Feeds

Vodafone Australia's 'doubles user traffic' on free weekend

Wow. A whole EIGHT KILOBITS PER SECOND per user

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Vodafone has unintentionally exposed the miserly behaviour of Australian mobile data users, while hyping data usage over the “free data weekend” it declared to apologise for network outages. It turns out that punters hammered the network with a stunning eight Kbps per user.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Voda customers “consumed a record-breaking amount of data” over the weekend.

As the story states: “Between midnight Friday and 3:00AM Monday, Vodafone said its customers consumed 590 terabytes of data nationally - twice as much compared to the weekend before. In layman's terms, consuming 590 terabytes is the equivalent of downloading roughly 98 million songs or streaming 393,333 movies.

“Customers in NSW consumed the most data, followed by Victoria, Western Australia, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania. The busiest time on the company's network was Sunday at 8.30PM AEST, with 4500 gigabytes of data being carried across its network every 15 minutes, Vodafone said.”

It's an interesting set of data, once you start to unpick it.

Let's start with “4500 GB every 15 minutes”. Big, isn't it? – Except that this works out to just 40 Gbps of traffic across the whole network.

It's really not unusual for a network with 4.96 million customers to generate 40 Gbps of traffic. The real surprise is that those customers didn't generate more traffic: across the whole Vodafone customer base, 40 Gbps is only eight kilobits per second of traffic.

We can do better, however. We know from the company's financial results that there are 819,000 3G broadband customers, 2.7 million customers using data on their phones (the company doesn't yet break out 4G user numbers in its data).

That gets us up to 11 Kbps per user on a free weekend. The ABS data on fixed broadband usage suggests to Vulture South that the DSL-cable-fibre customers, on the other hand, average about 150 Kbps across the country.

And that, according to what Vodafone told the Sydney Morning Herald, is double what users usually consume – let's call it a grand 4 – 5.5 Kbps per user, and network-wide, 20 Gbps.

All of which, as Twitter user and experienced ISP network expert Mark Newton (@NewtonMark) put it: “Voda Australia has just learned that their cost of supply for unlimited data is a rounding error. Why have a limit at all?”

In fact, "why charge separately for data at all?" is probably a question Australians should be asking all our mobile carriers. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.