We have a world-class GSM infrastructure with world-class connectivity and world-class bandwidth, but we have the most bizarre pricing system imaginable. R80 (+- $11) per month for 100MB. Sure, I can upgrade my data bundle, and the prices do improve as it increases, but not by much.
So what are my alternatives?
- I can use my GSM connection for mobile use only, and then do all my other surfing and downloading at work. Sure, that works to an extent, but it’s just a matter of time before the company I work for notices that I’m downloading over a gigabyte per week in MP3s (podcasts, not pirated music). That’s what I’m doing now, and it’s no good.
- Upgrade my GSM data bundle to a substantial amount, and use my cellphone as my home Internet connection to the extent that I would really like to. Costs a fortune.
- Get some other broadband at home. There’s a large continuum of packages available, wireless or fixed-line… but they’re all either prohibitively expensive or essentially useless (I cite iBurst’s 40MB per month package as example… who could possibly get by on 40MB per month? WinXP’s automated updates alone are usually more than that!)
I dunno… way I see it, it’s Hobson’s choice. I’ll have to sell my soul (or give up some other luxury, like food) to afford the bandwidth I’ve come to require. No fair.
I feel like becoming one of those pathetic street-corner beggars. I'll go stand at the 14th Avenue on-ramp to the N1 with a card-board sign saying "Will work for bandwidth!"