Expiring data - the other side of the story

Mista_Mobsta

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So excuse my ignorance but I have to ask: who are the "upstream" providers that MTN has to pay for the unused capacity? Also...how does a prepaid portion of data, allocated or non-allocated, affect the infrastructure and network operating costs if data is unused? Surely, after it is bought, the data allocation has already taken place? I am missing the big technical picture it seems
 

LCBXX

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The cellular companies are in collusion w.r.t. data, if not on everything else. I hope in the next 3-5 years they all get busted and fined by the competition commission.
 

AstroTurf

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I think it has nothing to do with what providers pay upstream providers.

It's a way to regulate towers that would otherwise become congested and also, it's easier to profit.
 

Swa

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Can you give examples of this? Hence, where data which lasts longer is cheaper than data which expires sooner (for the same amount, of course)?
Why this requirement? Why always set it up artificially to favour the big 2?

But its the same you pay for access to that plane for how ever long your flight is so technically access to it expires. You can't use that same ticket once your allocation is done.
You can usually reschedule.

So excuse my ignorance but I have to ask: who are the "upstream" providers that MTN has to pay for the unused capacity? Also...how does a prepaid portion of data, allocated or non-allocated, affect the infrastructure and network operating costs if data is unused? Surely, after it is bought, the data allocation has already taken place? I am missing the big technical picture it seems
Because they are talking stront. Networks are provisioned according to average usage in an area. No way bundles could predict that. In fact the usage is more sporadic.
 

Geoff.D

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Maybe you should re-think this example. If you purchase an aeroplane ticket, you purchase it for a specific flight. This means it must be used for that flight only, and expires after that flight. It is much stricter than data, which provides you with a time frame.

Can you purchase an airline ticket where you can use it whenever you want, and where it never expires? If not, why not?
Not completely correct. It depends on the type of ticket. The ticket does not always expire when the flight leaves. It is just the seat on that flight that you no longer have access to. That is why the airlines use overbooking and run a standby list.
Tickets that are flexible and allow you to change your flights do however cost you more.
 

Geoff.D

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All this noise now because as of 1 February the rules change??
Trying to dodge the FIFO issue by any chance, are they?
Trying to justify a price increase on 1 Feb when the new rule comes into force?
Are all the operators simultaneously singing the same rubbish songs? Competition Commission time to step into the fray and take them to task.
Rather state the FACTS and charge accordingly and do away with all the BS marketing rubbish and give us exactly what we want when we want it and be done with it.
And stop with the Excel spreadsheet gymnastics!
 

MavChat

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And you don't have the situation where another airline resells the first airlines tickets at lower rates while still being profitable (afrihost resells MTN)
Afrihost uses its own network for the data - MTN provides the infrastructure. The same as with ADSL - Telkom provides the line - ISP provides data on their own network. This is why if you check the whois details for the IP you are using it indicates the ISP's IP range. The ISP buys capacity on the backend provider network.
 

kazeus

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Afrihost uses its own network for the data - MTN provides the infrastructure. The same as with ADSL - Telkom provides the line - ISP provides data on their own network. This is why if you check the whois details for the IP you are using it indicates the ISP's IP range. The ISP buys capacity on the backend provider network.
Thanks for giving more insight on the technicalities of how this specific example. But my arguement still stands for at least 2 reasons.

1. If Afrihost is able to rent out MTN infrastructure and use their network to provide cheaper data, the same should apply inversely (the mobile operator should be able to rent out the network on a cheaper rate)
2. (Failing the above) This also brings to light that the providers have not invested enough in their own network. If another much smaller company is doing something better, there is no reasons why a company that has been in South Africa's top 10 companies for more than 10 years (https://www.businessinsider.co.za/biggest-companies-in-south-africa-compared-2019-1) can not aquire (or WORST case scenario - build and run) something similar.

The conclusion is that there isn't any incentive for these big companies to provide better deals, hence drag their feet (and can afford to do so because of the numerous governmental tenders they are all setup with)
 

Geoff.D

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I have had to do with Jacqui O’Sullivan type responses to tenders before. And have very successfully torn her stuff into shreds as well. Maybe I should sit down and take her response line for line and analyse it in detail.
 

Thorium

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Maybe you should re-think this example. If you purchase an aeroplane ticket, you purchase it for a specific flight. This means it must be used for that flight only, and expires after that flight. It is much stricter than data, which provides you with a time frame.

Can you purchase an airline ticket where you can use it whenever you want, and where it never expires? If not, why not?
To your first point, I was coming from the premise that unused bandwidth is akin to an empty plane seat after take-off. It is simply wasted (although arguably results in less fuel being used during the flight, but being negligible, so let's rather not go there). You seem to agree, so I think that we arguing the same side of the point, no need to rethink it. I just expressed it in another way. We can make it more complex by adding specific flights, or even one flight to a multitude of destinations, but it will not result in a more useful principle to apply to the original problem.

To your question, the answer is "Probably not" and the first reason would be that it would be difficult to plan and physically provision, as per the analogy above. The second is that I am not sure about the utility of such a ticket, and whether there would be a market for it.
 

Thorium

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But its the same you pay for access to that plane for how ever long your flight is so technically access to it expires. You can't use that same ticket once your allocation is done.
Agreed, you got my original point.
 

Swa

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To your first point, I was coming from the premise that unused bandwidth is akin to an empty plane seat after take-off. It is simply wasted (although arguably results in less fuel being used during the flight, but being negligible, so let's rather not go there). You seem to agree, so I think that we arguing the same side of the point, no need to rethink it. I just expressed it in another way. We can make it more complex by adding specific flights, or even one flight to a multitude of destinations, but it will not result in a more useful principle to apply to the original problem.

To your question, the answer is "Probably not" and the first reason would be that it would be difficult to plan and physically provision, as per the analogy above. The second is that I am not sure about the utility of such a ticket, and whether there would be a market for it.
It should be noted that the fuel used per person is directly proportional to how many people are on board. So if one ton is used with 10 people on board it's 100kg pp. With 20 people on board it's 50kg pp. That's why airlines will try to fill flights as much as possible as they already paid for the fuel. You can buy a ticket for R1000 or you can buy 2 for R1200 because with or without the extra person on board they pay for the fuel so it's an extra R200 income if you bring aboard another passenger.

It's amazing that the networks don't function similarly. It's almost like they want to punish us for using their networks. Instead of utilising them fully they want to reserve them.
 

access

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:crying: vooitog.

reimburse the remaining data back in the form of money. the exact amounts worth as when purchased.
 

ArtyLoop

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So they can do all these complicated predictions of how much bandwidth they will need 18 months in advance, but they cannot make a simple prediction of how much bandwidth people will roll-over. Sure.
Corporate greed my bru, corporate greed. When they want a new Mercedes every year and houses in Clifton and Tuscany.. then you will understand why
 

Geoff.D

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VC has implemented FIFO for monthly contract customers. Yesterday's VC app update, which failed dismally and required a reinstall, now shows previous month ticking down instead of the current month. Congrats VC, took you long enough but is now a reality.
 

Zoomzoom

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I think that unused data on a contract should roll over to the next month regardless of how many months it is rolling over. In addition the 'old' data should be used first in the new month which it isn't.

I think that if you buy prepaid data, I don't mind too much if it is use it or lose it, but prepaid data should LOTS cheaper than contract! I've always had this issue with prepaid. There is no risk of loss to the company as you have paid up front for the goods and there is no additional costs with accounting, statements being sent out, or debt recovery on unpaid accounts. All that should add up to a substantial saving to the prepaid user.

Prepaid is basically no-risk money for jam for these companies yet they think it should be more expensive?
 

Geoff.D

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I think that unused data on a contract should roll over to the next month regardless of how many months it is rolling over. In addition the 'old' data should be used first in the new month which it isn't.

I think that if you buy prepaid data, I don't mind too much if it is use it or lose it, but prepaid data should LOTS cheaper than contract! I've always had this issue with prepaid. There is no risk of loss to the company as you have paid up front for the goods and there is no additional costs with accounting, statements being sent out, or debt recovery on unpaid accounts. All that should add up to a substantial saving to the prepaid user.

Prepaid is basically no-risk money for jam for these companies yet they think it should be more expensive?
That is the point of my post! The data of the previous month now does get used first on contracts. Whether this extends to more than one month, I don't know for previous months at the moment I don't have any data allowance available in another month to test.
As I said the my Vodacom app update this month failed quite badly for a few days. Yesterday Igor a error message that said the app should be in installed and then re installed. After that the data was used on FIFO basis.
 

Geoff.D

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The situation with bundles and specials is something I need to test. I don't buy OOB unless it is a dire emergency.
I can't comment on prepaid but as per the new rules prepaid data is now also supposed to not expire for three years. Someone on a prepaid plan needs to confirm roll over is now implemented.
 
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