New HSPA Plans

Wireless broadband over 3G/4G
fsm
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Re: New HSPA Plans

Post by fsm » Sat Oct 16, 2010 4:14 am

[Since my original posting was inadvertently deleted by normally benevolent forces, I am replying again with a somewhat different reply]
factor wrote:Because it is expected that some percentage of packets will be lost between the cell tower and the laptop, mitigating the effect of a lost packet can assist throughput. TCP starts to back-off its transmission when it is losing packets ... the assumption being that their is network congestion somewhere along the path (not making allowance for the fact that the last mile may be a little lossy).
You assume that 3G networks don't have a link level error correcting protocol. I believe that UMTS networks can choose whether they wish to enable a link level retransmission protocol which effectively mitigates the effect of lost packets. I certainly hope that I'm not being charged for packets the UMTS network fails to deliver. I don't know whether Optus implements link level retransmission, nor do I know whether what is implemented is actually optimal for TCP/IP. Certainly, link and network level protocols that attempt to provide a reliable sub-network for higher level protocols can adversely impact TCP/IP performance. Venturi Wireless claims that TCP is not suited for wireless networks and sells client and proxy products implementing the Venturi Transport Protocol. Unwired uses this in their non-UMTS legacy network possibly along with Venturi's compression technology and some users report a benefit at least below a certain speed.
TCP can recover its speed faster if the latency between laptop and server is lower. If the TCP connection is actually between a Sydney based proxy server and Sydney based laptop, throughput will increase faster again following packet loss, this compared to the TCP connection being between a US based web server and the Sydney based laptop.
While latency has an effect, I think it is less significant in modem TCP implementations with SACK and fast recovery. You're also assuming that the overseas link contributes the most latency. The local mobile network can have significant and highly variable latency. If the wireless network implements link level retransmissions then the TCP round trip time will blow out making TCP slow to respond to packet loss. I'm inclined to think there would be a performance improvement provided the two TCP connections had a large enough buffer between them, but I don't know whether it would be significant. Performance of TCP/IP over mobile networks seems a complex area to me.
Screwing around with lossy compression of images at a proxy server, or generating mobile friendly web pages (have a good go at buggering up the content) is not ok though!!
Please have a look at Opera Turbo. Dazzled too, was initially skeptical. I agree that compression is not a one-size fits all solution and users should be able at the very least to decide whether they wish to participate. Opera for example allows you to reload individual images in higher quality, and only appears to lower quality on images that are referenced from a page and not standalone images. I would argue that users should also be able to decide if they wish to have their traffic proxied, since it is not totally transparent.
I would be perfectly happy for Exetel to charge me for the uncompressed data stream in this case, provide a performance benefit for us but keep the saving of throughput over the wireless component of the network.
Well, you might be happy, but I wouldn't be happy unless the performance benefit was significant enough to justify breaking the end-to-end ness of the TCP/IP connection (a bad thing since it introduces the possibility of packet loss and other unreliability). I do recognise that Exetel need to see a business benefit. I conjecture that by being more attractive to users with compressible data, user numbers and data consumption will increase. In any case, it seems a pity for Exetel to not compress data passed through Optus, allowing Optus to potentially benefit from network compression, while not receiving any discount for compressible data.

fsm
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Re: New HSPA Plans

Post by fsm » Sat Oct 16, 2010 4:47 am

David R wrote:Attention Exetel:

I would like to suggest an economy option (run parallel) for existing customers.
Hi David,

I'm impressed that you went to the trouble to mock up a new ordering page but I think your pricing expectations are overly optimistic, with the exception that "Evening" users have no incentive to use economy.

Nevertheless, it would be interesting to see just what pricing Exetel could offer, if it introduced additional plans similarly provisioned to its competitors, therefore offering comparable performance, but hopefully with better pricing . Alternatively or additionally, maybe it could resell the Optus offerings (i.e. Optus APN and facilities) possibly adding a PAYG plan. One twist Exetel might be able to offer is the ability to allow you to switch between performance levels/charging regimes simply be changing your APN.

tin
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Re: New HSPA Plans

Post by tin » Sat Oct 16, 2010 1:11 pm

fsm wrote:
tin wrote:So I see there is only one pay-per-MB plan now... This is data only, right? Are the (actually usable Optus based) phone plans completely gone now?
No, quite the opposite, every device gains the ability to make calls whether it can do so or not.
Is this in writing somewhere on the Exetel site? I couldn't see anything when I went looking earlier. Like call prices and such, which would be important to know.
The above post is copyright, may be edited at any time, and should not be taken internally. Any breach of these terms may result in legal action or a sore tummy.

MCCMikey
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Re: New HSPA Plans

Post by MCCMikey » Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:13 pm

If you use the default E169 firmware (also works on E160s) you get an extra "voice" tab.

See http://picasaweb.google.com.au/CCCMikey ... 7450616306

fsm
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Re: New HSPA Plans

Post by fsm » Sat Oct 16, 2010 10:05 pm

tin wrote: Is [HSPA plan information] in writing somewhere on the Exetel site? I couldn't see anything when I went looking earlier. Like call prices and such, which would be important to know.
It's all there, starting at the main residential wireless broadband page is probably the best idea. It's a little unclear if you just read the present pricing page and you've obviously missed the "Calls to Australian Landline & Mobile Numbers" column in the plan table.

klausmayer
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Re: New HSPA Plans

Post by klausmayer » Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:46 pm

I wouldn't mind to pay a few dollars more if I would get more reliability because I experience a lot of poor connectivity with Optus (can't connect despite having >90% signal strength, does not log in, many ping timeouts, ping response ranging from 70ms to >4000ms, connected to service but no internet, etc etc)

I agree with other members that the GB reference in the plan should be for download only as per many other providers.

ForumAdmin
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Re: New HSPA Plans

Post by ForumAdmin » Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:22 am

We have finalised the discussions with Optus regarding pricing but made little/no progress.

Sometime today we will publish the new plans on the web site to be added to the PFWYU plans already 'released'.

These will be:

$25.00 for sim, activation and shipping.

1gb for $15.00 per month
2 gb for $22.00 per month
3 gb for $30.00 per month
5 gb for $45.00 per month

(includes uploads and downloads)

The price of E160 and E1762 modems will be reduced.

They will be premium plans with full services and full provisioning.

tin
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Re: New HSPA Plans

Post by tin » Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:42 am

fsm wrote:
tin wrote:It's a little unclear if you just read the present pricing page and you've obviously missed the "Calls to Australian Landline & Mobile Numbers" column in the plan table.
Ah - it does say there now... I see. When I looked a week or 2 back, there was just one plan, and it said "For use with Laptop/Desktop" and didn't mention mobiles. So if the extra column was actually there at that time, I probably ignored it due to it saying it was for data only.
The above post is copyright, may be edited at any time, and should not be taken internally. Any breach of these terms may result in legal action or a sore tummy.

David R
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Re: New HSPA Plans

Post by David R » Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:03 pm

@ForumAdmin: I came up with $30.00 for 3 gbytes as being the 'golden' value price point (based on what the 'market' wants - not what we could afford to provide /.../ Numbers like $30/3gbytes make you realise there is no real point in getting out of bed any morning. What To Do About Wireless Broadband?19/10/2010

If you're just going to repeat past mistakes then you might as well call wireless_3GByte' the "negative 35dollars per month plan"; (& I won't be buying that which causes a loss). ...
  • I'd hardly imagine those gold diggers who invest in telco crap, would grant you the access to their 'internal cost'; so 3GByte to Exetel still looks like '$65.00'' cost. %1 market share, or %0 market share--nonwithstanding
  • It seems we're stuck using this telco-junk. Last time I accessed sub-$10/gb wireless was via ExetelWIMAX,
    too long ago, and then that price was 'jacked up'.
    (Unwired's marketing experiment wasn't to last
  • Today you still have something 'remotely compelling' to offer, I refer to Exetel's Pay As You Use concept.
    (But) essentially all it has progressed to date by evidence is a Premium tag appended to a description page,
  • but your Numbers show people DO purchase PAYU.
  • Credible concept, +Clever buyers.
while you still contemplate.

a/ I want to see that concept expressed in full dollar terms: LOSE the 'cents'/MB, dont insult the buyers' intellect.
Pay per GIGABYTE, thanks - i.e. keep the change when rounding up

b/ Three counters established for compartmentalised appropriately 'Time bands '
c/ Test scenario: $16GB + $12GB + $5GB =$11/GB DATA on AVERAGE

d/ Give users the CHOICE of,
for example data,
2.000-2.999GB end user' usage would be charged =$48 anytime/'or in the evening';
2.000-2.999GB end user' usage would be charged =$15 if 100% in the 'trough band'/period
Just to illustrate two 'extreme outputs'^

e/ I'd like the peace of mind that Exetel define & stipulate a sensible Credit Limit over which it assumes responsibility in writing such a guarantee to its productpage.
In the mutual interest of Optus, Reseller And most critically the residential Consumer,
let that limit be '4.XXX GB' =~A$60
(based on $11X'5'GB +$5 monthly fee)
None of this 'grease ball', "our customers complain so bitterly for billing to excuse them being responsible for incurring high/unexpected excess charges"
.
Most of which comes down to mathematics, skill and a desire to innovate (not sitting on ones hands, moaning); sorely which, has been missing to date in Exetel' wireless product.
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fsm
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Re: New HSPA Plans

Post by fsm » Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:30 am

ForumAdmin wrote:We have finalised the discussions with Optus regarding pricing but made little/no progress.

Sometime today we will publish the new plans on the web site to be added to the PFWYU plans already 'released'.
...
Methinks you'll be talking to Optus again very soon. Have you seen Telstra's new prepaid wireless broadband recharge pricing applying from the 21st? The 365 day recharge now becomes the best value option and is very attractive. Kills WP1 and makes the plans around it less attractive for many. Does Telstra have a cash flow problem, or are they counting on existing customers maintaining their old recharge habits with little benefit until they get more desperate for market share. How does Exetel/Optus compare to NextG?

BTW, I think some of the ideas in this forum could do with some looking into, Hint, hint.

ForumAdmin
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Re: New HSPA Plans

Post by ForumAdmin » Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:57 pm

I don't see anything very interesting in Telstra's latest pre-paid plans - other than they are less ridiculously expensive than their previous versions.

People who buy pre-paid (people with not very much money or people who wish to constrain spending) don't want to fork out $150.00 up front.

The other rates are very expensive.

fsm
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Re: New HSPA Plans

Post by fsm » Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:07 am

In the absence of $0/month postpaid plans such as the WM- A plan Exetel used to offer, the long term expiry plan of Telstra provides a near PFWYU product at the same price as Exetel used to offer WM-A, $15/GB. Users with a long term average data usage of between 375MB - 1.47GB, or with sufficient variation in their monthly usage will find the Telstra plan offers better value than the current Exetel PFWYU or the new 'use it or lose it' (UIOLI) usage plans. There is also the heavily advertised attraction of Telstra's claims of a superior network. Prepaid customers of other ISPs with lower data costs are even better off though they may recieve inferior service.

To benefit from the new Exetel plans, as with most post paid plans in the industry, users need to consistently have their data usage in the correct range. Users and the providers interests are not aligned. Users need to worry about hitting the correct range, providers hope the user estimates incorrectly.

Sadly, since everybody else prices their post paid plans like that, Exetel has little choice to price their higher usage plans the same way. It would be nice, if Exetel could set an example here and provide alternate plans that align the providers and customers interests. Possibly, the PFWYU plan is the only plan that does that. However, if Exetel, Optus wish to give customers that use more data a price break, a tiered PFWYU plan is a more honest way of doing that. To put it another way, automatically charge the customer as if they had chosen the lowest cost price plan for each billing month. There plans would of course appear more expensive than the current UIOLI plans, but if people really want a LIOLI plan than let them have them after they have been suitably warned.

Prepaid is not just for people with poor cash flow or with poor credit, it comes closest to $0/month PFYU plans as well as providing an alternative for those that don't like providing credit card or bank account details to companies or dislike automatic debit. I trust Exetel not to misuse its direct debit facility. I trust very few other organisations with this privilege.

Edit: Corrected 0-1.47GB to 375MB-1.47GB above.
Last edited by fsm on Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ForumAdmin
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Re: New HSPA Plans

Post by ForumAdmin » Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:03 pm

We settled on the new Pre-Paid wireless broadband plans around midday today and they should be back on the web site and user facilities shortly.

As far as I can see they are far better priced than any other provider to the marketplace, as well as using a premium network to supply the services.

They go from 550 mbytes to six mbytes with realistic use by periods.....all much better priced than Telstra's, Optus' or anyone else's pre-paid services.

Whether consumers understand it or not there are costs for providing data/voice services that have to be recovered - one of those costs is the monthly connect cost that is charged to Exetel whether the end user actually uses the services or doesn't download a single byte in a month.

I know it's my problem but I seriously have problems understanding why some consumers seem to think that such sophisticated services with all their associated administration and banking costs should be provided for 'free'.

fsm
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Re: New HSPA Plans

Post by fsm » Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:40 am

.....all much better priced than Telstra's, Optus' or anyone else's pre-paid services.
I must be reading different web pages than you, Exetel's best pricing of $12.50/GB is certainly available from 3 & Vodafoner and you are also ignoring the fact that the carrier plans typically allow data or credit to be carried over into the next recharge period.
Whether consumers understand it or not there are costs for providing data/voice services that have to be recovered - one of those costs is the monthly connect cost that is charged to Exetel whether the end user actually uses the services or doesn't download a single byte in a month.

I know it's my problem but I seriously have problems understanding why some consumers seem to think that such sophisticated services with all their associated administration and banking costs should be provided for 'free'.
It does get a bit confusing. I have seen $0 month hspa and mobile plans on the Exetel web site previously. I seem to remember a $0 plan with 50MB free not so very long ago. True, $0/month mobile phone plans are a vanishing species. In the case of wireless broadband it is easy to get the impression that a 0MB service can be provided at a price close to $0 since user's don't have exclusive use of any resources like they do with a fixed line service.

Just because an enterprise faces fixed costs in the course of their business doesn't mean that cost should be divided equally between customers. It seems more reasonable to charge customers according to the amount of product they consume, but that needs to be weighed up against the desire of most businesses to favour the customers that buy their products in larger volumes with better pricing. Of course, the latter typically prevails, and because Exetel has to compete with everybody else and is forced to structure its pricing similarly to make it attractive for profitable market segments, I accept things are as they are.

Can you imagine what life would be like if your local grocer had to deal with its wholesalers the same way Exetel has to deal with it suppliers? How would you like to pay a periodic fee to your grocer for the right to shop from them? Far fetched? Heard of CostCo? At least I'm not aware of grocers offering anything other than PFWYU - but Coles do have prepaid option with credit expiry!

I think Exetel is a victim of the carrier here. As far as I can tell there is a negligible incremental cost for the wireless carrier to add a mobile user to their network. If I use no resources (my device is switched off) there is negligible recurring cost to them beyond the cost of the initial provisioning. There is some minimal resource consumption whenever I have my device switched on, which could be billed for, and of course there is resource consumption whenever my device transmits and receives data. The carrier could choose to recover its costs solely based on resource usage, but why shouldn't it impose a fixed charge per user, if resellers are willing to pay it that and at the same time make their per MB pricing more attractive. Sure, the carriers have large fixed costs that need to be recovered, but adding users generally reduces the costs that need to be recovered per user.

David R
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Re: New HSPA Plans

Post by David R » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:31 am

Appreciated, ForumAdministrater. at least you have been able to partially address my point 'e/' above by effecting a more beneficial (capped) price/gbyte prepaid of around~closer to 10bucks. Surely this shall put paid to the claim Exetel has renegotiated its deal with O.W., I refer to the eLetter "New, Lower Cost..." Oct 19 2010 correspondence.

Evidently you have replied to Next GTM's $150/ $15pGB rate for predated accounts, though whether Exetel's product can live to survive two Christmas's-in-a-row, remains uncertain to the consumer.

Though I haven't checked into this properly, some have theorised Optus' dollar days could be used per peoples' mobile devices to achieve Hotspots via Wi-Fi (accessible by workstations). So it remains to be quantified what ~$2.00/day prepaid actually can buy, though I suspect this may have been to do with Optus' reaction to VividWireless.

Nice of you to relay the ins and outs of costs, I have always thought the more information shared across these forums, the better of an understanding we all can develop.

When/If you are ready to progress this (still) 'terribly simplistic' iteration of Exetel's wireless service (so that it is less wasteful and more economic), you know where to find my blueprint for design.


Edited/UPDATED.
Image
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