Vodacom's Uys blames PR mix-up for BlackBerry snafu - TechCentral

Vodacom’s Uys blames PR mix-up for BlackBerry snafu

Vodacom Group CEO Pieter Uys

Vodacom Group CEO Pieter Uys has moved to placate angry BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) users over a stated plan to throttle their speeds if they use more than 100MB/month of data, saying there is no throttling in place. He says Vodacom’s media team erred in communicating the information.

Uys, who has just returned from a trip to London, tells TechCentral: “I don’t know what the guys did. I have instructed them this morning not to implement any throttling on anybody’s BlackBerry service.”

He says Vodacom is working with BlackBerry maker Research in Motion to resolve the problem of people downloading large media files and tethering their smartphones with their computers. BIS is meant to provide unlimited on-device e-mail and Web browsing, and not as a means of downloading large media files and browsing the Internet on a PC.

But enterprising South Africans have found a way around BIS to consume large volumes of data, Uys says. “They use the BlackBerry service as a modem, which is not what it was intended for,” he says.

Uys explains that before he left for London, he asked the “media people to write a story about improvements we have made to the network”.

“They got wind of the BlackBerry stuff and added it to the same story,” he says. “They got wind of the stuff we are doing in the background. But we are not doing anything to anybody’s BlackBerry service.”

Uys says Vodacom has to find a solution to the problem of people using BIS for ways it was not intended, but the company will not throttle the service in any way for now until Research in Motion has offered it a solution.  — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral

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