Vodacom assures BB users on data

2011-09-14 14:39

Cape Town - Vodacom is working with Research In Motion (RIM) to identify and take action against users who abuse the BlackBerry internet service on the smart devices.

"In the last couple of months we've seen an increasing number of complaints from BlackBerry and when we looked at it, we found a very small number were downloading masses of data," executive head of media relations at Vodacom, Richard Boorman, told News24.

The operator initially said that it would slow the download speed of users who had reached a determined cap, but faced criticism on social networks.

Boorman said that some users exploited loopholes in the BlackBerry service that had an impact on other users not being able to access the network.

"People have found loopholes which allow them to download these massive files. When we say massive, one guy got 310GB in a month."


Vodacom has decided to engage with RIM to find ways to limit the data that is downloaded.

"It's a positive thing because it's trying to make sure that those few people don't clog up the system so that normal users, using the BlackBerry the way it was intended, can't get their service.

"So what we're going to do instead, is work with Research In Motion to find a solution to prevent the bulk mass downloads," Boorman said.

He assured subscribers that the proposals have not been implemented and the service is functional.

"There is no throttling going on; nobody is having their service slowed down. What we're doing is, we're working with RIM to find that solution."

Vodacom said that they remain committed to stopping users who violate their fair use policy which Boorman said is standard practice around the world.

"There's quite a lot of emotion around this and what we've done is said let's look at this another way: The intention isn't to punish anyone; the intention is to stop these massive bulk downloads."

It is unclear what the abuse of the service has cost the mobile operator and Boorman said that Vodacom's approach was "normal".

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  • Anya Klaassen - 2011-09-14 14:49

    Fair use is one thing, but 100mb is ridiculously small. Changing the terms of contracts already signed is a great way to get your customers to hate you, so Vodacom needs to show that they aren't trying to punish everyone for a few guys who take advantage.

      Valis - 2011-09-14 15:56

      That is because they are only using that as an excuse to screw over their customers and squeeze a few more cents of profit out of them.

      lakhan7 - 2011-09-14 16:08

      I agree with you. 100mb to too small. My personal rating gives 700mb to be just enough - atm one can buy ( 600mb for R200 - which is good for a month for an average working class user. - kiddies may need more!- parents worst nightmare - airtime money ) ...but SA has fiber optic cables? sea cables? ( when will consumers benefit? ) Hopefully soon, then Job creation would be made easier - having free internet in every supermarket, school, and public place - thus making business easier, job application quicker, and we could also employ an assistant just to stand by the PC. hence Job creation. ( it is possible )

      ronheidtmann - 2011-09-14 16:55

      It costs Vodacom the same whether someone downloads 310GB or 0.3GB! It does not matter the amount of data that is being download, it only costs Vodacom at the SPEED of which it is being downloaded! It is ridicolous! In the US you pay around R1 for 1GB on ADSL and in Europe 3G is for free!

      braams - 2011-09-14 23:42

      You are right Anya! Worst PR in a long time and I smell an opportunity for the Consumer Protection Act to show us if it is all bark or if there is a nasty bite for companies who cross the line!

  • Sanjay - 2011-09-14 14:53

    more data should be added to bb users as we cannot download anything for free.vodacom you are making loads of money from us,give us some back!!!!

  • keedman - 2011-09-14 14:56

    This is pathetic!! I've been complainingto Vodacom for alomost 1 month now and i have had no response! just letters saying "we'll get back to you"! Pathetic!

  • Bontage - 2011-09-14 14:58

    How exactly does people utilising the exact service they paid for constitute "abuse"? Vodacom clearly didn't think this through and is now trying to screw over their customers.

      Albo - 2011-09-14 16:10

      EXACTLY!!!! They sell it to you as an uncapped service then complain that `a few` use too much. What a JOKE!!!

  • Paralegal - 2011-09-14 15:00

    I thought the service was "uncapped". Surely you cannot "abuse" an uncapped account?!

      SuperCal - 2011-09-14 15:13

      yea, how the hell do you abuse an Uncapped service....they are a bunch of plonkers....I want to join a FB page to give them horns....any suggestions?

      Pickle - 2011-09-14 16:07

      It's not like normal data i reckon... it's uncapped for emails and social networking and maybe media streaming, not downloading hundreds of GB's worth of pirated series.. use your adsl accounts for that =p

      The_Librarian2 - 2011-09-14 16:08

      It is abuse if the service they offered is "unlimited browsing" but you use it for "unlimited downloads". Big difference between browsing and downloading all-you-can-eat style.

  • x - 2011-09-14 15:00

    Maybe you should upgrade your infrastructure with the money you are getting from your captives. The idea of 'abuse' when referring to bandwidth is such an old-style and clueless attitude that harks back to apartheid-style management.

  • Willie_G - 2011-09-14 15:01

    "one guy got 310GB in a month" --> then rename the service from uncapped internet to "individual profile dependant capped internet"!! If theres a sales angle, Vodacom will exploit it!

  • free-thinker - 2011-09-14 15:01

    its only natural that alot of people will take advantage of loopholes since they charge such ridiculous amounts for data.

      braams - 2011-09-14 23:44

      Maybe they should rather close the "loophole" than alienate their customers with such crap PR!

  • unholymunk - 2011-09-14 15:04

    what I dont understand is that overseas, 310 Gb is nothing.... I could download that in little under 2 weeks... it's just pathetic to see how we're used and ubused for our money here in South Africa... I say Viva to the guy who downloaded 310gb.... let us all know how to do it so we can actually get what we pay for!

  • RIMRIM - 2011-09-14 15:06

    319GB Is massive, How do you download that much on a phone??

      Nicholaus Theofrastos - 2011-09-14 15:20

      These guys used a hack to allow their PC to be tethered to the phone and instead of the APN realising that it is a PC and routing the data through the normal data channels and thus giving the user a cost it used the BIS service and allowed the downloads

  • Marius Meyer - 2011-09-14 15:07

    I'm sorry but 310GB is impossible from the phone. At the max possible download speed of 3G (which is around 38KB/s) and if the phone was running at this speed for every second for a whole 31 days you can only get about 102GB. So where the hell does Vodacom get 310GB. You guys need are making up figures!

      DracoLusus - 2011-09-14 15:22

      My BB gets speeds of 80-180kb/, work it out. Its easy.

      mjmza - 2011-09-14 15:30

      There is a difference between kb/s and KB/s. Im talking KB which is kilobytes and and your talking about kb which is kilobits. 1KB/s = 8kb/s. So divide your 180 by 8 and you get only 22.5KB/s

      neo_acheron - 2011-09-14 15:31

      @Marius, then you have crappy reception... when you have proper HSDPA coverage you can pump 7.2Mbits/s which translates roughly into about 700kB/s

      Phil - 2011-09-14 15:42

      Marius, if your phone supports full 3G, then you'll get much faster download speeds than 38KB (trust me I know the difference KB vs kb) Entry level 3G is 3.6Mbps which boils down to at least 400KB/s

      pieterkoen - 2011-09-14 15:43

      I agree. In theory its possible but in reality this is impossible.

      PdeKock - 2011-09-14 15:58

      There's something wrong with your phone dude... or the tower you use is overloaded. Either way, according to the 3G Wikipedia article, you should be able to get at least 2 Mbit/s (256KB/s) if you're stationary and alone on the tower.

  • Bruce - 2011-09-14 15:13

    Vodacom charge R2000.00 a gig out of bundle on the R149.00 pm month 2 gig account....I would call that ABUSE!!

      neo_acheron - 2011-09-14 15:33

      Agreed! You can now get 1Gig of data from Afrihost for R9! That's what it costs an ADSL ISP to get your data from the ADSL exchange into the ouside world. Surely getting the data from your cellphone can not cost R2000 per gig. Blatant daylight robbery!

      werner.smidt - 2011-09-14 15:47

      What nincompoop Vodacom groupie down-voted this?

  • spiral - 2011-09-14 15:14

    and this right here is why i left vodacom... their service is absolutely pathetic

      MisterMR - 2011-09-14 15:34

      Agreed, but whose isn't? All service providers need to catch a wake up. Especially with their customer service channels and staff.

  • Aaron - 2011-09-14 15:24

    if you gonna make internet connectivity free on a device, dont bitch and moan if people abuse it. Its practically the only reason the sheep have BB's. LOL

  • Hiresh Narsai - 2011-09-14 15:25

    people bought blackberry phones because they offered unlimited access to browsing and downloads from the net and emails they received. It would not be fair to change this.

      MisterMR - 2011-09-14 15:35

      Next thing they'll start charging ten cents per BBM...

  • Tshepo - 2011-09-14 15:29

    Whats constitutes a fair amount usage of data per month, it is absurd of vodacom to say they will take measures against people who abuse data usage without specifying the max amount of data one is allowed to use monthly.

      Pickle - 2011-09-14 16:22

      You are not supposed to be downloading movies etc on your phone tshepo..the unlimited data applies to emails,social networking and maybe a bit of youtube... If you gonna be a hardcore down loader,get an uncapped adsl account... not a blackberry.

      Lyndatjie - 2011-09-14 17:45

      @Pickle - you have my vote!

  • Slick1474 - 2011-09-14 15:45

    Unlimited means on the phone, not illegally hacked and tethered to a computer to download 310gb of data.... these are the problem children not the ones who use unlimited on their phones...

      Lyndatjie - 2011-09-14 17:46

      That's it - I'm voting you for President. You have hit the nail squarly on its toggas...

  • Tarux123 - 2011-09-14 16:09

    yeh thats how yah do it. advertise something, let everyone go over to that product because of that one thing advertised and then go and remove it when you have enough customers! that sir is false advertising.

  • Lucky Strike - 2011-09-14 16:09

    Very interesting comments. I wonder how many of those that commented know just how many problems people making use of other suppliers are having to deal with. What Vodacom is saying is that people have found a loophole - that is like a legal way to do something illegal or unethical - and are exploiting the system. This is so typical of our beautiful country at the moment - Let's find a way to screw the system and when it kicks back at us we cry foul and unfair treatment!! Remember that they are the guys we go and cry to when we want sponsorships and funding for events and projects. Thanks Vodacom, for supplying me with a good service and always looking at ways to do it better. You are the best!!

  • Edward - 2011-09-14 17:19

    vodacom charged me R7600 for 5Gb over my standard 1Gb (R278 per month) bolt on because i had to re-start download after constant signal loss in moreletapark. tower does not bounce me to next tower. they refused to compensate or even meet me half way. why will they assist BB users?? VODACOM is just interest in making money. FUC& the clients!!!!!!!!

  • Julius - 2011-09-14 17:27

    The cost is nothing to Vodacom as they have a fixe overhead. Just the customers who suffer with poor service. Oh to own a cell phone co.

  • Lyndatjie - 2011-09-14 17:43

    310GB in one month? Good heavens! This twit has been happily downloading movies, tv series and songs via this network! Catch him and report him to SAPS... pirating is a crime!

      Lux Occulta - 2011-09-14 19:57

      @Lyndatjie - and Jamendo are just two of the many, many sites that offer thousands and thousands of legal music and video downloads. Don't automatically presume downloads are illegal because people use torrents or peer to peer. Try using google before making silly assertions. Um - use "free legal movies download" ....

  • Graham - 2011-09-14 18:25

    you cant limit a service based on people usage, you u provide a service you must deliver, rather work on increasing your capacity, than curbing people usage...!!!

  • pviss - 2011-09-14 18:30

    I am dying to know how Vodacom seems to be the only mobile service provider that has this problem? I haven't heard of Cell-C or MTN or any of the others complaining, or taking measures to prevent this so called "bandwidth abuse".

  • Pooslice - 2011-09-15 10:08

    vodacom can go f*** themselves. i'm moving all my accounts today.

  • WhiteAfrican - 2011-09-15 10:52

    Well, well, doesnt anyone actually read the 'terms of service' regarding BB unlimited access - ITS ON DEVICE ONLY. there is no way any BB has the capacity to handle 310GB of download unless its being routed elsewhere, like to a PC - which doesnt constitute 'on device'. Whilst Vodacom isnt my favourite provider, I have had my fair share of run ins with them over the last 10 years+. They arent that stupid to try and 'en masse' alter terms and conditions of service. They are looking to ensure that ALL BB users have access to a fair service, without abuse from a minority. I have had in certain areas that BB doesnt work at all, why, when queried through the Help Desk, I have been told the traffic in the area is extremely high - well now I know why - some selfish prick is downloading more than is reasonably possible to store on the handset.

  • Badballie - 2011-09-15 11:24

    OK Vodacom, so what you actually saying is that "uncapped" actually doesn't mean "Uncapped".......well good for you, and thank you for finally admitting your double speak and false advertising. My family is still cancelling all of our contracts to go elsewhere. Vodacom needs to have a serious look at their top management and make big changes, the need for them to make a press statement and then spend the next three days trying to back track does nothing but diminish consumer confidence in the company and confirms a total lack of knowledge in the public relations department. Vodacom has been able to hold on to market shares through its monopoly and links to Telkom up until now, but people with any level of intelligence will be looking to other service providers who can provide the same sort of shoddy service at a much cheaper price.

  • Nigel Baker - 2011-09-15 11:47

    I hope vodacom as a company gets what they deserve, bunch of whores. They offered the service, now we don't get what we pay for. Try call them, its like phoning the government, no one to help.

  • ruth.simwanza - 2011-10-10 16:58

    oh please vodacom! *rollingeyes*.. you dont have your network issues in check, as in NO COVERAGE in some areas and you want to blame people with massive downloads for your poor network. RIM is not the problem here, its you lot!

  • eddie turner - 2011-10-10 18:40

    someone please tell me how long will it be down

  • LUFC - 2011-10-11 10:20

    They claim that no throttling is going on but for the last 2 - 3 weeks or so I have noticed much more of a delay in sending msgs, slower browsing and so on... I dont find it coincidence.

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