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N Touch
Saturday 24 March 2018

Fair use of data services

Telecommunications service providers worldwide regularly monitor the performance of their networks to preserve the quality of their networks as well as their users’ service experience. A fair usage policy is a global standard industry practice used by telecommunications companies worldwide to ensure an equal allocation of data bandwidth to all customers, especially at peak times.

As part of this policy, telecommunications service providers implement thresholds to prevent any customer from consuming excessive amounts of bandwidth to the detriment of other users. This ensures that all customers enjoy the benefits of the services they have subscribed to and that no subscriber is put at a disadvantage or suffers diminished network performance due to the unfair usage or conduct of others that can lead to network congestion.

Although the average customer’s data usage per month is currently 1.5GB to 2GB, telecommunications service providers worldwide set data thresholds that are much higher than this average monthly use.

For instance, telecommunications service providers in the USA and United Kingdom have data thresholds between 20GB and 32GB for their unlimited data services, with only 2 USA providers above 32GB.

This provides the customer with the freedom to use the additional data if the need arises without reaching the threshold. Only a very small number of customers may use data services inappropriately, so the large buffer between the average customer’s data use and the network’s per customer limit means that most customers will not be affected and the customer enjoys a service that would not put limits on his usage or an unlimited usage experience.

What can you do with 20 GB per month without reaching the threshold?
• 500 emails sent/received (with attachments) per week
• 300 web pages viewed per week
• 500 minutes of video streamed per week
• 21 hours of music streamed per week
• 3 games downloaded per week
• 3 apps downloaded per week
• 300 social media posts (with images) per week
Only a very small number of customers may use data services inappropriately such as using a mobile device as a hot spot or for tethering any other device (such as a computer, smartphone, other phones, eBook or eReader, media player, laptop, notebook, tablet, mobile hotspots, gaming consoles, or other devices with similar functions) which consume excessive amounts of data and will put these users at risk of reaching or surpassing a network threshold.

If a customer does not use a mobile device in this way, it is unlikely that the threshold will be reached.

In the event that a customer uses data that comes close to the threshold, telecommunications service providers worldwide reserve the right to take appropriate steps to ensure other customers are not affected by a diminished service. These include alerting the user by text when the threshold is almost reached, throttling back the service and/or charging the user for any excessive data use that is above the threshold.


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