Vodacom restricts BlackBerry users ‘abusing’ internet


Network slows down connection speeds for heaviest users of BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) users in South Africa.

As part of African Business Review’s look back at the biggest news from 2011, we revisit this story from September.

Vodacom are clamping down on users taking full advantage of the unlimited BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) for causing congestion on its network.

BIS has been a big hit on South Africa as it offers unlimited browsing and email access on BlackBerry smartphones for a fixed cost per month.

Vodacom says that the heaviest users will be provided with lower connection speeds due to its study that found that “more than 95 percent of BlackBerry data usage was attributable to less than 5 percent of users”, causing congestion at peak times.

Defending the move, Chief Technology Officer Andries Delport said that Vodacom must “ensure that all BlackBerry users are able to enjoy the service that they pay for”.

The 5 percent of BIS users deemed to be “abusing the service” (by reaching 100MB data usage for the month) will have their connection speed reduced from 3G to 2G levels.

“When we realised that such a small minority was using the bulk of the capacity, we decided to implement measures that will ensure that BlackBerry users will enjoy a better browsing experience overall,” said Delport.

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