In 2011 it came to light that many BlackBerry users were using the platform to download large files – including movies and TV series – which caused congestion on the BIS network.
Vodacom and MTN worked with BlackBerry owner Research in Motion (RIM) to implement strategies to limit the impact of these users on the network. In 2012 both operators launched solutions to this problem.
BlackBerry abuse strategy working
Vodacom said that their strategy to limit the impact of BlackBerry abusers who download large files like movies and TV series is successful.
“We’ve seen usage amongst the heaviest users dropping dramatically. This has had a knock-on effect in reducing congestion for other users and improving the overall user experience,” said Vodacom spokesperson Nomsa Thusi.
“We have also taken other steps to increase capacity both in our local transmission network and on the international link which is integral to the BlackBerry service. This upgrade process is ongoing.”
While MTN did not provide comment by the time of publication, MyBroadband has received credible information that their strategy is also showing great results.
Looking for easier data pickings
MyBroadband has learned that thousands of the BlackBerry abusers who were affected by Vodacom and MTN’s shaping and throttling strategies have migrated to 8ta and Cell C.
8ta and Cell C did not implement the same strategies to stop abuse on their BlackBerry networks, and this migration therefore caused 8ta and Cell C’s average BIS data usage to spike.
According to information received by MyBroadband the average usage of BlackBerry users on 8ta network is approaching 1GB per month, multiple times higher than Vodacom and MTN’s average usage.
8ta and Cell C were asked about this alleged spike in traffic and whether they are implementing strategies to limit abuse on their BlackBerry networks, but they did not respond by the time of publication.