Recent tests by MyBroadband showed that Rain significantly reduces the download speeds on its network for certain services during peak times – 18:00 to 23:00.
The tests showed that file download speeds dropped from around 20Mbps during normal hours to 3Mbps during peak times.
This sparked speculation that Rain was limiting the speed of its subscribers during these times to accommodate growing capacity demands from Vodacom.
Vodacom has an agreement with Rain which allows its subscribers to roam on the Rain network, giving them better coverage and less congestion.
MyBroadband was provided with details on Vodacom’s use of Rain’s network by an industry source, and in certain areas Vodacom offloads over 50% of its traffic onto the Rain network.
The data further showed that Vodacom has increased its data offloading onto Rain’s network by 200% in certain suburbs.
Not serving Vodacom
Speaking to MyBroadband, however, Rain dismissed the speculation it was shaping and throttling download speeds during peak hours to serve Vodacom’s capacity needs.
“Rate limiting Rain subscribers to increase service levels experienced by Rain’s roaming customer would be a poor technical solution,” Rain Mobile COO Kartik Mistry told MyBroadband.
“The decision to manage traffic on our network is to ensure that user experience – which is more impacted by real-time traffic, such as video streaming, voice, and web browsing – takes priority over non-real time traffic, such as large file downloads.”
Rain previously stated it was building more intelligence into its network every day to refine its network management strategy, and aims to give users the most consistent and best experience it can.