A number of recent developents in the IT world have encouraged me to finally write this post. In Mauritius, the cost of Internet access for customers has fallen quite a bit in recent years. Connection speeds have doubled a couple of times in the past years, which is very good.
Tag: Mauritian Internet
First post of 2012. So let’s start with something like a wish list. In this post, I’ll run down through a list of online services Mauritius should have and why it doesn’t have these relatively common services.
Emtel has released their new product, which they call the Emtel MIFI – Mobile Wifi. You purchase the Huawei E5 modem which is a Wireless Access Point (AP) and pocket router that accepts a SIM card, and you get to share mobile Internet with up to 5 WIFI-compatible devices at the same time.
Here’s a quick post about its features, and what I think about the device and the service. Here’s the full advert that also appeared in newspapers:
As you probably know by now, Orange has announced a price cut on its ADSL packages, and a speed-doubling measure on its MyT packages. The discussions have been raging on for the past few days on various fronts, including Twitter and CarrotMadman6′s Article on the price cuts.
MyT users are probably rejoicing by now. ADSL users too maybe, but probably in a lesser measure. I’m an ADSL user. I’m definitely not rejoicing. I believe Orange has successfully performed corporate tricks on its users, and has come out with a profit, all while announcing the price cuts / speed boosts.
Let me begin with the more obvious of the ripoffs:
Orange (and Mauritius Telecom), have just announced our Christmas gift for the year 2010: ADSL users can expect a reduction in prices and MyT users will see their current speed doubled. The changes will start taking effect as from 1st December 2010.
Update 0: I put this as Update Zero because it’s most important: MyT Users with NO TV option will get neither speed boost NOR price cut, as confirmed on TheMediaGuru’s comment section. You will have to pay Rs. 999 (Rs. 151 extra!) if you want more speed.
Update 1: According to the user “Sab” on TheMediaGuru’s article (see link below), there won’t be any speed boosts for ADSL users, only the Rs. 100 reduction in prices.
Update 2: The price decrease / speed boosting is not pleasing everybody. There are some complaints coming from Jeyen Chellum and ACIM that Orange has done something weird or how it was ICTA’s role to announce the price cuts. I’ll admit, I didn’t understand what the problem was myself. Moreover, commenters on the L’Express article would prefer a price-cut over a speed boost. I personally prefer a speed boost over a price cut. I am opening a poll for you to answer this question.
Update 3: FUP no longer applies to MyT. Not that it was ever applied…
Update 4: You may be interested in this article too…
Here is a summary of the changes for ADSL (All prices are Vat Inclusive):
- ADSL Home 256 Kbps(3GB Cap Limit): Rs. 499 → Rs. 399
- ADSL Home 512 Kbps: Rs. 848 → Rs. 759
- ADSL 128 Kbps for Rodrigues: Rs. 499 → Rs. 399
- ADSL Business package prices fall by 10%. New prices will probably be:
- ADSL Business 256 Kbps: Rs. 1840 → Rs. 1656
- ADSL Business 512 Kbps: Rs. 2875 → Rs. 2587.50
- ADSL Business 1 Mbps: Rs. 5750 → Rs. 5175
- ADSL Business 2 Mbps: Rs. 10235 → Rs. 9211
- Dedicated Lines fall by 24%
MyT prices remain unchanged, but the speed doubles:
- MyT 512 Kbps → MyT 1 Mbps
- MyT 1 Mbps → MyT 2Mbps
- MyT 2Mbps → MyT 4Mbps (!!)
MyT will also offer 3 new channels – Boing, MCM Top and Motor TV and add more titles to its Video on Demand service.
There is no word yet on whether the speed doubling will be applied to existing ADSL users (like me). I hope the Christmas gift comes to us ADSL users too. I’ll update this article as more details surface.
If you have any more information, please do share!
Hat-tip to TheMediaGuru for sharing the initial news.
As strange as this seems, not everybody is happy with Orange’s price cuts and speed boosts. However, there is one major difference here: it’s not the users that are unhappy. It’s the other ISPs.
(Btw, as from now, when I say Orange, I am including MyT in it too)
This news piece was reported by L’Express some days back. I can’t tell you the exact date since I no longer have the paper, but it must be from the previous week, in the Techno section. We can easily guess who is unhappy and why. I bet it’s MTML and Nomad leading the pack, and it’s quite understandable.
With the price cuts and speed boosts, Orange has now become the ISP with the best offers around, in terms of price and speed. Orange is offering prices that smaller ISPs will never be able to match without sacrifices or losses. And if you ask me, I find that to be quite unfair towards them.
We know that Nomad’s service is not what you can call the most reliable service around, and that MTML’s dial-up replacement offer is not very satisfactory because of the capping. (I think the capping must still be on, but I’m not sure). Also, their speeds are not the fastest on the market now. MTML’s main offer is the 144Kbps and Nomad’s maximum is 512Kbps as far as I know. On the other side, you have Orange that has migrated its users to twice the speed for the same price. I don’t know how you call that, but I term it “unfair competition”.
I’m neutral in that I am not pro-Nomad or pro-MTML or anything. I’m just a normal Internet user, but I kind of feel pity for the other ISPs. But, and it’s a big but, I’m really happy with the boost in speed as a customer. What would have been better is some kind of compromise. It’s as if the State (or ICTA?) has accepted the recommendations about prices and speeds too easily, without considering everybody’s case.
Personally, I can’t find workable solutions. There is one that would work, but I’m pretty sure will not be implemented in Mauritius. This solution is the breaking of Orange’s monopoly over the SAFE cable, so that other ISPs no longer need to actually buy bandwidth from Orange. I doubt this will work since I guess that the other ISPs can’t afford bandwidth directly from SAFE. Something like “degroupage” in France, if you want.
Next would be a drastic reduction in the price that Orange sells bandwidth to the other ISPs. That price keeps falling, but if smaller ISPs need to have a fighting chance, it’s still too high according to the losing parties.
What can I say? ISP business in Mauritius is a cut-throat activity, and if you can’t fight, you go down, no matter how much you invested in the first place. That must be quite a large sum for Nomad and MTML, considering that they installed antennas and all the other equipments to provide wireless access so that they don’t have to use MT’s wires and cables.
Funnily enough, Emtel remains silent till now about the boost. It’s 1.8Mbps offer is directly threatened by Orange’s 1Mbps. I’d like to know what they are planning.
Sadly enough, this boost which is a great thing for us users might bring back what we fear most: Monopoly. This could happen if other ISPs decide to pack up and go.
What are your views on this? What do you think can be done to help smaller ISPs?