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#272151 11-Jun-2020 18:21
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On RBI it looks like we're limited to 200GB of data a month.  On a standard home wireless plan it looks like we get unlimited data nowadays on vodafone.  So, interestingly, I have a rural address, but the tower my 4G modem is connecting to is most definitely an in-town one.  It seems like if I got a friend in town to let me use their address, I could register my 4G service there, bring the modem home to my rural location, and get a cheaper plan with more data.

 

 

 

Am I entirely missing something?  Without outing anyone doing something that Vodafone might disapprove of, has anyone heard of people doing this?  Is this just arcane Vodafone market segmentation, or are they tied up in government RBI rules that mean they're not allowed to do different things than other RBI providers in specified areas?


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  #2503170 11-Jun-2020 18:44
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I have heard of it been done successfully.




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  #2503173 11-Jun-2020 18:50
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Hmm.  I presume I can have a billing address separate to a service address, and that the modem would be sent to the billing address (or I could tell them I'm keeping my old RBI modem).  May not even need a friend in town....


 
 
 
 


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  #2503174 11-Jun-2020 18:53
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PaulL:

 

On RBI it looks like we're limited to 200GB of data a month.  On a standard home wireless plan it looks like we get unlimited data nowadays on vodafone.  So, interestingly, I have a rural address, but the tower my 4G modem is connecting to is most definitely an in-town one.  It seems like if I got a friend in town to let me use their address, I could register my 4G service there, bring the modem home to my rural location, and get a cheaper plan with more data.

 

 

 

Am I entirely missing something?  Without outing anyone doing something that Vodafone might disapprove of, has anyone heard of people doing this?  Is this just arcane Vodafone market segmentation, or are they tied up in government RBI rules that mean they're not allowed to do different things than other RBI providers in specified areas?

 

 

Aren't 4G connections address locked?  

 

Your tower has capacity then you cart the modem where a tower is congested. IIRC You can apply for it, you will get it if there is capacity, or not, if capacity is full

 

 


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  #2503175 11-Jun-2020 18:56
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PaulL: Is this just arcane Vodafone market segmentation

 

Urban areas tend to have more towers serving the same physical area, and therefore more capacity is available.




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  #2503181 11-Jun-2020 19:07
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All very logical.  Except the tower I connect to on my RBI plan is an urban one, the same one that serves the entire local area.  It's about 30km from me, and there are towers closer, but the closer towers are 3G only.  So, in effect, I'm connecting to and using the same infrastructure either way, and it has no way to tell whether I'm in town or not.  Hence my question.

 

As a technologist I'd say I should charge differential prices per tower.  This tower is cheap, that tower is expensive.  

 

As a marketer I totally get that you segment the market to maximise profit, and so it's not based on how much capacity I have, it's based on whether those people have any other viable options and therefore how much I can charge them (i.e. pricing at what the market will bear).

 

All of which is interesting, but as a consumer, my question is whether there's a way for me to get more for less in some sort of legitimate way.


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  #2503194 11-Jun-2020 19:11
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PaulL:

 

Except the tower I connect to on my RBI plan is an urban one, the same one that serves the entire local area.

 

 

That'll teach me for skim-reading :P


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  #2505691 16-Jun-2020 11:48
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PaulL:

 

or are they tied up in government RBI rules that mean they're not allowed to do different things than other RBI providers in specified areas?

 

 

Ding ding ding!

 

You might be OK setting it up under an urban service address especially if you're connecting to the urban tower (no guarantees of course)... though because of our regulatory obligations I wouldn't be surprised if things change in the future.


 
 
 
 


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  #2505695 16-Jun-2020 12:07
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@PaulL That single sector serving your connection could have more capacity compared to the other sectors on the site




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  #2505761 16-Jun-2020 14:24
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konfusd:

 

because of our regulatory obligations I wouldn't be surprised if things change in the future.

 

 

Right, that was what I wondered.  Basically because RBI is an integrated programme across all the telcos, it's also tied up in rules that say you can't do things different than the standard.  I had wondered given that all the providers seem to offer almost identical plans (in terms of download caps), and I know the underlying infrastructure is shared (i.e. I think Spark can sell an RBI plan hanging off Vodafone towers).

 

So I'm guessing the definition says that people within certain geographic areas are RBI clients, and anyone selling them a wireless plan must sell them an RBI plan.  Whereas people outside those areas it's open competition.  And for people on the fringes of the area, they're kinda out of luck.  

 

I might visit my Vodafone store and ask them if I can change service address and change plan.


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  #2505842 16-Jun-2020 15:31
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PaulL:

 

and I know the underlying infrastructure is shared (i.e. I think Spark can sell an RBI plan hanging off Vodafone towers).

 

 

Spark service is only sold off a spark tower, Unless it's an RCG Site - not a VF site, in which case all 3 will utilizate the same airspace.





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  #2505921 16-Jun-2020 16:15
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hio77:

 

Spark service is only sold off a spark tower, Unless it's an RCG Site - not a VF site, in which case all 3 will utilizate the same airspace.

 

 

RCG?  VF?  My understanding was that RBI was a Chorus funded thing, and there was some deal that made it kinda like the fibre infrastructure - other organisations can sell that like they can sell Chorus fibre?


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  #2505937 16-Jun-2020 16:39
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PaulL:

 

hio77:

 

Spark service is only sold off a spark tower, Unless it's an RCG Site - not a VF site, in which case all 3 will utilizate the same airspace.

 

 

RCG?  VF?  My understanding was that RBI was a Chorus funded thing, and there was some deal that made it kinda like the fibre infrastructure - other organisations can sell that like they can sell Chorus fibre?

 

 

RCG - https://www.thercg.co.nz/

 

 

 

RBI/RBI2 funds many more things than just chorus fibre.

 

many wisps out there also get funding.





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  #2505941 16-Jun-2020 16:45
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OK, so RCG is the umbrella group that provides an open access network (similar to Chorus fibre) for RBI.  So kinda the thing I was saying - there's a RBI network out there like there's a fibre network, and any of the retailers can sell connections on it?  It sounds like there's grey area in there that there are some things funded by RBI money that might not be in RCG, but I'm presuming the general deal is that any address that falls in an RCG catchment area must be sold an RBI plan, you can't sell them a special discounted plan at a lower price point than you're charging the other providers when they resell a service off that same tower.  Which all makes good commercial/competitive sense. 

 

The problem here of course is that my modem isn't connecting to that local tower, it's connecting to a faster tower that isn't actually in the RBI catchment area.....i.e. an "unregulated" tower.

 

Anyway, thanks for the info, helps my understanding.


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  #2506024 16-Jun-2020 19:22
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Quite a few providers will do rural fibre. Very often it's a case of needing to do PoA and will cost 2k+. Quite often these aren't that cheap though.

Rsps that operate in particular areas tend to be more focused on offering this. (spark will do it for a business connection if you ask.)

Full flavor and primo wireless are two that spring to mind off the top of my head.

For RCG, it will just show up like standard 4g.im not aware of any provider that does specific rcg plans, or atleast vf spark and 2d all offer their normal rural plans across it.


Rural vs urban plan segmentation is something all together different there. As konfusd indicated above.
There are many areas where I'd too personally say its not really rural.


In your case, per availability. You should be on a rural plan. It doesn't matter what tower you are on. But where you are located.




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  #2506943 17-Jun-2020 20:30
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No rural fibre where we are, but we're not that rural, and we're on the fibre rollout for 2022.  So not all hope lost, but also means it's unlikely one of the local providers would want to invest in a rural wireless solution (we have line of sight to a school with fibre about 400m away by air, about 4km by road, therefore logically opportunity for a point to point wireless solution.  But if I was a provider I wouldn't invest in that if fibre's coming in 2 years.)

 

Our connectivity is adequate via 4G at present, and if I got a yagi would be better.  The main issue is the 200GB data cap, which pretty much makes any significant use of netflix or other video streaming impossible.  It's not possible to buy a higher data cap, and excess usage/data packs are $15 per 20GB, so we can easily end up paying $200 or more a month if we do much video.


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