Rain has started limiting the maximum streaming resolution for users on its “unlimited off-peak” LTE SIM product.
According to the Rain website, this package is priced at R250 per month and provides the following:
- 19 hours unlimited off-peak data every day (23:00 – 18:00)
- R50 per GB during peak hours (18:00 – 23:00)
Users can set their monthly peak spend limit on a per-GB basis, and they can use the SIM in any 4G-enabled device.
This was the first mobile data product offered by Rain, and it was recently followed by a new uncapped 4G offering for R479 per month.
This new product delivers unlimited data at all hours, but is limited to a maximum speed of 10Mbps and a video streaming resolution of 360p.
The original R250 off-peak product does not state that it is limited in this way, but customers are now reporting they cannot stream in high resolutions.
Reports of throttling
A number of Rain customers on the MyBroadband forum have complained of their speeds being throttled as well as their streaming resolutions being limited.
One user said his speeds were capped at 1.5Mbps and his videos were limited to 480p, but when he enabled a VPN his speeds rose to 60Mbps and he could easily watch 4K videos.
This follows Rain sliding down the South African ISP rankings due to its falling network performance. The company’s network performance has been declining since it launched its fixed-LTE service in June 2017.
As a result, there have been a number of complaints from Rain LTE customers regarding the quality of the mobile network.
Rain confirms streaming limitations
Rain CEO Willem Roos told MyBroadband that the network expects an increase in daytime traffic and has throttled streaming bandwidth for customers by limiting the resolution of videos.
He said that the resolution of videos would be limited to 720p on unlimited off-peak data SIMs.
“In line with Rain’s terms and conditions, the 4G unlimited off-peak service is a best-effort one and, as such, speeds and streaming quality may vary due to our network policy and load,” Roos said.
“Given the expected increase in daytime traffic, we have started to limit users to 720p.”
“This will ensure a better experience for all users on the network,” Roos said.
According to its terms and conditions, both Rain’s LTE and 5G networks are classified as “best-effort” services and do not provide any speed guarantees.