Frequently Asked Questions

Data running out too fast?

How can I manage my data usage?

You can block access to specific online activities such as Cloud Storage, BitTorrenting, Video and Automatic Updates via MySmile to manage data usage.

Why does my bundle deplete much faster when I’m using Smile 4G LTE broadband internet to stream live TV or watch YouTube video clips, compared to when I access the same content using other internet services? How is it possible that I use more data on your network to access the exact same content?

It is known that, while using Smile 4G LTE mobile broadband, YouTube and Skype will adjust to higher-quality video to match Smile’s superfast speeds. YouTube and most streaming applications use an adaptive bitrate (speed) streaming technique, which works by detecting a user’s bandwidth in real time and then adjusting the quality of video stream accordingly. With Smile 4G LTE broadband internet, you will always be served with higher-quality video stream. Higher-quality streams are enjoyable to watch, however, they consume a lot more data.

YouTube has a provision to restrict the video stream to low quality; the default is ‘auto’. We advise that you use this setting option to restrict the quality of the video clip, consequently reducing your data usage.

Did you know?

o    Streaming YouTube videos in high definition (1080P) will consume data at up to 1.89GB per hour (or 31.5MB per minute).

o    Streaming YouTube videos in standard definition (360P) will consume data at up to 507.6MB per hour (or 8.46MB per minute).

o    Making a Skype video call will consume data at up to 230.4MB per hour (or 3.84MB per minute).

o    Making a Skype voice call will consume data at up to 45MB per hour (or 0.75MB per minute).

My bundles are running out so fast: I seem to use up my bundle even when I am not doing anything with my computer or smart device. Sometimes, when I have been away from my computer I see that part of my bundle has been used up. How can this happen?

Sometimes, data transfer applications on your device may be running in the background, which will use up your data bundle without your knowledge:

Software and social media updates: An ‘idle’ computer, tablet or smartphone may still use up data for background activities like software update downloads and presence status checks of your contacts on social networks like Skype, Facebook and WhatsApp. Social networking applications periodically access the internet to verify and indicate to you which of your contacts are ‘online’. You are advised to turn off automatic software updates and close social networking applications whenever you are not actively using them.

BitTorrent: If you have recently used a BitTorrent client application to download media files, etc., it is possible that users (called ‘peers’) of the same application are downloading the same files from your computer’s storage drive without your knowledge. BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer file-sharing protocol. By default, BitTorrent clients are set to allow peers access to your already downloaded files, using all of the available upload speed. Please be mindful to limit upload speeds that your BitTorrent peers can have access to by using the Settings option. For most clients, the minimum possible setting for upload speeds is 1Kbps.

Cloud-based backup drives: These include Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, etc. If you have an online backup account and a backup client running on your smart device or computer, and if the backup client has been configured to automatically backup your files or folders on your device, it is possible that your data bundle may be used up during a backup session without your knowledge. It is recommended that you review your backup settings to include only what is critical for backup. Backing up all of your archived pictures, movie files and audio files will result in high data usage.

Did you know?

o    Without making a voice or video call, Skype may use up to 324MB per month to check which of your contacts are online.

o    For a 1.5GB movie download using BitTorrent, a client could easily consume an additional 15GB of your data, uploading (seeding) the same movie to new ‘downloaders’ (peers), and all this may happen without your knowledge.

o    Backing up pictures and music will consume 5MB of your data per file.

I have been away from my computer and I see that part of my data bundle has been used. What could have happened?

In order to minimise ‘unwanted usage’, there are a number of precautions you can take to ensure that you can maximise the management of your data usage. Sometimes, programmes can run in the background which will use data. If you see this happening, please check the following in order to protect against unwanted usage:

  1. Always be very wary of torrents. Torrenting is illegal and you can unwittingly be acting as a seeder for other internet users if you download and leave torrenting software open. Your operating system/antivirus programs may be running automatically in the background. To get around this, you can disable automatic updates.
  2. Always close your web browsers and other tabs if you are not using your computer.
  3. Always ensure that your computer is clear from viruses, worms and trojans to avoid running any superfluous processes.
  4. Exit from any download manager that you are running on your computer in order to avoid active download processes. Smile can also recommend simple online tools that can help you see how your data is being used.

Our Customer Care team is on hand to provide you with further advice on how best to avoid unwanted data usage.

Chat with Smile for more details (call us on 0720 100 100 from any network or 100 (FREE) from any SmileVoice number, or email .

My data bundle is running out so fast. Why is this?

Our commitment is to offer you the fastest 4G LTE internet in Uganda that you can enjoy playing online interactive games, downloading movies and watching videos without any waiting time or delays. Due to the exceptionally high throughput data speeds you will not experience any "waiting" or "buffering" of content and because of these high speeds you may use more data that you have before within the same time period.

It is like driving in a Mercedez or driving a Ferrari from one point to another - which car do you think will use the most petrol? The Ferrari of course - Smile's SuperFast broadband internet is similar.

Please register on MySmile to view and manage your data usage. With MySmile you can also manage the speed of your data throughput. If you'd like to slow it down, just manage this securely with MySmile. Our customer care team is also available 24/7 to assist on 0720 100 100 from any network or 100 (FREE) from any SmileVoice number.

How can I identify which background applications are using up my data bundle?

Our customer care team is always standing by to assist you to identify the applications on your devices that are using up most of your data bundle. They will also be happy to recommend simple tools to install that are able to track usage per connected smart device or computer, so that in future you will be able track how your data in your bundle is being used.