Swift Networks Limited, Nigeria’s foremost broadband service provider today announced that the survey it conducted on the broadband user habits and attitude indicated that only 20% of broadband subscribers are responsible for approximately 80% of the data carried on an operator’s network.
The survey which was carried out on eight hundred and sixty seven subscribers from different works of life over a period of six months established that about 80% of data carried on Swift’s broadband network has been consistently attributed to just 20% of it’s subscribers. 70% of the broadband subscribers typically used less than 3 Gigabytes (GB) of data every month and the types of data downloaded by most subscribers were web pages (75%); peer to peer messaging and online video streaming (20%); and email (5%).
Speaking on the outcome of the survey, Philip Sonibare, the Assistant General Manager, Consumer Sales and Marketing, SWIFT Networks Limited said; “This study is an eye-opener for us as it shows that most broadband subscribers in Nigeria can actually get more mileage with the same monthly subscription fee. In addition, the impending rapid growth in video streaming implies that operators must ceaselessly expand their networks to keep pace with the changing demands of network users.
Highlighting the challenges of slow internet access in Nigeria, Sonibare confirmed that the above trend has also been confirmed to be in line with broadband usage internationally, particularly, South Africa. It is believed that the slow internet access prevalent in Nigeria is responsible for the low video and peer-to-peer traffic. In fact, video traffic is projected to constitute 66% of all internet traffic in the USA by 2011.
“The key implication of the above trend is that uniform or flat rate pricing for broadband use is unfair to most subscribers. For example, broadband users who pay a flat fee each month but only do limited data download and upload (like email primarily) will be subsidizing users who focus on peer-to-peer traffic and/or extensive video streaming” continued Sonibare.
To further illustrate how unfair flat rate pricing can be, 1 Gigabyte of data would be sufficient for 100,000 of email downloads (without file or video attachments), but only sufficient for 33 five-minute video clips. As such, the broadband user that does mainly or only emails on his/her service plan and pays the same flat monthly rate as another subscriber that is constantly video streaming throughout the month, will be subsidizing the perpetual video streamer. A fairer pricing model for over 80% of broadband users should be based on the each subscriber’s data up and down load, with the subscriber using more data also paying more. This explains the recent trend internationally and pioneered by US based operators like AT&T, Verizon and Sprint who have progressed from flat rate broadband pricing to a fairer activity-based pricing where the activity is measured and priced on the basis of data associated with it for each subscriber.