Orange Spain has continued reinforcing the portfolio of its Simyo brand ahead of the incorporation of Republica Movil clients by announcing that all users will be able to continue browsing at reduced speeds even after they use up their data bundles. The new rules mean customers who exhaust their data can continue accessing the internet at speeds of 64 Kbps rather than paying 3.59 eurocents (US $0.44) per extra megabyte consumed.
The change is applicable to both prepaid and postpaid customers with a data bundle, who also have the option of paying €1.00 (US $1.21) a day for an extra 1 GB data bundle at full speed, rising to €7.00 (US $8.50) for 15 GB over 7 days and €15.00 (US $18.23) for 30 GB over 15 days.
While it is certainly nice for an operator to offer users who have exhausted their data allowances the option of access the internet free of charge, we feel that in today’s mobile universe, speeds in the rage of 64 Kbps offer so little in the way of usable connectivity as to be almost insulting to consumers. Such speeds effectively prevent a smartphone from doing what it was made to do, or what even the lowest-intensity of users do.
Orange Spain has actually made it possible for users who have run out of data to access the internet at normal speeds, through the pay-as-you-go add-on data bundles, which are reasonably priced. In the one-day bundle,1 GB is offered at only €1.00, compared to the €359.00 it would theoretically cost at the punitive overage rate of €0.359 per megabyte. So, with such good deals available to deal with the problem of suddenly realizing that one has run out of data, why even mention 64 Kbps? Offering speeds from the dialup era runs the risk of making the operator seem out of touch with customers’ needs today.