The service is intended for web browsing, e-mail, instant messaging, and social networking. Nashua Mobile goes so far as to specifically list that latest Nokia web browser, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Facebook Chat, and MXit as the applications supported.
XDS limits subscribers to speeds of 512kbps from the get-go, and users are throttled after hitting certain fair usage limits.
The XDS fair use policy (FUP) specifies two tiers of data usage thresholds: 100MB and 160MB.
After using 100MB in a month, you’re throttled to a maximum speed of 256kbps and beyond 160MB usage, speeds are limited to 56kbps. These counters are reset at the start of every month.
Comparing Nashua Mobile’s new data deal for Nokia smartphones to other mobile data packages is tricky because there isn’t anything like it available other than BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS).
The table below places the Nashua Mobile XDS service in context by comparing it to similar, or similarly priced mobile data offerings.
|Nashua Mobile Xtreme Data||100MB,160MB||N/A||R59||Throttled to 512kbps; 256kbps after 100MB usage, 56kbps after 160MB usage, no YouTube, no bulk downloads, no tethering|
|MTN 75MB contract||75MB||R0.65/MB||R79|
|MTN 75MB add-on||75MB||R0.65/MB||R49|
|Vodacom MyMeg 100 Standard Contract||100MB||R1.00/MB||R49|
|Vodacom MyMeg 100 Standard Prepaid & Top Up||100MB||R2.00/MB||R49|
|Cell C Smartdata 100MB||100MB||R0.50/MB||R50|
|8ta 100MB bundle||100MB||R1.00/MB||R40|
|MTN Nokia Smartphone Pro Service||75MB||R0.50/MB||R49|
|MTN Smartphone Pro Service||75MB||R0.50/MB||R49|
|MTN Social Networking Service||75MB||R0.65/MB||R29||FUP only covers m.facebook.com & m.mxit.com|
|MTN Opera Mini Internet Service||75MB||R0.50/MB||R35||FUP only covers MTN Opera Mini browser|
|MTN Uncapped Lite contract||3GB||N/A||R299||256kbps after FUP threshold|
|MTN Uncapped Pro contract||10GB||N/A||R899||384kbps after FUP threshold|
As can be seen from the table, XDS is slightly more expensive than the 100MB data bundle offered by most mobile operators. It is also cheaper than the next largest data package, which is typically 250MB/month.
The limitations on XDS may be too much for some to bear, but it presents an interesting alternative to Nokia users from regular data bundles. It will certainly be interesting to see what uptake of the service looks like in the coming months.