SA Android users get flat-rate data

Cape Town - Users with Android-powered smartphones will soon have access to flat-rate data packages that have contributed to the success of BlackBerry smartphones.

Nashua Mobile has extended its fixed-cost mobile services Xtreme Data and Xtreme Data Premium to selected Samsung Android handsets.

The packages will be offered to users with the Samsung Ace Advance, Samsung Galaxy Y, Samsung Galaxy Pocket and the Samsung Galaxy Note II smartphones with effect from 7 November, the company announced.

The flat rate pricing starts at R59 per month which allows users unlimited web browsing, e-mail and social networking as enjoyed by BlackBerry subscribers.

For R139, users have access to the downloading of games and unlimited YouTube viewing on the devices.

Data cost


Nashua Mobile warned that the service is subject to fair use policies and heavy users would be throttled.

"Customers will experience a decrease in download speeds once they have exceeded a threshold in their data usage for the month -100MB for the Xtreme Data standard service and 400MB in the case of Premium," the company said.

Data has emerged as one of the key factors inhibiting smartphone adoption in SA and the BlackBerry Internet Service has the seen the devices command around 65% of the smartphone market.

Nashua first offered the data bundle to Nokia users but has extended the offer to users on the Android operating system, traditionally a data-hungry OS.

"Now, Android users can also enjoy the full benefit of the mobile internet without worrying about depleting  their data bundle halfway through the end of the month, paying exorbitant out of bundle rates or getting a huge bill at the end of the month," said Nashua Mobile CEO Mark Taylor.

Mobile operators have targeted data as a key revenue generator as voice has taken a back seat and the growth of smartphones has spurred the race toward higher speed data offerings.

"If you look at any of the recent stats or coming out of any of the networks, you can see that voice is a non-priority and data is where they're making all their money," Prezence Digital chief technical officer Tim Bishop told News24.

Vodacom announced at its annual results meeting that data revenue was up 24% year on year and around 12 million active data customers were buying data bundles regularly.


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