Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Wi-Tribe removes data cap, but then warns heavy subscribers

Wi-Tribe Telecoms on Monday said it will offer “unlimited” Internet services to its subscribers, but at the same time warned its heaviest users that Internet speed may slow down for them.

Wi-Tribe said 5 percent of subscribers may be deemed “abusive” for hogging up to a quarter of its bandwidth.

The company claimed record-breaking sales in recent months but would not reveal the exact numbers. Officials claimed to have registered 55,000 subscribers to date. Wi-Tribe attributed the robust sales to “good service quality and value for money plans” starting at P598 for 512 kbps. Wi-Tribe claims that this makes the plan the cheapest stand-alone broadband service in the country.

The company’s “unlimited” services, however, comes with a qualifier for truly heavy users.

“We have a smart network that has a trigger set to throttle the speed down. We are reviewing the fair-use policy for heavy users, as other operators are now implementing here and around the world,” said Simon Burckhardt, Wi-Tribe chief commercial adviser, in a press conference called by Wi-Tribe Telecoms, formerly Liberty Broadcasting Network, Inc. (LBNI). Wi-Tribe is backed by San Miguel Corp. and Qatar Telecoms Group.

For plan P599, with Internet speeds of up to 512 kbps, Wi-Tribe said it will remove a the 1GB data cap. The company also said it has removed a 6GB data cap on subscribers under its Plan P998, which comes with up to 1mbps of internet speed. Wi-Tribe’s Plan P1,998, which used to have a data cap of 12GB, now offers an internet speed of up to 2mbps.

“With today’s announcement of the removal of our data caps we believe we now offer the best value broadband internet service in the market,” company product head Edmund Pike said.

In recent days, however, Wi-Tribe had also been warning heavy users that they may be penalized for usage beyond what the company would consider “normal”.

A typical message to heavy-usage Wi-Tribe customers – those that “have been regularly using the service at a very high level over the past months” – warns that Wi-Tribe “may be regulating your usage to ensure it comes down to a more normal level. You may find your service speed significantly reduced on some days during this month and possibly future months if your usage is still way above normal."

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