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Old 28th April 2015, 12:45   #271
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Default Re: The fight for net neutrality is on! Time to reclaim the internet

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Originally Posted by GrammarNazi View Post
........Plus, the govt & telecom companies also have the guilty-conscience that they gave something unfair! So that'll regulate the extent of net-partiality. It won't become too excessive.
No offence, but 'hopeless optimism' doesn't even begin to cover what you said there Conscience doesn't belong in the same sentence as business, never has & never will be. Business is for profit, not to do the right thing!


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.....And now we're crying foul about such a hike & are calling it illegal and evil....
It's neither illegal nor evil. Operators are well within their rights to price their services at whatever they think is a fair & reasonable price. Consumers will vote with their wallets, as they should.

I don't believe telecom operators have a leg to stand on w.r.t. tariffs anyway. Nobody forced them to either pay exorbitantly for licences or to provide plans at throwaway prices. They all did so voluntarily to grab market share from competitors, with the intent to make money once they had consumers locked in.

For a related example, I'd point you to the Reliance CDMA craze of the early 2000s. They gave away phones for cheap, unlimited free calling/sms between Reliance phones, what not. Customers were hooked, then the scheme conveniently disappeared a couple years later, replaced by regular tariff plans. MNP didn't exist back then, so a lot of customers had no choice but to stick with Reliance and pay for the erstwhile free services, or go through the whole hassle of switching operators.

The point is, operators should've set their prices from the start so as to be able to reasonably reclaim their investments instead of trying to race to the bottom dollar. Why blame the customer for that? If every operator out there prices their services at a reasonable/justifiable price, the customer WILL pay.

Operators have no obligation to provide cheap/free plans, never did, but they also have no right to use their flawed business decisions as excuses to ride roughshod over consumers' rights.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 28th April 2015 at 12:57.
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Old 28th April 2015, 13:38   #272
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Default Re: The fight for net neutrality is on! Time to reclaim the internet

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Originally Posted by Chetan_Rao View Post
No offence, but 'hopeless optimism' doesn't even begin to cover what you said there Conscience doesn't belong in the same sentence as business, never has & never will be. Business is for profit, not to do the right thing!
haha true!

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It's neither illegal nor evil. Operators are well within their rights to price their services at whatever they think is a fair & reasonable price. Consumers will vote with their wallets, as they should.
True, my point exactly. (Maybe I didn't put that across clearly enough)

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If every operator out there prices their services at a reasonable/justifiable price, the customer WILL pay.
'Reasonable' is the key word & sadly, that's subjective.

Their definition of reasonably will be that, as long as they're conforming to the law of the land, they can charge as much as they like.

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Operators have no obligation to provide cheap/free plans, never did, but they also have no right to use their flawed business decisions as excuses to ride roughshod over consumers' rights.
True, but they'll not agree & create a long litigation if govt objects. All while they charge 'exorbitant' rates.

I guess telecom companies will partner with mobile manufacturers & extend competitive options through term contracts.

We're scr*w*d for sure, but just dunno if it's big time or small. Let's see...

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Old 28th April 2015, 14:00   #273
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Default Re: The fight for net neutrality is on! Time to reclaim the internet

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......'Reasonable' is the key word & sadly, that's subjective......

....Their definition of reasonably will be that, as long as they're conforming to the law of the land, they can charge as much as they like.....
Subjective it's meant to be, and they're free to try charging astronomical prices. If the operator's definition of reasonable is at odds with the customers', the customers will vote with their wallets. That's the beauty of a system where the seller is free to price his products as he chooses, and the customer is free to buy or explore alternatives.


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True, but they'll not agree & create a long litigation if govt objects. All while they charge 'exorbitant' rates.
You're underestimating consumer power. Their business exists because there are customers, and no business that turned its customers away ever survived to tell the tale.

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I guess telecom companies will partner with mobile manufacturers & extend competitive options through term contracts.
That model hasn't found much traction in India for various reasons. It's widely used in the West, but a lot of consumers even there are beginning to see the advantages of buying their devices outright and engaging in no-strings-attached cellular service contracts they can change as they please instead of being tied down to expensive long-term deals.

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We're scr*w*d for sure, but just dunno if it's big time or small. Let's see...

We may be, but this isn't going to end without a fight. Consumer opinion can make or break business, and most businesses realize that eventually.
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Old 28th April 2015, 14:38   #274
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Default Re: The fight for net neutrality is on! Time to reclaim the internet

Maybe off-topic for this thread, but: one of the reasons why people are supporting net neutrality and are opposed to zero-rating platforms is because it may kill "innovation" by pricing out new players. But, isn't it lack of innovation on the internet that has caused some of the problems for telecom operators? I mean, the technologies evolved from 2G to 3G to LTE. Operators are forced to upgrade their networks, buy new spectrum (if one operator upgrades, others can't afford to be left behind) and spend a lot of money for that. But, have the applications evolved to take advantage of the advancement in technologies?

I'll take my own example: I have a basic 384kbps 3G data connection provided by my company on my phone. I don't use it so much since I mainly use office wifi or home broadband/wifi. I don't know about any innovative applications that would force me to upgrade my 3G connection for the time I am neither at home or office. When I was working in Cochin, I was waiting for 3G services to be launched in Kerala circle and was ready to switch operators for better 3G options. But I never did. Last time I was in India on vacation, I was quite happy to use AirTel 2G data plan for a month - more than enough for Whatsapp, some browsing and a few emails. LTE services are widely available in my city now, but again I see no reason to upgrade. Yes, I can stream youtube videos or watch netflix movies much better with an upgraded connection. But, when I am outside home, I am not idling and I usually don't have time or opportunity to watch youtube videos. There will probably be many others like me. I think operators have a genuine problem on their hands until someone comes up with an idea everyone will fall in love with.
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Old 28th April 2015, 16:11   #275
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Default Re: The fight for net neutrality is on! Time to reclaim the internet

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Originally Posted by StarrySky View Post
Maybe off-topic for this thread, but: one of the reasons why people are supporting net neutrality and are opposed to zero-rating platforms is because it may kill "innovation" by pricing out new players. But, isn't it lack of innovation on the internet that has caused some of the problems for telecom operators? I mean, the technologies evolved from 2G to 3G to LTE. Operators are forced to upgrade their networks, buy new spectrum (if one operator upgrades, others can't afford to be left behind) and spend a lot of money for that. But, have the applications evolved to take advantage of the advancement in technologies?
I am shocked hear the opinion that internet has lacked innovation! If you look at recent history (go back 10 years not more) and see the innovation that internet has brought about in nearly every aspect/industry (communication, networking both social and professional, banking, eCommerce, transportation are just to name a select few that come to my mind). It has become synonymous to breathing if I may go so far.
It is not the lack of innovation on the internet that is causing this issue for the operators. It is a lack of innovation and refusing to evolve on their part; to come up with better services, products, models. They are stuck in the same mindset to charge per call and per sms and are now trying to grab a piece of the innovator's pie by asking them to share their revenue. It is the internet and its nature that is starting to reduce the telecom operators to a mere ISPs as the voice and sms services are slowly but surely moving towards going online and not over the traditional voice and sms channels.

To me, it appears as a natural evolution of things. Every time a new technology is brought to the market it causes disruption. Though internet can not be called a new technology, its usage has only recently started to percolate in our daily lives. The disruption it is causing is widespread with the operator's voice and sms revenue stream being one of the things it is affecting. Of course they will complain, the way they are doing now and try to resist (by lobbying and trying to bring in laws). But the sooner they evolve, the better their chances will be of survival.
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Old 28th April 2015, 16:21   #276
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Originally Posted by StarrySky View Post



I'll take my own example: I have a basic 384kbps 3G data connection provided by my company on my phone. I don't use it so much since I mainly use office wifi or home broadband/wifi. I don't know about any innovative applications that would force me to upgrade my 3G connection for the time I am neither at home or office. When I was working in Cochin, I was waiting for 3G services to be launched in Kerala circle and was ready to switch operators for better 3G options. But I never did. Last time I was in India on vacation, I was quite happy to use AirTel 2G data plan for a month - more than enough for Whatsapp, some browsing and a few emails. LTE services are widely available in my city now, but again I see no reason to upgrade. Yes, I can stream youtube videos or watch netflix movies much better with an upgraded connection. But, when I am outside home, I am not idling and I usually don't have time or opportunity to watch youtube videos. There will probably be many others like me. I think operators have a genuine problem on their hands until someone comes up with an idea everyone will fall in love with.

I'm sure as you say it works for you. But in every market where data is taking off the single one biggest application is actually video in one form or the other.

In data networks around the world we see as much as 40-60% of the data traffic is video. Be it online, streaming, whatever. Im like you, i rarely watch video on my mobile device. for instance I don't care for CNN much, because most of their news is covered in video clips and I prefer to read my news. But again, we are not representative for the majority.

All market research for India suggest very similar trends, we are just a few years behind some of the more mature markets such as USA, some European countries, Japan etc. a very big factor in the uptake is the affordability of smart phones and those prices have come tumbling down rapidly worldwide and in India. Prediction for India, depends a bit who you ask, but ball park figure of 250-350 million smart phone users in the next 3-4 years. And one of the killer apps, if you like is watching video.

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Old 28th April 2015, 18:46   #277
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Default Re: The fight for net neutrality is on! Time to reclaim the internet

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I am shocked hear the opinion that internet has lacked innovation! If you look at recent history (go back 10 years not more) and see the innovation that internet has brought about in nearly every aspect/industry (communication, networking both social and professional, banking, eCommerce, transportation are just to name a select few that come to my mind). It has become synonymous to breathing if I may go so far.
I think we are talking about slightly different things. E-commerce, social networking are all innovations, but do any of them need an LTE network? No. Most of these work quite well with a basic 3G connection (like the one I have).

Yes, internet has been innovative, but the mobile networks have increased data capabilities multi-fold. They can now carry large amounts of data, but what application has appeared which uses the capabilities of the network? You might say video streaming, but really can you currently stream any better in an LTE network than you could in an HSPA network? I doubt. However, setting up an LTE network costs the operator money and if there is nothing innovative that also forces customers to move to LTE, he has a problem.

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Originally Posted by ashua View Post
It is not the lack of innovation on the internet that is causing this issue for the operators. It is a lack of innovation and refusing to evolve on their part; to come up with better services, products, models. They are stuck in the same mindset to charge per call and per sms and are now trying to grab a piece of the innovator's pie by asking them to share their revenue.
If, as we demand, operators are to only provide the "pipes" for data transfer, then how much innovation are you expecting from them? One innovation could be faster "pipes" (i.e., network upgrades) and consequent differential charging for "pipes" of different capability (for eg:, 3G plan costs more than 2G, LTE plan costs more than both). These network upgrades are costly for the operator and the applications have to evolve which use these "pipes" fully or there is no incentive for customers to upgrade their data plans. Quite possibly, there are some niche applications which may require these upgrades, but I am talking about something everyone can/will use.

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
But in every market where data is taking off the single one biggest application is actually video in one form or the other.

And one of the killer apps, if you like is watching video.
Video may indeed consume a lot of bandwidth, but is it the killer app? It may have been the "killer app" in terms of making customers upgrade from 2G to 3G. Video works very well with HSPA networks, so can it force people to upgrade to LTE?

Of course, a lot depends on how well LTE is advertised/marketed. People may "want" LTE, even if they don't "need" it.

Last edited by StarrySky : 28th April 2015 at 18:48.
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Old 28th April 2015, 20:20   #278
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Default Re: The fight for net neutrality is on! Time to reclaim the internet

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I think we are talking about slightly different things. E-commerce, social networking are all innovations, but do any of them need an LTE network? No. Most of these work quite well with a basic 3G connection (like the one I have).

Yes, internet has been innovative, but the mobile networks have increased data capabilities multi-fold. They can now carry large amounts of data, but what application has appeared which uses the capabilities of the network? You might say video streaming, but really can you currently stream any better in an LTE network than you could in an HSPA network? I doubt. However, setting up an LTE network costs the operator money and if there is nothing innovative that also forces customers to move to LTE, he has a problem.
I can think of some:
1. Individual Apps today have started to be upwards of 20-30 MBs each. And i am talking a good basic app. Not even talking rich games that can run into half a gig or more if it has in game content that needs to be constantly downloaded like a level in a game.
Considering these are updated once every month and you have say 15 apps (a conservative number) on your smartphone, you are talking about a sizable data to transfer.
2. Apps like maps, content heavy ones like magazines/news services, video streaming, or for that matter even the regular e-commerce ones have started to provide a visually rich experience which changes practically on a weekly or sometimes daily basis.
Can these work on 3G, yes. Will it be faster on an LTE network, absolutely.

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If, as we demand, operators are to only provide the "pipes" for data transfer, then how much innovation are you expecting from them? One innovation could be faster "pipes" (i.e., network upgrades) and consequent differential charging for "pipes" of different capability (for eg:, 3G plan costs more than 2G, LTE plan costs more than both). These network upgrades are costly for the operator and the applications have to evolve which use these "pipes" fully or there is no incentive for customers to upgrade their data plans. Quite possibly, there are some niche applications which may require these upgrades, but I am talking about something everyone can/will use.
Yes, faster pipes that are reliable and without service degradation as more subscribers join. The speeds and the experience when an operator just launches a service (say 3G) Vs 6 months into using it there is a large amount of service degradation involved as the number of people using the service increases without corresponding addition to the capacity.

Having said that, network operators upgrade their networks when they see that a need exists (users are willing to pay for it) or simply because they have to catchup to other competitors. This is the reason upgrades are done starting in metros and then the second tire of cities. The rural areas continue to only get the basic GPRS or EDGE connectivity.
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Old 28th April 2015, 22:15   #279
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I can think of some:
1. Individual Apps today have started to be upwards of 20-30 MBs each. And i am talking a good basic app. Not even talking rich games that can run into half a gig or more if it has in game content that needs to be constantly downloaded like a level in a game.
Considering these are updated once every month and you have say 15 apps (a conservative number) on your smartphone, you are talking about a sizable data to transfer.
2. Apps like maps, content heavy ones like magazines/news services, video streaming, or for that matter even the regular e-commerce ones have started to provide a visually rich experience which changes practically on a weekly or sometimes daily basis.
Can these work on 3G, yes. Will it be faster on an LTE network, absolutely.
1. Data tranafer (non-real time) of 20-30MB once a day or so isn't really a big deal. Even in broadband, does everyone go for highest available download speed for such usage?

2. For applications like streaming or interactive applications what matters is if the download speed is enough to provide a good user experience. So if streaming video requires 10 or 15 Mbps at the moment, that can be met by a 3G network (more knowledgable forumers can say what data rate it really requires). I think having anything more won't necessarily add to the experience.
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Old 29th April 2015, 09:59   #280
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Default Re: The fight for net neutrality is on! Time to reclaim the internet

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2. For applications like streaming or interactive applications what matters is if the download speed is enough to provide a good user experience. So if streaming video requires 10 or 15 Mbps at the moment, that can be met by a 3G network (more knowledgable forumers can say what data rate it really requires). I think having anything more won't necessarily add to the experience.
Just having a sticker saying 3G does not make it 3G. 3G in Bangalore gives you around 600kbps. That's it. I have tried both Reliance and Airtel.
Slightly better story in Noida where I can get 1.2mbps
10mbps on 3G.... ?? You don't get that on a landline DSL connection today without paying exorbitant costs in areas where monopolies and duopolies exist(most of India)
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Old 29th April 2015, 10:03   #281
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Just having a sticker saying 3G does not make it 3G. 3G in Bangalore gives you around 600kbps. That's it. I have tried both Reliance and Airtel.
Slightly better story in Noida where I can get 1.2mbps
10mbps on 3G.... ?? You don't get that on a landline DSL connection today without paying exorbitant costs in areas where monopolies and duopolies exist(most of India)

kbps is kilobits per second, versus kBps which is kilo bytes. Theoritical peak itself for 3G is 21mbps, which translates 2.5mBps. Accouting for load and everything, around 1mBps sounds very reasonable to me. My dismal bsnl broadband gives me 512kbps only, for 900 a month. Which translates to 64kBps.
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Old 29th April 2015, 10:48   #282
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Default Re: The fight for net neutrality is on! Time to reclaim the internet

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Just having a sticker saying 3G does not make it 3G. 3G in Bangalore gives you around 600kbps. That's it. I have tried both Reliance and Airtel.
Slightly better story in Noida where I can get 1.2mbps
10mbps on 3G.... ?? You don't get that on a landline DSL connection today without paying exorbitant costs in areas where monopolies and duopolies exist(most of India)
I used to get 10-12mbps on idea 3G in my ipad. now with vodafone its usually 5-6mbps. Airtel is the worst of the lot varies from .5- 4mbps.

Please check if the speed meter says "b" or "B".

Last edited by Rahulkool : 29th April 2015 at 10:51.
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Old 29th April 2015, 10:56   #283
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Just having a sticker saying 3G does not make it 3G. 3G in Bangalore gives you around 600kbps. That's it. I have tried both Reliance and Airtel.
Slightly better story in Noida where I can get 1.2mbps
10mbps on 3G.... ?? You don't get that on a landline DSL connection today without paying exorbitant costs in areas where monopolies and duopolies exist(most of India)
Just now I tested and got 8Mbps on my Airtel 3G (Bangalore). But Ping is really bad at 640ms.
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Old 29th April 2015, 11:17   #284
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I have been following this story for quite sometime now and frankly it is scary to know what the bodies that are supposed to be Autonomous and are entrusted with the Telecom regulation in India think about this issue. All I hear is a lobbyist speaking, every single time in guise of a autonomous representative.

I have seen some of the TRAI representatives talk on the telly and all I hear is a Teleco Parrot. They do not understand or intend to understand what the fundamentals of Net Neurality mean.

Some of us may feel what's wrong if we get data for free - we need to understand that such moves will kill competition and innovation both. By charging websites/businesses/app developers to be on such a platform you would essentially play into the hands of the ones with the biggest pocket.

I sincerely wish the Govt. does something about this.

P.S : Poloman said he got 8 Mbps on Airtel 3G (dude you are lucky) - 60% of the time I get Edge, 30% I get H+ (whose speeds are around 2-3 Mbps) and rest of the time I literally am searching for a data signal. I only have a 1.6 G data cap and I have been unable to use it more than once - that speaks volumes about the speeds we get.

Last edited by pratyush6 : 29th April 2015 at 11:22.
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Old 29th April 2015, 11:26   #285
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P.S : Poloman said he got 8 Mbps on Airtel 3G (dude you are lucky) - 60% of the time I get Edge, 30% I get H+ (whose speeds are around 2-3 Mbps) and rest of the time I literally am searching for a data signal. I only have a 1.6 G data cap and I have been unable to use it more than once - that speaks volumes about the speeds we get.
It actually depends upon how much the cell tower is loaded. In areas like Whitefield and ORR where there are lot of IT professional, you will see very poor speeds even with H+ showing.
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