Vodacom CEO explains why mobile data expires

jannievanzyl

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I know you guys desperately want to argue the point. And I fully agree it should be that unused data should never expire, it just feels like it should never expire, right?. BTW, one can easily build a commercial construct where it does not, like electricity. But we need to consider what it does to pricing.

The point I'm making - and it's just a fact of physics - is that data is a service, not a product. Comparing it to products (you can store) feels correct but the correct definition is of a service. If you use or don't use the service, the capacity was available.

The one analogy that works well is that of a parking garage where there is predefined capacity and you get access to it for a monthly fee, irrespective if you actually used it or not.

As someone mentioned above, the correct application for a data service should actually be an uncapped service (like it used to be in the days when you bought a line speed, not a bucket of data), but that is constrained by the limited capacity of wireless technology. Just ask Rain. :)
 

Vrotappel

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Because more money. When is the court date so that crap gets sorted out?
 

jannievanzyl

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The correct answer is:

1) We don't let data rollover because it allows us to sell more data bundles hence we make more profit.

Anything else said is 100% fluff.
You can make any service system roll over. For any period. It's just a function of commercials.
 

jannievanzyl

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Now here's the thing - if I want to, I can spend all day at the gym, or all day watching DSTV (re-runs). So in a sense that's like an "uncapped service" (yes, I accept that the gym has fixed opening hours, but the point still stands).

So to get back to your analogy, access to a data network is a service if you pay for a fixed term of usage, as you do with uncapped data. When you buy bundles, it's a product.
You're not completely wrong as I described above.

The single biggest stuff-up in selling data is when we switched from bits/second to bytes. Removing the time element from a service that actually runs on it, introduced alien concepts like data bundles.

It was needed to make data affordable for consumers. Corporates have always bought their data in bits/second. I.e. they buy a speed and there is no concept of a cap.
 

Dan C

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Now here's the thing - if I want to, I can spend all day at the gym, or all day watching DSTV (re-runs). So in a sense that's like an "uncapped service" (yes, I accept that the gym has fixed opening hours, but the point still stands).

So to get back to your analogy, access to a data network is a service if you pay for a fixed term of usage, as you do with uncapped data. When you buy bundles, it's a product.
But gym shapes you the more you use
 

supersunbird

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I know you guys desperately want to argue the point. And I fully agree it should be that unused data should never expire, it just feels like it should never expire, right?. BTW, one can easily build a commercial construct where it does not, like electricity. But we need to consider what it does to pricing.

The point I'm making - and it's just a fact of physics - is that data is a service, not a product. Comparing it to products (you can store) feels correct but the correct definition is of a service. If you use or don't use the service, the capacity was available.

The one analogy that works well is that of a parking garage where there is predefined capacity and you get access to it for a monthly fee, irrespective if you actually used it or not.

As someone mentioned above, the correct application for a data service should actually be an uncapped service (like it used to be in the days when you bought a line speed, not a bucket of data), but that is constrained by the limited capacity of wireless technology. Just ask Rain. :)
But why do you not even have the not expiring for 3 years or whatever as an option?

Hell, after 185 days of no usage my airtime expires by you recycling my number, now airtime can certainly be seen as a voucher. I agree that a bundle is not a voucher.
 

ArtyLoop

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The correct answer is:

1) We don't let data rollover because it allows us to sell more data bundles hence we make more profit.

Anything else said is 100% fluff.
And to add, them cellphone cartels are greedy AF! They'd sell their own mothers for a profit.
 

evilstebunny

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You're not completely wrong as I described above.

The single biggest stuff-up in selling data is when we switched from bits/second to bytes. Removing the time element from a service that actually runs on it, introduced alien concepts like data bundles.

It was needed to make data affordable for consumers. Corporates have always bought their data in bits/second. I.e. they buy a speed and there is no concept of a cap.
Speaking about evolving, at the time we only had seacom and data was a scarce commodity, so bundles made sense. When will Vodacom actually innovate themselves beyond such an archaic system now that we have plenty of bandwidth?
 

jannievanzyl

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Speaking about evolving, at the time we only had seacom and data was a scarce commodity, so bundles made sense. When will Vodacom actually innovate themselves beyond such an archaic system now that we have plenty of bandwidth?
The problem is not the bandwidth on the fixed lines (anymore) but on wireless. Here bandwidth is still very scarce and thus expensive. I've not done the calculation lately but something like a 4Mb/s service would be prohibitively expensive. And, of course, you'll only be able to serve a few hundred subscribers and mobility will be gone.

That's always going to be a challenge with wireless and mobile wireless.

/added:

If I had half a choice, I'd argue to sell data in how networks deliver them; uncapped (by definition) and based on speed. But then watch people complain about pricing. :)
 

wizardofid

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@jannievanzyl

Look I don't care much for expiry, what I do care about is pricing, every single network operator to some extend has overinflated pricing, it's a fact. Why for the love that is all that is holy haven't you done an uncapped product, that can be network limited, if MTN can manage to shape network speeds you can as well.

I just need a simple uncapped package at a reasonable price at 4mb you can increase the uncapped price as you increase the connection speed, apply a FUP if you have to.There is no reason why you can't provide uncapped service and protect the network at the same time, even if it requires shaping during peak hours.

Seriously just do uncapped packages, there isn't a single excuse not to with some planning.

As for data expiry, honestly all I want is to load a data bundle, should I wish to extend the data load another data bundle and extend the expiry date each and every time I load a bundle. Bundle expiry really isn't an issue any more due to speeds and the insane prices of bundles very few people actually manages to have oodles of data left at the end of the month.
 

jannievanzyl

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Jun 14, 2009
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@jannievanzyl

Look I don't care much for expiry, what I do care about is pricing, every single network operator to some extend has overinflated pricing, it's a fact. Why for the love that is all that is holy haven't you done an uncapped product, that can be network limited, if MTN can manage to shape network speeds you can as well.

I just need a simple uncapped package at a reasonable price at 4mb you can increase the uncapped price as you increase the connection speed, apply a FUP if you have to.There is no reason why you can't provide uncapped service and protect the network at the same time, even if it requires shaping during peak hours.

Seriously just do uncapped packages, there isn't a single excuse not to with some planning.

As for data expiry, honestly all I want is to load a data bundle, should I wish to extend the data load another data bundle and extend the expiry date each and every time I load a bundle. Bundle expiry really isn't an issue any more due to speeds and the insane prices of bundles very few people actually manages to have oodles of data left at the end of the month.
Hear you.

But, as explained above, I don't think mobile networks lend themselves to uncapped. Fixed Wireless on ISM spectrum? Now we're talking. ;)
 

whatwhat

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Hear you.

But, as explained above, I don't think mobile networks lend themselves to uncapped. Fixed Wireless on ISM spectrum? Now we're talking. ;)
Please come here to Taiwan and explain that to the mobile operators. True uncapped LTE-A mobile data is par for the course here at around R220-R450 a month.

They obviously have no idea what they doing here. Lol.
 
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