Thursday, 28 April 2016

Are We Getting Ripped of by Today’s Data Packages?


The Big Data Switch Campaign

As mobile users we were charged to send text and to make calls and the cost to the Telco service provider for each text or call was quite less and individuals comprehended the relationship. Those were the initial days of mobile phones which were very simple and users learned how to use predictive text. However with the arrival of the internet-cabled smartphone, it has completely overhauled the relationship the customers tend to have with their devices and their Telco provider. Presently it is all related to data.

Australia’s biggest consumer network, will be partnering with to launch The Big Data Switch Campaign, which is a people powered campaign that will be reducing the cost of mobile and broadband data. This would result in companies moving to reasonably economical voice as well as text messaging packages besides adding more expensive pricing schemes around data.For instance, in 2010, the use of second gigabyte of data on a Virgin mobile plan would have cost the user 140 times more than the first gig; and the user would not have realised it for days. Overpriced excess data rates had been a main money spinner for Australian telcos but are now a thing of the past.

The Legacy Cost

Some of the companies like Telstra, Optus and Vodafone had all brought in processes of reducing cases of bill shock and most of the plans tend to now add an extra GB of data for $10. This has brought about a radical change in the overall cost which customers tend to pay for data. For instance, less than three years back, Optus would charge 25c per megabyte for excess data usage that amounted to $250 for an extra GB. Though most of the customers presently can have an automatic top up for $10, those who are not on a plan may encounter a bit expensive price.

 Telstra, for instance tends to charge three cents per MB for additional mobile data without a data pack that works out to $30 per GB. Paul Budde, telecommunication expert, had informed, that `there is no direct correlation between the cost of data and what we pay’. Customers on the contrary, are paying for the infrastructure and administrative costs of companies like Telstra when they branch out of data which Mr Budde refers as `the legacy cost’.

Category 11 4G – Introduced by Telstra

He adds that regarding paying for mobile data, it is determined by marketing as well as industry competition. In September, Mike Wright, Telstra’s Group Managing Director of Networks, had informed that telcos base their data additions in the plans around how much they consider their networks can handle without slowing down. Upgrades to infrastructures like Category 11 4G had been introduced by Telstra last year. Mr Wright had said that `letting more phones on the network to download at high speed than ever before, allows data costs to go down’.

He added that updates and developments related to the proficiency and ability of the network are a way for telco companies in bringing down their cost though will not have any impact on what customers pay for mobile packages. Presently if all have unlimited mobile data and constantly streaming high-definition Netflix, the network would come to a halt.

But the recent free data days put by the company portrays that their network has the potential of handing huge jump in data use. He further adds that competition and not technology tends to dictate the price more than anything.

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