Durban - After the backlash that cellular network MTN faced from its BlackBerry customers when it tried to cap its BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS), rival Cell C has faced mounting criticism for limiting its service to 2 gigabytes a month.
But Cell C spokesperson Karin Fourie defended the move on Wednesday, saying it was “carefully” considered.
“Despite measures put in place earlier this year, abuse of the service was still high on the Cell C network. Some customers were still using in excess of 100 gigs of data which was affecting the service levels of other BlackBerry users,” Fourie said.
When the allocated amount of data for a user was depleted, Cell C would now charge the user the out-of-bundle rate which was 15c a megabyte, Cell C users were told via SMS.
The move comes a month after MTN told its subscribers it would no longer offer unlimited internet access to its BlackBerry users. It brought back the unlimited service after criticism, admitting it had “listened” to subscribers.
Cell C users have vented their anger on social networking sites and threatened to move to other networks.
@vuyohleko2h tweeted on Wednesday: “Just waiting on my BIS to expire then I leave cell c.”
@Nzeny tweeted: “Cell C z full v nonsense. They say my BIS has expired but it says i still have 1.82gigs of fair usage bundles. Amasimba lawa (this is rubbish).”
Fourie said Cell C would monitor the feedback and the decision would improve the quality of experience for its Blackberry customers.
She said that the network had attended to a number of complaints.
With the generous thresholds we have put in place, compared to the 200MB threshold that was put in place by our competitor (MTN) at the time, customers that use the service legitimately will not have a changed experience, except with regard to quality improvements,” she said.
Cell C’s service costs R57 for 2GB a month.
On Wednesday, Vodacom spokesperson Richard Boorman said the company had implemented a system last year to stop “bulk downloads” affecting BlackBerry services and
there were no plans to implement changes to the service.- The Mercury