In a press statement sent out last night, Telkom announced that all data generated by using popular social media platforms will no longer count towards ADSL data limits, effective immediately. This is in addition to the announcement that all Telkom Internet customers with 5GB capped accounts and higher will get double their monthly data quota completely free of charge between September 1st and March 31, 2014. Furthermore, all ADSL subscribers can use as much data as they like between midnight and 6am every day without that data counting towards their cap.
People will be able to use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all day, every day, without the data consumed by these services counting towards their monthly data cap. Online video sites like YouTube, however, are not covered by the new policy. In addition, once you hit your cap these social media platforms will be subject to the limitations placed on your connection by Telkom’s SoftCap policy.
“Social networks are extremely popular communication platforms and we understand that our customers need to constantly interact and be engaged, hence their relationship with these platforms. This offer empowers our customers to access the information they want from the platform of their choice,” says Managing Director of Telkom’s Consumer and Retail Services Division, Mr Manelisa Mavuso. ”I believe that free data access to social networking is a game-changer as we are giving our customers free and greater choice in what is fast becoming a preferred communications platform” he adds.
These are all welcome developments – more of anything for the same amount of cash is always a win for the consumer – but of course it could be argued that Telkom is not giving away a whole lot here. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn aren’t exactly data-intensive services, and midnight-to-6am is the quietest time on any network and utilising it more during those hours doesn’t really require any extra effort from Telkom.
It’s laudable the company is at least looking for ways to offer its customers more, though, it’s just not particularly heartening that the moves being made by our incumbent telecoms giant are mere inches in the right direction and not giant strides.