New network testing data shows that there is a rapid increase in the amount of data served to Vodacom subscribers over the Rain network.
Vodacom has an agreement with Rain which allows its subscribers to roam on the new network, giving them better coverage and less congestion.
This agreement requires Vodacom and Rain’s networks to be managed independently by Vodacom and Rain respectively.
This means that for a Vodacom customer, the selection of the respective networks is automatically done by their smartphone.
To select the best network, factors such as the capabilities of the handset and the signal strength of the respective networks are considered.
The latest research shows that over 50% of traffic to Vodacom subscribers is provided by the Rain network in certain areas.
It was further revealed that Rain’s share of traffic served to Vodacom clients increased by 200% in selected regions in recent months.
According to the data, Rain is providing a significant speed benefit to subscribers compared to Vodacom’s network in these regions.
Vodacom spokesperson Lexi Ball stated that these increases are not managed, and that they do not intentionally send more roaming traffic onto Rain’s network in certain areas.
Rain not throttling speeds to serve Vodacom
Industry speculation has suggested that as a result of the increased traffic, Rain has shaped and throttled download speeds during peak hours to serve Vodacom’s capacity needs.
Rain Mobile COO Kartik Mistry dismissed this speculation, however.
“Rate limiting Rain subscribers to increase service levels experienced by Rain’s roaming customer would be a poor technical solution,” said Mistry.
“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.”
Ball added that Vodacom cannot comment on the network management policies employed by Rain.