-month interim period. That is the new deal reached on Tuesday with the aim to bring the Europe Union another step closer.

You’ll of course not get it completely free, but you will be able to use roaming a lot cheaper. With the new rules, telecom operators are only able to charge you €0.05 extra per minute for calls, 0.02 extra per SMS sent, and 0.05 extra per megabyte of data. Whether they charge this or not is up to each individual company, but we should expect to pay the full amount on almost any network.

The new cap would make roaming within the Europe Union up to 75% cheaper during the interim period, the European Commission said. All of this is a culmination of years of campaigning for net neutrality within the EU and partly a follow-up to the US adoption of net-neutrality.

All internet traffic also has to be treated equally, but regulations are possible in situations such as counter-terrorism.

This is great news for anyone who travels a lot, but even more for someone like me that lives right up at the border and travels two countries equally.

Thank You BBC for providing us with this information

EU Committee Delays Roaming Fees Removal

There have been a lot of talks these past two years regarding the abolishment of roaming fees in the European Union’s member states. Last year, we heard that the EU Commission was voting to scrap the fees altogether and have them removed by 2016.

However, this might not be the case. The European Parliament does have its mind set on removing the roaming fees, but it seems that it also backs carriers who claim that they need to charge customers due to the space taken up on foreign carrier networks. To be noted is that carriers such as Vodafone, T-Mobile, Telefonica, and Telenor already have networks in almost every EU country, but there are still some carriers who cannot cope with a big changes just yet.

While there has been a steady drop in roaming prices in the past two years, along with a variety of tariffs added to reduce prices even further, we won’t be seeing a total removal of roaming fees next year. A more realistic target now points to 2018, making some room for everyone to cope with a big change on a large scale.

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information

13 Countries Added to AT&T’s International LTE Roaming Add-On List

American multinational telecommunications corporation AT&T is planning to expand its international LTE roaming services, having it being made available in Canada and the UK last year.

The corporation is planning to extend their services by adding 13 more nations to the feature list, including Spain, France, Russia and others. Taking into account how AT&T is dealing with EE in the UK and Rogers in Canada, the charging rates for the additional feature, named “Data Global”, will not change with the LTE service additions, but AT&T has not specified anything about it in their press release.

“Today, AT&T has expanded its international LTE footprint to now include Spain, France, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore, Guam, Hong Kong and Antigua & Barbuda. AT&T is committed to providing its customers a wider global footprint to enjoy LTE data speeds. In fact, AT&T currently has agreements to allow for LTE roaming in over 200 countries.”

However, due to different countries having different LTE bands, it would be a bit hard to get your phone to work with LTE while roaming, though if the smartphone used is fairly new, it would have more chances of connecting thanks to the newer LTE technology which adds support for more and more LTE bands into one single handset.

Thank you Android Central for providing us with this information

Unlimited Roaming In The U.S. For Just $15? Wind Mobile Says Yes!

Are you a businessman or just travel frequently to the U.S.? Ever been in the position not to have an active internet connection, being cut out and desperately trying to find a working Wi-Fi hotspot? This might be a great news for you then. Wind Mobile, the Canadian wireless telecommunication provider, has just released a service of great interest.

Wind Mobile just released an offer for unlimited data roaming in the U.S. for just $15 additional per month starting from Monday, February the 3rd. Adding this roaming package gives you unlimited talk and text but also data in the U.S., a pretty big deal for anyone who travels with any frequency and has been hit with big roaming bills. Even with this additional $15 add-on, Wind’s plans will still be very competitively priced to the other carriers.

Wind has a small customer base and is often struggling to make itself relevant as the fourth-place carrier in Canada, so this may just be a good bump to pick up some additional subscribers. And given the relatively small number of roaming deals currently available from Canadian and U.S. carriers alike, they always want to see at least one making a step in this direction. And the price is not so bad given the ‘unlimited’ subscription package name.

Thank you Android Central for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Wikipedia.org