As you all know by now, Mauritius Telecom is bringing some drastic changes in its ADSL offers both for home and business users. (carrotmadman6 blogged on this yesterday.)
For instance, I have MyT 256 at home and I get:
- Maximum bandwidth of 256kbit/s to access servers outside Mauritius
- Maximum bandwidth of 2Mbit/s to access servers inside Mauritius (including the local Akamai servers)
- Video on Demand
- 12 channels of Digital TV (TNT)
- And I pay Rs 750 + VAT = Rs 862.50 monthly.
As from 1 March 2009 (in 2 days!), I am going to have:
- New: Maximum bandwidth of 512kbit/s to access servers outside Mauritius (twice my current maximum bandwidth.)
- New: 15 international channels for free for 3 months (presumably over IP) and if I decide to keep them I’ll have to fork Rs 999 (instead of the Rs 862.50 I’m currently paying)
- Same: maximum bandwidth of 2Mbit/s to access servers inside Mauritius (including the local Akamai servers)
- Same: Video on Demand
- Same: 12 channels of Digital TV (TNT)
- Same: And I will still have to pay Rs 862.50 monthly if I don’t decide to keep the 15 international channels after the three months.
Reading the official press release from Orange / Mauritius Telecom, I can see some play on words:
- For example, it is written “La vitesse double sur les offres My.T existantes [...] aux mêmes tarifs.” This is why I wrote above that I’ll indulge in 512kbit/s while still paying Rs 862.50 monthly.
- It is also written “La nouvelle offre My.T à 512K qui comprend au lancement un bouquet TV de quinze chaînes internationales [...] est disponible pour Rs 999/mois.” It is not clear whether new MyT users will have the possibility to subscribe to the old MyT without the 15 international channels (but I suspect this will be the case.)
- And finally, “Les nouvelles offres de My.T s’enrichissent en contenu pour des prix en baisse pouvant atteindre 46% – l’offre My.T 1M offerte précédemment à Rs 3151/mois passe ainsi à Rs 1,699/mois.” This is true for some MyT users only! Someone who currently has My 1M pays Rs 3151 per month. In two days, he will get 2Mbit/s at the same price of Rs 3151 per month. If he decides that 2Mbit/s is too much, then he’ll have the opportunity to downgrade to 1Mbit/s and pay Rs 1360 + VAT = Rs 1564 per month. If he decides to keep the 15 international channels then he will pay about Rs 135 more per month for a total of Rs 1,699. But what about My 256 users like me? In two days, I will have 512kbit/s but it will be impossible for me to downgrade to 256kbit/s as this offer simply does not exist anymore…
Nothing very serious but an official press release should really have been written more thoroughly. Still, there are some niggling issues on my mind:
- 15 international channels? Which ones? Don’t mention channels like Doordarshan Sports or NDTV Good Times. They are crap! I suspect a mix of 1-2 relatively good channels (e.g. CNN and, ahem, B4U Music) and a bunch of pathetic ones.
- 15 international channels? Yes. But at what quality? Watching VOD programs sometimes is excruiating as the image is so bad (compression artefacts everywhere for instance.) I don’t even want to talk about sound quality because it pains me to do so as a musician. I cannot see Mauritius Telecom sending 15 TV channels over IP without making extreme concessions in quality. Will this be worth Rs 135 per month? Time will tell.
- The infamous fair usage policy! Mauritius Telecom has still not explained what the limits exactly are. With increased bandwidth, people will indulge in more video (e.g. YouTube) as well as more streaming radio. I know I will. And if you think about it, this is the whole point of having increased bandwidth. Obviously, my daily download volume will increase. Will the FUP be modified to take this behavioural change into account? I doubt it.
- And finally what guarantee do we have that we will actually be able to use a substantial part of the promissed bandwidth? None! Mauritius Telecom, like all ISPs, sells dreams and does its best effort but routinely fails. For instance, Internet was slow both at home and at work today… We cannot protest because, well, they can prove that they are doing their best effort even though this does not mean anything concrete. Now, with mostly everyone doubling their maximum bandwidth (I don’t see a lot of people downgrading), how can that possibly work without Mauritius Telecom doubling its international bandwidth? As far as I know, this has not been the case and I doubt that this will happen in the next two days. What I can sense though is a lot of frustration on Sunday.
Mais bon, donnons leur le bénéfice du doute. Let’s see what happens on 1 March 2009! I just hope we are not just voodoo dolls for them which they manipulate as they like.