Digicel & Bmobile Treat Unlimited Data Differently!
There seems to be another stir in the market currently, as the new Digicel “We’re revealing everything” campaign has hit, it has been met with a ton of negative feedback in the comments section. Going through the comments, there seems to be legitimate issues and ones where I don’t think people understand what the expectations of the company are. Both Bmobile & Digicel have a different approach to their “Unlimited” plans. But the question that keeps circulating is, “are these plans actually unlimited?”
The answer needs to be broken down per company, as they both have fair usage policy’s that work a bit differently. This isn’t uncommon though. Every company around the globe that offers Unlimited data plans has a fair usage policy, to properly spread out their bandwidth amongst it’s users. First, lets take a look at the largest Telecoms company in the USA and then compare our local providers to see how they stack up.
Let's Look At AT&T
Unlimited Data, Limited Speed
AT&T as mentioned before is the largest Telecom operator in the USA. Managing the network to ensure fair usage has to be done one way or the other. The Stream Saver feature is a pretty nifty feature, that scales back the resolution of your videos to help you stream more during a billing cycle. Now, if you are someone with a small screen, you won’t notice the drop in quality too much.
However, if you got a device with a decent size screen, you will definitely notice the drop in quality but you do have the option to turn this off.
The key here is that, they give you unlimited access to the data network but manage how much of the data will allowed to utilize their LTE speeds. That threshold for AT&T is 22gb.
According to Statista.com, the global avg for smartphone cellular network data usage per month in 2019 is 5.6gb, which will get up to 8.9gb by 2021.
The Digicel Data Breakdown
Since Digice’s postpaid plans all include Unlimited for a 30 day period, the fair usage will be the same as the 30 day period for pre-paid. We will break down their other pre-paid plans, as they all carry different fair usage speed limits.
What is important to understand is that, the reveal all campaign, is simply suppose to alert you to the fact that the information regarding their speed limits is no longer buried in the fine print on their pages and linked to another page. What is Unlimited is access to their data network, their speed is what is managed to ensure fair usage all around for their customers.
Digicel’s CEO has also publicly stated that if anybody is having any issues with their network or the company, you can email him at [email protected] By the way, he actually responds.
Pre Paid Plans
We know everybody sees the word “Unlimited” and they want to have unlimited data access and unlimited LTE speeds, but due to network congestion, it just would not work out.
The Bmobile Data Breakdown
Where as Digicel has decided to put their limitations front and center, you will still need to scroll down to the bottom of the page below their plans and look for their Fair Usage Policy (I have linked it incase you want to take a look at it). Bmobile approaches fair usage a bit differently than Digicel.
Whereas Digicel plainly states how much of their data will be at their LTE speeds so that you can gauge, Bmobile unfortunately does not. Bmobile’s stance is that it will give you as much LTE speed as possibile without any cap, they will reserve the right to reduce your speeds if it far exceeds 99% of the users on the network at a given time. They even reserve the right to cancel your subscription if you are caught using the service for profit, Digicel also states the same.
The problem most people have is that, you will never know what the threshold is because those numbers can always change. So there is no way of telling if in month 1 you get 50gb of LTE speed or if in month 2 you get 25gb of LTE speeds. You will however have unlimited access to the data network, the only varying factor is at what speed.
So Whose Policy Is Better?
Tough question. Digicel is more of a surety, you know what you are going to get with every plan in terms of how much of your Unlimited Data access will be with LTE speed. Bmobile is more of a gamble as their LTE speed restrictions will always change depending on how their networks are being used on a daily basis.
If you are the type of person that likes concrete information, go Digicel. If you are a bit a gambler and hope for more than 25gb of LTE speeds per month, go Bmobile. Both companies are keeping inline with international standards, quality of service is another debate though.
My Last Thought's...I Promise!
This article is STRICTLY addressing the FAIR USAGE POLICY’S of both companies with respect to DATA! This is in no way shape or form talking about which network has better coverage, faster speeds or anything of the sort. To be honest, the terrain of Trinidad & Tobago makes cell coverage a nightmare for so many different reasons. If you want to check out all of the factors that affect our cell coverage, you can read about it here (What Affects My Cell Coverage?).
Everybody’s experiences on the networks will be vastly different on location and take it from me, it is best to have a dual sim device and a SIM from both networks, to ensure you are always within coverage. You can also use an app called Opensignal, to check out where all the towers for both networks are located, to ensure you get the best coverage in your most frequented areas.
If you realize that the other network has better coverage where you are mainly, you should consider making the switch and remember, both networks allow you to port your phone number to the other network. That means, if you are changing networks, you can keep your number.
Let me know in the comments below, who do you think has the better fair usage policy?