There is an interesting article in today’s edition of Week-end on the launch of France Telecom’s Livebox in Mauritius next Tuesday.
From the Livebox manual, here are its main caracteristics:
- High performance, secured bridge/router with ADSL interface,
- Ethernet 10/100BT, USB1.1, 802.11b/g (Wi-fi) and Bluetooth user ports,
- DHCP server, DNS relay,
- NAT/PAT router – FTP, IRC, Net2Phone, Netbios, DNS, Netmeeting H.323, SIP, RTSP, MGCP (RFC 3134), VPN passthrough (IPSec, IKE, PPTP, L2TP), CUSeeMe, RealAudio, AOL, Microsoft IM and other compatibilities,
- Quality of service (QoS) management for protecting sensitive flows such as Voice over IP,
- H.323 Voice over IP,
- HTTP server for easy configuration,
- FTP server for software updating.
Looks like a very decent list of features to me. According to Week-end, these services will be offered in Mauritius as from next week:
- TV (TV5, Doordarshan, BBC World, CCTV9, B4U music, MTV, MBC1 and MBC digital 6)
- “Broadband” Internet access (I suppose the existing 128, 512 and 1024Kbit/s offers)
- Internet Telephony (to be confirmed…)
- Video on demand (from a limited selection of films)
By using some magic incantations, Week-end has come up with a fixed fee of around Rs. 1000 to Rs 1500 for subscribing to the service. They have also announced that it will cost around Rs. 10 to Rs. 50 to rent a film for one day. In my opininion, Internet Telephony will also be separately charged (or restricted to some specific countries). In some countries, the Bluetooth antenna is disabled and a transfer limit is imposed for the Internet connection.
I’ll post an update on Tuesday. Let’s all cross our fingers ;-)
First update 11 July
A nice lady from Telecom Plus has called me today and has offered me the Livebox at the same price I’m paying ADSL right now, that is Rs. 950+VAT (i.e a little over Rs. 1000 for 128Kbit/s). A Telecom Plus salesman/technician will come at my place tomorrow for a demo of the Livebox. I’ll keep you posted.
Second update 12 July
Two salesmen (so only salestalk and not a real demo) from Mauritius Telecom came to my house today (notice not Telecom Plus) and offered me the MY.T service at exactly the same price I’m paying ADSL 128 (i.e. Rs. 950+VAT). I get:
- A Livebox ADSL modem with Wifi / Bluetooth / Ethernet at 256kbit/s (twice my 128kbit/s bandwidth!!!) and 2Mbit/s (for local servers i.e. servers physically found in Mauritius!!!)
- A set-top-box for the MBC + TNT channels (using a normal aerial) and the Video on Demand (obtained from the Livebox)
- Rs. 500 to buy films using the Video on Demand capabilities of the Livebox
- No VoIP for the time being but only preferential rates (for example, Rs. 6+VAT per minute for France using a normal analog phone)
Lots of pros, isn’t it? Twice my previous ADSL bandwidth! A set-top-box for TNT! But, unfortunately, there is one massive catch:
- Internet data transfer is limited to 1Gb per month. Every additional Mb costs Rs. 0.50 up to Rs. 910 (around 2Gb)
Personally, I don’t care as I don’t indulge in piracy. But I know a lot of people that won’t like this “feature” a lot :-)
Technicians will come for the installation in (maximum) 5 days. I’ll keep you posted.
Third update 14 July
Another lady called me today and told me that MT technicians will come to my place on Monday (17 July) to install the Livebox and the set-top-box. As usual, I’ll keep you posted.
Asvin Balloo says
Have a look at the team in the article, you’ll notice one of your ex BTS student ;-)
Do you think the Livebox will be as successful here as in France? Who will do the film selection (for the Video on demand service)?
I won’t ask you about the pricing structure because I know tomorrow everything will be revealed.
By the way, which model of Livebox are we going to have, Sagem or Inventel?
Asvin Balloo says
Yeah I think it will be successful with all its capabilities, especially if we have a home network. The VOD team here will do all the film selection. We’ll be having the Sagem version for the Livebox… 6 p.m for the pricing ;-)
Thanks for the info, Asvin :-)
Great news from what i read in l’express today you actually get a 250kb access along with the other services offered by the livebox do let us know about the demo ;)
There are plenty of ‘catches’ with this service.
1) Mauritius Telecom is using ‘unfair’ means through their monopoly to get ahead of their ‘would be’ competitors, by locking in customers already.
2) The limit in terms of data transfer and having to pay for excess bandwith will make the service cost more than what it’s supposed to be.
3) Film on demand isn’t really on demand as there will be a pool of films available and a choice will have to be made based on that list only.
4) I don’t know how much tests MT’s engineers have done on this service but i bet that there will be a few technical hitches along the way, being a new service. Knowing the poor customer service offered by most companies in Mauritius (Including T+), there could be many disgruntled clients :-)
Through the bit torrent technology (or any P2P app) anyone can download ANY CONTENT that he wishes, so the livebox is pretty irrelevant. (If one indulges in piracy :-)) Setting up a home server and being able to ‘stream’ off it is pretty straight forward for someone having a basic understanding of networking. That’s what the ‘livebox’ offers.
I’ve also seen that ADSL prices will be going down by approx. 22% but there’s still strings attached, such as the stupid TVA being charged.
I can’t comment on (1) as I really don’t know much about MT’s competitors.
As for (2), 1Gb is really not that much (and I really hope I’ll not have to pay for excess transfers a lot) but, on the other hand, the MT people were telling me that 10% of ADSL subscribers use 99% of the bandwidth (and we all know those people – they are those bloody video downloaders who sell copies of film in Rose-Hill, Port-Louis, etc.). So MT’s strategy is to keep them on the “old” ADSL and let normal people use the upgraded ADSL (256kbit/s international + 2Mbit/s local). I can’t really complain… but I would love the limit to be raised to 2Gb instead of 1Gb ;-)
(3) is pretty much standard practice (i.e that’s how things are done in other countries). Sure, it would be really nice for us (i.e MY.T customers) to be able to ask for specific films. Better would be a kind of film selection panel (could be a discussion list…) where I would be happy to participate (and my wife too who teaches film theory at the University of Mauritius). Asvin?
(4) Obviously! We are in Mauritius after all :-)
I don’t like piracy because I think that it does more harm than good. I long for the old days when I bought my first PC and I got a MS-DOS floppy & a GW-BASIC floppy and I HAD to learn how to program in order to play my first game… Now kids get (more or less) an infinite number of software and they just go through them superficially. I’m seeing that with programming languages everyday. Some of my students think that they know C++ and, still, they have never heard of the virtual keyword, of private inheritance or (gasp) of the STL. Incidentally, that’s why I’m buying a Mac. I want few software (Mac OS X & iLife & some shareware / opensource) and I want to be able to do anything without ever indulging in piracy ;-)
As for the technical characteristics of the Livebox, they are pretty impressive for something that will be given freely…
And the MT guys have confirmed that the price will decrease whenever normal ADSL decreases. So it will not be that expensive in the long run.
I admit that i download a fair amount of films (dvd, divx etc..) / music on bit torrent :-) but i use them for my personal experience only. Concerning downloads, i always find myself buying the CD / DVD after having them viewed through these illicit means :-). So, that benefits the industry in this way also.
The only downside of this offer is this 1 GB limit, as i wouldn’t want them to charge me for every excess MB downloaded every month. That would be coming back to the dial up ‘dark ages’. We’re paying for this bandwith, so better use it to the full :-).
Yep. We need to set up a petition to raise that limit to (at least) 2Gb per month…
Asvin Balloo says
Yeah, for sure we can set up a discussion list, I’ll talk about it with the VOD team. For the 2 Gb, why not the My.T + My.T Surf option (3 Gb limit) at Rs. 1540 ;-)
Please keep me informed about the discussion list as I (and my wife) are very keen to participate in the film selection process.
As for the My.T Surf option, it’s 50% more expensive than what I am paying right now… so I am not keen at all ;-)
By the way, how are the first feedbacks? Is everything working as expected?
Asvin Balloo says
For the time being everything’s ok, but we’ll have to wait and see. But it’s a good start ;-)
Thanks avinash for the info.
I too contacted them on their 4-digit contact number. I’m more or less satisfied with the offers. What do we not have? Movies, educational programs, video on demand, ‘slow’ broadband but yet a tiny improvement. A nice package for the family.
But another catch I wish to highlight is that all those American movies are in French as has been the case for all such movies in our cinema halls. Who wants dubbed movies anyway? You perhaps like That 70s Show but I’ve watched all 8 seasons (DL through illicit means :D) in English and one can unavoidably conclude that it’s a world of difference between watching the original and the crappy French-dubbed version on RFO…yep a travesty of the quality of that show.
That could be an additional item on the petition list.
As for the ‘unreasonable’ 1GB, I think MT made a correct point by beefing up the offer with services like video, a couple of channels (will I keep my digital terrestrial decoder in a corner of my room now?) which could curb the urge to DL pirated movies. From my own Internet usage per month, I DL about 1.4 GB per month on my 128K/64K. Let me say that 0day-ware forms just a marginal part of my downloads (a third by my guessing). The rest is mostly trials, free software, game patches, lots of streamed radio and web pages of course.
I know that in many European countries and esp copyright-minded Singapore, they’re watchful over what you do. Let’s see what the lax MT laws have to say about net piracy. Then comes the question of freedom of speech, expression, etc. That’s sth else. Let us wait and see.
But on the whole, as you suggested, a 2GB limit would do justice. The MT guys should have a sense of reality over this issue.
(1) Films should be available in English (as well as in French). By the way, that’s also my main gripe against Parabole Maurice…
(2) 1Gb is too little. 2Gb is so much better. It’s restrictive enough for pirates while being acceptable for us who like to patch our computers regularly (I use Ubuntu and will use Mac OS X in some weeks…) and evaluate new software. Your point on Internet radio is also valid.
Asvin? Any possibility?
look at those nerds lol including asvin balloo
hopw u remember me asvin
Asvin Balloo says
Dont think the 2Gb will be around the corner soon, guess we’ll have to wait a bit longer…
BTW, had a talk with the VOD team concerning the discussion list, they seem interested but they say later, after things slow down a bit, but they welcomed the suggestion
Asvin Balloo says
Jonathan, normal mo rapel toi, to nepli kone koz creole aster, nek anglais
Let’s hope that the wait is not too long… Yesterday, I borrowed my sister’s laptop to test the Wi-Fi connection and that bloody thing (running XP of course) downloaded about 44Mb of updates without telling me. I can still hear: “Aaaaahhhhhh… ene connection Internet enfin, kas dans ta ;-) ”
The selection of films is good but, as I’ve mentioned in another post, the image quality is not fantastic… Any possibility of better images? MPEG4 can’t be that bad ;-)
lol man not that heheh
sinon ki dire la man
ki to mail toi ki to msn si so ena email moi ki role
mo mail c
man email me to keep in touch to encore ena mo wlkman mone vanne r toi la
morice ki dire la ki to p fer koumsa la
someone from telecom came to my place today… proposing me the my-t same price as mt current 128k connection… i asked him about the 1-gb limit…he told me that for now there’s not limit..is this true??? he says that all adsl connection will have a download limit in around 1 month….
i have subscribed to my-t thinking that there’s no 1gb limit… but i have doubts now reading the comments here….
As far as I know, you have up to the end of the month (i.e. 31 august) for unlimitted downloads. As from the 1st of September, the 1Gb limit will be enforced…
ok yep that’s what i have read from its website… hmmm… i gb limit is really not enough for me…. i surf a lot,download a lot of fansubbed anime(which is legal :)) and play 2-3hrs min of online gaming everyday :(
Whoa kinda hard to see people who download fansubbed anime here in mauritius. Glad to know that other people also appreciate anime here. I agree with you 1 Gb is not enough. We should get more for this sum of money that we are currently paying.
in what form do you enter your username when you click on the “livebox Configuration” icon???
“myt/xxxxxx@myt” or “myt/” or what???
i have tried a lot but in vain!!!
For usersname you can use “admin”. Same for the password.
la gripe A est une gripe mortel. On doit se proteger avec des mases. On doit pas rentres en contact avec quelqun qui a la gripe
Out of context but why not?
Ally Abbas says
When will the Telecom’s monopoly end??
When we watch French or Uk Tv channels and we see what services the operators there are offering… same price as here u get 2-8MB connection, free TV, Free Phone calls fixed and mobile.
When our prayers will be heard…
What those guys at ICTA doing…
@Ally To be fair, the costs here are not the same as in France as the size of the populations differ as well as the distances involved.