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By 7 March 2012 | Categories: news

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After seeing attempts from MTN to introduce BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS)-like data offerings last month, it’s now Nashua Mobile’s turn. Working in conjunction with Nokia, Nashua Mobile has announced its Xtreme Data offering to the local market. This brings together internet browsing, social media, email and instant messaging, all for a flat-rate of R59 per month.

Nokia only

There is a catch though, seeing that at this stage the offering is only available for contract customers on specific Nokia handsets only. These include the Nokia C3 and X2-01 Series 40 phones, and the Nokia E5, E7 and N8 smartphones. Both the E7 and the N8 runs the Nokia Belle OS, previously known as Symbian Belle.

Nashua Mobile’s executive head of marketing, Tim Walter, stated that they are busy with data usage test on Nokia’s new Windows Phone running Lumia 800 to see if it can be included in future packages. The company also mentioned that the service will be expanded to include other smartphones based on the Symbian, Windows Phone, iOS and Android platforms.

So what does the package offer?

According to Nashua Mobile’s fair usage policy, users will be offered speeds of up to 512 Kbps for the following services:

- web browsing
- email access with calendar, shared contacts, tasks and notes
- social networking with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
- instant messaging with WhatsApp, Facebook Chat and MXit.

Streaming services such as YouTube are not included in the package, with www.youtube.com for example blocked on the Xtreme Data network.

To ensure quality of service, Nashua Mobile has put a 100 MB Average Use threshold in place. Once crossed users will be throttled and/or shaped. Furthermore 160 MB is believed to be the High Use threshold, with customers likely to encounter even further restrictions once crossed. SMS notifications will be sent to warn users if the thresholds are approaching.  

Walters mentioned that the Xtreme Data product range will be expanded in future for those with more strenuous data needs.

Technicalities

The Xtreme Data service works by routing data from the handset to Nashua Mobile’s shared GSM data access point names (APNs) from Vodacom and MTN. From here, web access is controlled and managed by Nashua Mobile's infrastructure partners.

At this stage this value added service is only available to Nashua Mobile contract customers, with those who already have one of the above mentioned phones also able to make use of the service for R59 per month extra.

To the point

While we might not be that excited about the Nokia phones available in the Xtreme Data offering, the fact that Nashua Mobile has actually introduced a R59 flat-rate data package is highly commendable. We would like to see such innovation from a few other local companies, while we can’t wait to see what other other handsets and operating systems will be included in Nashua Mobile’s future plans.

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