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Data Cap or No Data Cap?

yes-no-cap

About 2 days after UniFi was launched by the Prime Minister of Malaysia. TM announced that it will not impose any data capping on its High Speed Broadband Service(HSBB) which it initially planned.

The truth is, TM is not sure whether it should limit data usage of its High Speed Broadband customers.

Question- Why would you buy a Ferrari car just to drive to work(short distance). TM is offering a “Ferrari service” to all Malaysians but it may run out of fuel within short distance.

My Opinion:

speedlimit

I think the question is back to TM- Who are the target customers for its UniFi service? Is it those heavy downloader out there? Companies? Individual(mass market that don’t require speed more than 2-3Mbps) or students?

The reason for data capping–  Internet is a shared network and everyone wants to access it, but not 24hours/7days a week. Data Capping is to ensure everyone makes FAIR USE of the Internet service for the price they are paying.

limit

UniFi service is expensive at the moment, but it is a premium service since it relies on its own network/connectivity and does not depend on the Streamyx network.

Maybe TM should continue to charge higher for its UniFi service since it is a premium but what about those Streamyx customers who are waiting to move to UniFi? I think TM should still offer packages with lower speed(such as 2Mbps) to cater the mass market. But that also creates another question- Considering the past experience on Streamyx, how many customers would upgrade to UniFi and pay more?

TM should come up with a plan that will suit all customers. In my opinion, the more data that a customer consume, the customer should pay more for the broadband service.

My Suggestions

For the general population, TM could do “auto adjusting rates” or something more like an add on. All customers pay for basic service every month (a minimum RMxx for a xx speed and xx data usage). Once customers exceed the given usage they should be notified via email with an option of a secondary plan that should be cheaper than the standard monthly rate. Some customers may also opt for this to be automated.

bandwidth-cap

Example, I signed up for the BASIC(one plan for all) UniFi service at RM100 per month with a 60GB usage. Once I exceed this usage within a particular month, I will be given an option to subscribe to a secondary plan(RM10 for 6GB, RM50 for 30GB) or I can make it automatic(subscribe to RM10 for 6GB once I exceed my given data limit). TM makes more money anyway(but it will come from users that use more data).

TM should also consider the “Burst speed” offered by TimedotCom.

For the heavy downloader and gamers, the service should be unlimited and price shouldn’t be less RM200 a month considering this group of people consume a lot of data and uses a lot more Internet than any other people out there. Maybe TM should monitor customers that use a lot of “downloading” and offer customised package for them.

Rather than pricing the service as high as RM249 per month, TM should educate customers on why they need such high speed service(something positive that will benefit the individual or a company) and not just think of selling UniFi.

options

My suggestion above may not be applied by TM, as there are alternative ways to offer UniFi to the market. But the message that I’m trying to deliver is this- Give option to your customers in terms of price, speed and usage.

As for the topic, my answer is- Data Cap for standard customers(lower price), No data cap for heavy users(higher price, should be more expensive than business packages).

About Kugan

Kugan is the founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy