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mlcarter

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#3224 19-Jan-2005 11:05
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Hello I am using GPRS modules at remote sites sending about 1K of data once a day. Early in December 2004 I was getting charged correctly ( about 10c every 10 days) Now I am getting charged 10c every second day. (10c for about 2K). It looks like the charging system has changed! Is there a time limit on then the 10K block needs to be used within ?

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freitasm
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#11957 19-Jan-2005 11:11
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There's no time limit, but if the connection is closed then you'll be charged for the block - regardless of having used 1KB or 9KB.




 

 

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mlcarter

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  #11968 19-Jan-2005 17:42
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What do you mean by close the connection ?
The module stays on all the time. The Data is sent as an email attachment once-a-day, once the connectin to the STMP server is closed does this terminate the connection ? I didn't think so.
I do notice that after 30minutes to 2 hours of inactivity the modules allocated IP address is lost maybe this counts as closing the connection ? So if I ping something very 20 minutes I could keep the connection open and get the full 10k that way ?

 
 
 
 


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  #11974 19-Jan-2005 21:31
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If the IP address is changed the connection is being lost and reestablished.

Where you previously on a telemetry plan at all or just a standard GPRS plan? As I understand it Vodafone have dumped the telemetry plans so you now have a 10Kb minimum charge. I'm not aware of Vodafone dumping idle connections so pinging a remote site may not fix the problem.

Just looking at the Vodafone site I notice they also no longer make any mention of a 10Kb minimum charge for GPRS sessions. Sneeky buggers..

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  #11975 19-Jan-2005 21:32
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Just to add to my last message Vodafone introduced new GPRS plans in mid December.

freitasm
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#11976 19-Jan-2005 22:21
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"If the IP address is changed the connection is being lost and reestablished."

That's exactly what I meant with "disconnection".




 

 

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mlcarter

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  #12010 20-Jan-2005 18:25
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This is using pre-pay sim cards.
I Just fixed a machine to keep its IP address by connecting to a server every 20 minutes. (No data was exchanged) I was charged about 10cents an hour. It looks like there is a timeout on the use of the 10 K.
I can not get any sense out of vodafone people no one seems of know exactly how the billing calculation works, or even that it has changed since sometime in December!

mlcarter

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  #12485 4-Feb-2005 09:58
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Just clearified the data charging by running a SIM card on a plan so I could get detailed info on the data usage.

A GPRS session is active all the time as vodafone say :

"GPRS provides a fast, 'always on'* data connection to your mobile, to your PDA or - in conjunction with Mobile Connect Card - to your laptop, so you can work wherever you are, whenever you want. Because GPRS is 'always on', but you don't pay for time on the network - only for the amount of data that you send and receive"

IF this was the case you could send 1k per day you would be charged 10c after 10 days right ?

NOT !

In fact you are not charged on the data that you send/recieve per activated GPRS session BUT data sent/recieved per IP/TCP connection with a minimum of 10K. Once the IP/TCP connection is closed you are charged for the block.
I finially got a sensable answer from vodafone

THIS MEANS each time your machine connects to POP server and checks your email you will be charged the 10c Even if you have no mail at all!!!

This is not good for me !

Not good if your machine is checking your email every 10 minutes !!

Does anybody know, are you charged differently on telemetry plans ?

Thanks



 
 
 
 


freitasm
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#12486 4-Feb-2005 10:17
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Did you get this as a reply from Vodafone or from experience?

Interesting, but I disagree. GPRS is charged per traffic. It means that if you check a POP account and there's no e-mail there you'll be charged - but not for the reason you think. You'll be charged simply because to check a POP account you do have some traffic. There's the connection open traffic, response from server, user name sending, response from server, password sending, response from server, UIDL command, response from server. Any protocol on the Internet requires traffic.

Also, GPRS is always-on from the cellsite to your mobile terminal. It doesn't mean it's always available for an application. The mobile terminal may be in a phone call, CSD connection or other state. Your application have to connect to the GPRS stream available from the terminal. It's like a cable-modem. It's always on, but unless my computer is on and connected there will be no traffic.




 

 

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mlcarter

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  #12487 4-Feb-2005 11:54
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Both, this is the way it appears to me and vodafone also comfirmed that the closing of a TCP/IP link ends a data block which has the 10k minimum. NOT the termination of a GPRS session.

Yes there will be a bit of traffic talking to a POP server, but probably about 200 bytes which will round up to 10k.

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#12488 4-Feb-2005 12:07
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Interesting. Do you realise that this would create havoc with web browser connections then? Each element on a page is a different, independend request to the server. Simply opening a web page would cost a fortune.




 

 

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Jama
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#12491 4-Feb-2005 13:07
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Would any one like to know how CDMA billing works as a comparison to GPRS?

mlcarter

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  #12494 4-Feb-2005 15:33
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Yes thanks I would like to know how CDMA billing wouod compare

Response to the previous reply, if opening a web page of any bigger than 10k you wouldn't be affected (most times) ie above the minimum.

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  #12495 4-Feb-2005 17:02
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ok - minimum packet for charging is 10KB unless you are on a Telemetry plan then it is 300B. CDMA has a feature called dormancy where after 1 minute of no data activity the network drops the radio link to the device but maintains the PPP session - this is not considered a disconnect for the purposes of billing. After 4 hours of no data activity the PPP is dropped and the IP is recycled - a billing ticket is generated then. If you have intermittent data activity and never reach the 4 hour IP time out the network will drop the connection 24 hours after the session starts - this is to generate the billing tickets.

Within your session it does not matter how many TCP/IP connections you make or how many different IP's you connect to - it is still considered a single session.

Only the end of or termination of a data session will initiate a billing ticket.

I hope this makes sense, any questions let me know.

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  #12500 4-Feb-2005 18:31
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How do Vodafone bill you for GPRS then if a session stays active? If Telecom can bill you after 1 minute of inactivity how are Vodafone billing you if a GPRS session stays connected for an extended period of time? I know at the moment Vodafones billing system generates this billing information at the end of a GPRS data session and rounds the session up to the nearest 10kb if the session is less than 10kb. Are Vodafone purposely disconnecting users so they can generate a GPRS billing charge?

mlcarter

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  #12501 4-Feb-2005 20:15
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From what I was told by vodafone this morning billing is not time dependent at all. Data usage is calculated once a TCP/IP connection is closed. So if you connect and disconnect a number of times you will be charged the 10k minmum each time, even though it is the same GPRS session ie the IP has not been dropped in this time.
I don't think vodafone dissconnects for billing but to recycle the IP address like telecom


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