Vodacom incurred the wrath of consumers last year when it said it planned to throttle the data speeds of BlackBerry subscribers who used more than 100MB/month after some users were found to be downloading 100GB or more a month. Now, Vodacom says BlackBerry maker, Canada’s Research in Motion (RIM), has found a solution.
A Vodacom spokesman says it has developed a solution with RIM that “allows the management and control of users, applications and protocols that perform actions outside of the BIS (BlackBerry Internet Service) terms and conditions”.
BIS offers BlackBerry users unlimited on-device data use for a low and fixed monthly fee and has been one of the main reasons BlackBerry smartphones have proved so popular in SA, especially in the youth market.
But BIS has also proved problematic for Vodacom and other operators because tech-savvy users have figured out how to download large files like movies and transfer these off their BlackBerrys. They’ve also figured out how to tether their phones to computers and run their data connections 24 hours a day.
Vodacom maintains only a small number of users is responsible for this but said last year that one BlackBerry user had managed to get through a staggering 310GB in one month.
Vodacom’s response was to warn BlackBerry subscribers that it would throttle those who downloaded large amounts of data to 2G speeds, but this provoked a storm of outrage, prompting the company to backtrack on the threat.
The operator says the solution that it has developed with Research in Motion is being tested and will be deployed “shortly”. However, it won’t provide more information about how the solution works.
When approached for comment on Wednesday, Research in Motion wasn’t able to comment on the solution it has developed with Vodacom. — Craig Wilson, TechCentral
- Image: Ars Technica (used with permission)
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