The desire is greater than the capacity.

Posted by The Organ Harvester
The Organ Harvester
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on Sunday, 24 June 2012
in Digital Blogs

I think before someone buys a smartphone, they should pass a test. Like a smart test, are you smart enough to operate a smart phone. I blame Blackberry for making people think that all smartphones are built the same.

Data actually costs money in SA.

Unlike places like the UK and the US where there are such things as unlimited data plans for your mobile phones which make Android and iOS based handsets and devices competitive and successful based solely on user experience, in SA data can cost you an arm and a leg. The market will undergo drastic changes in the mobile data field, maybe not on the same lines as pricing in the fixed line data sector, but enough for people to consider using mobile instead of fixed based on convenience.

So people get an iPhone and then lament the fact that it uses up their airtime and they get ridiculous bills or their airtime is mowed down like cupcakes in front of my sister-in-law.

What you can do:

First and foremost, if you want to own a smartphone understand that it uses data. Data in South Africa costs about R2/MB out of bundle. To give you an example, if the average song download is 5MB you will pay R10 just for downloading that song. So get yourself a data bundle. Most networks offer a ridiculously small amount of data on the entry level smartphone packages. Do yourself a favour and spend the money on getting a data bundle. On average most users will use between 500MB and 1GB of data per month. For R200 you get about 1GB data bundle on most networks. Out of bundle R200 would get you about 100MB (100MB x 10 = 1GB)

Unlike Blackberry there is no all inclusive data package for most Smartphones. Nashua have launched a special package for Nokia phones with unlimited specific data usage. Recently several network providers have introduced reduced rate BIS and even launched data bundle similar to the BIS system which allows you to access email and social media for a single monthly flat rate.

The problem is that as former Blackberry users now wanting the glamour of an Android system or an iPhone, we are not used to not being able to access the Internet on our phones without paying for it.

Get to know your phone. Almost all Smartphones that I am aware of allow you to switch off the data and switch it on when you need to. Most new non-Blackberry users with either an Android or iOS device haven't got a clue. But they liked the fact that people oohed and aahed when they pulled out that iPhone or Samsung device. But they don't really know how it works because there are not enough buttons.

Refer to the user manual, search the online forums and ask questions before you buy the phone. You might find that you don't actually enjoy phones with great user experience and you're actually a Blackberry person. You know, standard, simple and made cheap.

Hard facts: Blackberry might survive another 5 years, but the sustainability of data plans will probably not. Blackberry accounts for the majority of the network usage which people pay for on a flat rate. Which means, it is constantly pinging the nearest tower, an activity that would ordinarily be paid for and which would probably not happen as often if we all paid for each service.

I am seeing too many technophobes with phones too complex for their limited cognitive capacities. It is too expensive to operate and the make comparisons with Blackberry. Do the world a favour if this is your thinking, leave the smartphones alone and stick to the sometimes average phones.

HHP

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Comments

Charmed
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Charmed Monday, 25 June 2012

Agree

Agree about 'smart' phones an BlackBerry does unfortunately make people think that.

Not sure if you are aware, or just chose to ignore it :p but Cell C offers 99c/MB out of bundle. Cheapest in SA.

Muscadecipio
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Muscadecipio Monday, 25 June 2012

Cellular South Africa

Charmed makes the point about Cell C. My mate Anton is raving about this at the moment as he is pinching pennies and he can't understand why I dont just jump over to Cell C. Truth is that I am too lasy to chase every trend. For those unaware, there is a masive war for customers going on and the smaller guys are pulling out all the stops to get customers. This means the big guns are forced to compete which is good all round. Face it though, Anton uses his phone just for personal calls. I use mine for the internet, for, business and for my personal calls and chose a package that gave me the best rates to landline numbers because I spend time calling suppliers and usually have to go through a switchboard. I am content with what I have as far as i can be knowing that the network providers are actually ripping me off whatever way I go. As far as The OH's comment - "stick to the sometimes average phones" I can forsee that in the next year or 2 that option will no longer be avilable. I drive staff from the township to work every day and they were only mildly impressed with my smartphone. Not because it was new to them, but because they have already been expose to the technology. In fact most of the ladies (I drive caregivers, nurse assistants and nurses) already have Blackberry's (see my first comment). While you make good points OH, the truth is competition and not logic will dictate how data prices move in future, and people will get no more savvy at selecting their price plans and phones than they already are. That means that those who dont master the tech will be ripped off and those of us who do, will learn to minimise cost.

Charmed
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Charmed Monday, 25 June 2012

Port to Cell C

Hi Muscadecipio. Someone I know recently ported to Cell C for this reason. I've asked him to let me know how it goes in a few months (coverage wise). Who knows, maybe there will be a day where I port from Vodacom.

Davo the Magnificent
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Davo the Magnificent Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Port to Cell C

I must say I am also seriously thinking about moving to Cell C. I'm presently with Nashua Mobile (Vodacom) on a 'supposed' corporate package and I just don't see the value in it.Very poor effort all round, not to mention the non existent account management by their corporate team. If I ran my business like them I would go bust very quickly.

PrinceVince
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PrinceVince Monday, 25 June 2012

Data pricing / rip-offs

Interesting discussion this. I noticed with interest that the same day CellC announced their 99c any network, any time rate, Vodacom did the same, only to withdraw it the next day because (as I understand it) Vodacom had not followed the rules and regulations regarding packages, etc.

This does imply that the price war is going to extend beyond call rates into the data rates arena. 3G data is horrific, compared to other options. I get 3Gb ADSL data for under R30/month, whereas 100Mb of 3G data costs me R49. Even taking into account the benefits of mobility of the 3G offering over ADSL, and the speed differnce, I cannot see how this price differential can truly be motivated, and the 3G networks are going to HAVE to reconsider how their pricing is structured.

I have, however, heard the word 'collusion' far too often when people are talking about data costs, in particular with regard to cellular networks. One has to wonder how much truth there lies in that.

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