DStv mobile streaming solution for MTN users (better than previous Vodacom one)

Posted on November 16, 2011

Yesterday  I received a press release from DStv Mobile about a new partnership with MTN to launch a 3G streaming Mobile TV Service. At first I wasn’t very excited about this, they have a similar product with Vodacom, which at first sounded interesting but was hamstrung by a ridiculous acceptable usage agreement which restricts you to 45 minutes per week (180 per month). That doesn’t even get you through a single T20 game, and hardly through two rugby matches. Crazy indeed.

On receiving the press release I immediately fired off a mail to Maiyo checking what the acceptable use of the new solution was. If it was the same (or similar) to the Vodacom one I wasn’t going to bother posting about it as it wouldn’t in my opinion be worth the subscription.

I am very happy to say that the response is a very positive one, no bandwidth / usage restrictions. You will use your own bandwidth to browse to the MTN Play website and get the video stream running, but you won’t pay for or be restricted in usage of the video stream itself. What a different that makes. For those who don’t want to buy a DStv Drifta, or have the hassle of carrying a second device (or don’t have client software available for their device) this is a really viable alternate. Well done to MTN and DStv mobile for improving significantly on the Vodacom offering.

I haven’t tested the service so can’t tell you how well it works, but based on the information provided it does look good. The FAQ on the DStv web site (link here) claims the service will work on most 2.5G or 3G cell phones (however it doesn’t work on the iPhone or a device only using the Opera Mini web browser). Still, that includes more devices than it excludes.

Press release below :

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Followup on Blackberry Data Useage in South Africa #in

Posted on August 13, 2010

Following up on my post around Blackberry data useage found here.

It has now been a week of monitoring my data useage on my Blackberry Bold 9000. Details around my typical useage can be found in the original post so I won’t repeat those here. Needless to say, I am probably a fairly atypical user and certainly on the higher end of useage.

As mentioned last time, I installed David from the Blackberry Appstore so I could monitor my data useage. In the week that has passed my average has been around just over 10 megabytes of data a day. So this would average out to just over 300-320 megabytes for the month.

Blackberry screen capture

Blackberry screen capture of data useage for a week

A quick peek on MTN and Vodacom’s websites to see how much it would cost for 300 Meg per month. Vodacom has a data useage calculator tool here. I entered 300 Meg and this is the very helpful response I got back :

Helpful vodacom

Helpful vodacom

So back to the 3 easy steps to see if I could get a different answer. Tried a few other options, same result. Vodacom clearly doesn’t want me to buy 300Meg a month. I browsed around the site but still couldn’t find the price. How hard is it to tell your customers what options there are and how much they would be ? I did find the Blackberry BIS service price which was R59 a month (prepaid).  (No link sorry, their website seems to produce session specific links so had to remove it). Try www.vodacom.co.za and let me know if you find the data prices quicker than I did.

MTN was a little easier. I quickly found their data options and an “Extended Data 350″ option which gave the required data amount for R209 a month.  That though i then discovered was a complete contract not a bolt on to an existing contract. They have a 300Meg option for the grand price of R149 a month. Not too bad and not too hard to find.

So with some very poor maths and mixing and matching between service providers, it would seem that if I was paying for my data useage on the optimum data contract would cost me R149 a month rather than the Blackberry cost of R59 a month, an additional monthly cost of R90.

Is it any wonder then that people, and particularly teens are going for the Blackberry option? They generally like to use Facebook, Mxit, and are increasingly discovering the joys of a service guaranteed messenger in Blackberry messenger.

I fully expect Blackberry to continue to grow from strength to strength, and really hope that the other providers come out with some kind of competitive option. Increasingly other phones are coming bundled with a small data package, but, 30 Meg of data on an Android device (Bundle with SE X10 Mini) really doesn’t cut it, and can easily be used in an hour at the park.

In summary then, people often ask how good a deal is the Blackberry with unlimited data? Extremely good value for money is the short answer.

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