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African mobile giant MTN is stepping up to the broadband plate and releasing an uncapped, throttle-free product from October till January, as reported by MyBroadband
The company will introduce a broadband package that removes the “uncapped without speed throttling” fair usage policies for a period of four months, but will most likely apply the policy once the trail period is over.
Speculation is that MTN is testing the waters to see if a legitimately uncapped offering could be possible on its network. Currently users of the “unlimited packages” can only download 3GB and 10GB on its “Lite” and “Pro” offerings respectively.
Once a user reaches these limits, their speed is reduced to 128KPS (from 1MB or more).
All existing customers with MTN will instantly be allocated unlimited broadband access. New customers will be able to access the promotion if they sign up for a 24-month contract.
MTN have been making inroads into giving customers affordable broadband packages. Last year, it released the abovementioned packages at ZAR749 (US$93) for the Lite and ZAR1999 (US$247) for the Pro. Earlier this year, MTN reduced these prices “in response to its customers’ demands for faster and reliable internet access at an affordable fixed monthly cost”, dropping them to ZAR299 (US$37) and ZAR899 (US$111).
The move is the latest in MTN’s attempt to conquer the mobile broadband market. In conjunction with Ericsson it has announced an LTE program which it has initially been rolled out in Gauteng, South Africa. LTE speeds can produce theoretical download and upload speeds of 61MBPS and 17MBPS respectively but only time will tell if MTN’s network is able to live up to these transfer rates.
Mobile broadband in SA is a hotly contested commodity, with Vodacom recently announcing that it would begin to “punish” BlackBerry users who “exploited” its broadband networks. Vodacom quickly negated this comment saying, “we are working with RIM to find solutions”.