Computing Rants Technology

Collusion in ad-hoc mobile data bundle pricing?

The cellular networks seem to think we are all just as stupid as the government seems to think we are.

It is abundantly clear on these screen shots taken today from the Vodacom, MTN, and Cell C websites that they are either price-fixing or colluding, or deliberately being anti-competitive in their pricing for ad-hoc mobile data bundles. It must be more than coincidence they all arrive at the same prices for the same data volumes, yet each has a very different network infrastructure, backbone and peering configuration from the other.

I hate it when big corporates assume they are more intelligent than the consumer.



Record Fuel Mileage

Ullapool Petrol Station III by Iguana Jo
Ullapool Petrol Station III by Iguana Jo

Given today’s ever-increasing fuel prices in South Africa, you really only have two options available to you:
1. Sit in a corner and cry while waiting for the price to come down,
2. Learn how to drive your car safely in as fuel efficient a manner as possible.

I chose the latter, and it’s paying off.
I’m driving a 1.6 petrol Citroen C4, not a small car, but a comfortable ride, and a pretty damn fuel efficient one too, when driven correctly. My last tank of approximately 55 litres, took me to 812.8km before I lost my nerve and pulled in at the petrol pump. My usual tank range is around 700km, so you can understand the caution. The new consumption works out to 6.6l per 100 km in the combined cycle, say 50% highway, 50% everywhere else. I’ve been used to getting 8.1 or 8.2 litres per 100, so this certainly was a big step up.

Now I’m not saying buy Citroen – I’m saying learn how to drive again – make the journey an adventure in cost saving. Learn to love neutral, and enjoy coasting down hills and highways. Hypermiling can be fun, when done safely. It brings a new lease of life to the boring old commute, and think of all the cool stuff you can do with that money instead of burning it.


Business Day takes Telkom apart

On the back of a new study by Genesis Analytics, the Business Day has ripped Telkom’s pricing structure to shreds with the following articles: 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Finally, some of the excellent citizen journalism is taking root in traditional media.