How is Emtel Airbox’s Fair Usage Policy (FUP) different?

Emtel AirBox

Since the announcement of Emtel’s Airbox, several internet users are widely showing their interest and enthusiasm to subscribe. This commercial move of Emtel comes at a very good time, especially when there are daily customer complains about either slow internet speeds or having to wait several months or years before the deployment of Orange fiber at their place. However, we will need some time before receiving real feedback from new subscribers but one thing I’m sure about, people scarcely complain about Emtel’s service. And Emtel’s experience as an ISP is pretty trustworthy too as far as I know. For example, their WiMax connectivity is pretty reliable. You can read Mike’s post back in 2011.

Who wants to switch to Emtel’s AirBox?

I can distinguish three categories of people willing to move to the new offer :

  1. No telephone line at home, thus unable to subscribe to ADSL, MyT or Fiber
  2. No immediate plans for Orange to deploy the fiber in their region
  3. Constantly facing unstable telephone / internet connectivity problems

Since Bharat Telecom does not yet offer a full coverage on the island yet, Emtel’s AirBox seems to be in a very good position to compete with Orange, especially with a more affordable price range than their own WiMax packages and a complete package (with instant fixed telephone line access) at an even cheaper price than Orange’s FTTH offers. . This said, I highly recommend you this article by Geekscribes in which he discussed the Pros and Cons of Emtel Airbox

Gaming with AirBox?

If you form part of the online gaming community, you are probably asking yourselves questions about the latency with Emtel’s new offer. Sundeep has personally visited a showroom to do the test. The results look not so bad for now.

As he posted on his twitter, the ping to South Africa is approx 120ms :

AirBox Ping

The Fair Usage Policy

FUP Emtel AirBox

However, there’s a small fine print you need to consider if you are thinking to subscribe to AirBox. The FUP… To put it simple, the Fair Usage Policy is a set of regulations ensuring that every subscriber is able to benefit from the same services without being penalized by an abuse or heavy usage of some group of subscribers. Not well-known to everyone, the Fair Usage Policy (FUP) isn’t something new to Mauritius. Several Mauritian bloggers (carrotmadman6, Avinash and Geekscribes ) have even written on this topic in the past.

FUP - Orange Fiber

What does their FUP say?

A simple search on Google returns several similar policies applicable across several ISPs worldwide. However, if you don’t want go into details of the list of restrictions imposed by their policy, I will sum what you are not allowed  :

  • Any illegal activities, including usage / downloading / sharing of materials breaching copyrights or trademarks of others…
  • Any commercial / spam / advertising purposes, for instance, you can’t use the connection if you have set up an office or send spam mails.
  • Launch cyber attacks or security hacks
  • Sending or receiving large email attachments (LOL!)

By breaching their policy, they may, I quote :

  1. Give you a notice to stop or moderate the unacceptable use(s); or
  2. Terminate or Suspend your Services, with or without notice as we consider appropriate under the Terms and Conditions of the Service; or
  3. Change your Transmission Speeds; or
  4. Limit your Usage ; or
  5. Report any unbecoming activities or conduct to relevant authorities.

So, what’s so different with Emtel’s AirBox?

Unlike Orange, AirBox has not specified any figures, whether it concerns the maximum download limit cap or the reduced speed subscribers might be subject to if they are concerned with the FUP restrictions.

This means that as long as you do not breach their policy (download illegal content, movies, songs or software), you don’t have to bother, even if you consume 100Gb monthly as compared to Orange, which will decrease your speed from 10Mbps to 512Kbps once you reach the 10GB of transfer limit if you are subscribed to the first offer picture earlier.

That’s good news for AirBox users but remember, if they apply their policy strictly, you won’t be allowed to download movies etc. The bad thing is that by signing their contract, you are legally giving them the right to drop your 10Mbps internet speed to any speed they want. This might drop to 56kbps if they want. And remember, you will have to sign a 12 months contrat.

Personally, I don’t think that they will bother you with the FUP if you download only a few couple of songs and movies monthly. But however, I know a lot of friends downloading phenomenal amount of movies and songs. Sometimes I ask myself if they have the time to really appreciate viewing the movies or listening to each of the songs downloaded. May be I need to ask them?

So, who’s planning to move?  And why?

67 thoughts on “How is Emtel Airbox’s Fair Usage Policy (FUP) different?

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  1. glad that someone shed some light on that fair usage policy. let us wait for some feedback from the subscribers. finally yes,there is a catch


      1. 1. Downloading via torrent which is supposed to be abusive and illegal
        2. Writing articles about miss mauritius 2015 which can cause anxiety in their lives and when they’ll file some complaints I’ll see my bandwidth going down
        3. Downloading 2-3 Games which are around 30gb


      1. I can concur on that.
        Even though my satellite reception is gone during heavy rainfalls the internet line (okay, using WiMAX) is still up and operational. The FTTA technology used in the Emtel Airbox is an enhanced and advanced version of the same concept. So, at least I’m very confident that you won’t have any hassle during bad weather.


      2. Installed today…so far speed is as to local servers….Technicians assured me that bad weather would not affect it. Except in extreme conditions of course.
        The only thing to be aware is that you absolutely need a clear line of sight to the base station antennae. Even a tree or house blocking that would prevent it from working, as it is a point to point connection.
        For the Vacoas/Floreal/Curepipe that would be to Trou aux Cerfs , for Port-Louis its Montagnes des Signaux,…i understand there are 3 more….where i don’t know.
        Kudos to Emtel for Innovating in that area, considering the snails pace of Mauritius Telecom in deploying fiber.


  2. Well, nice write-up but without any real usage statistics it’s just like a storm in a glass of water.

    Besides, as you know Mike, as well as I, we have WiMAX since a couple of years and from experience I can tell you that WiMAX is also an unlimited service under the same FUP.
    I’ve been downloading quite some GBs per months due to either mirroring of complete Linux distributions like Debian and Ubuntu (approx. 20+ GB; each several times), setting up a fresh Windows Software Update Services (WSUS) with a whole set of service packs and hotfixes from Redmond (approx. 60+ GB depending on configuration; more than once), and the usual demo downloads of applications, betas of games and anything Android and iOS (ca. 16 GB of iOS 8 updates thanks to multiple devices) related. During all these years I never got any notification by Emtel regarding my usage of internet.
    But as you mentioned, I wouldn’t consider this as abusive or excessive usage compared to quite a good number of fellows here on the island which simply run their 24/7 P2P network software to leech and feed illegal distribution of copyrighted content. And yes, that’s something where I fully support the FUP by Emtel to limit or expel these type of consumers.

    Cheers, JoKi


  3. My monthly total data usage usually reach around 100 Gb… and i download a lot , video stream a lot.
    I would like to shift to Airbox but i want to have some real feedback from new heavy usage susbcribers


      1. Yesss i do watch all.. it now the month download it will be in the coming weeks. but only movies download is lesser as one movie i download is around 3- 3.5 Gb.


      2. Me too my monthly usage can come up to 200gb. I download movies full HD 1080p 5.1 DTS. ( 1movie = 7-10gb).
        I download 10-12 movies per month + online gaming + streaming.. I wonder if this could above the FUP threshold…


      3. Well. its kind of weird to see people saying that they download movies openly in public..
        What if the MPAA comes at your door and sues you?


  4. I have had an Emtel Wimax subscription since 2011 and it has been a very stable service for me. In that time I have never had to contact the Emtel tech service for any problems. I am not a heavy download user but I do some video streaming using the Chromecast and also light gaming on Steam. I have already signed up for Airbox and looking forward to using the new technology in about one week.


  5. I’m also considering Emtel Airbox as I am in the 3rd
    category of people described here i.e. constantly facing unstable telephone/internet
    connectivity problems.

    What’s holding me back is the FUP. The line of sight test
    might not work for me. I did consider using WiMAX once, although the excessive
    prices. They came home to test, but it didn’t work so I don’t have high hopes
    for the airbox at my place.

    I was pleasantly surprised by the packages of the airbox though, since I was under the impression having internet over the air was usually very expensive. (Just take a look at the packages for Internet Everywhere of Orange and Dongle/Wingle of Emtel)

    The service looks great, bundle with fixed line is awesome, the coverage area at launch is impressive and I seriously think Orange is
    scared. But that’s not all, I suspect Emtel will work with Canalsat to provide TV via internet to compete with MyT. Matter of fact the service is already available at Reunion! Check their website… Needless to say it is also available in France
    and plenty of the French islands… and that TV through internet is very common in the world. The Mauritian canalsat website is also formatted for this.

    What I don’t like is the non-guaranteed speed. I pay for 10Mbps and nothing stops them from reducing my speed whenever they want to whatever they want, whether I do lot of illegal/legal downloading alike. If I use too much of theirbandwidth they can simply cap my line. But that seems to be a standard in the sector; Orange says speeds UP TO XX Mbps/Kbps too. Although at the time I
    subscribed to Orange ADSL there wasn’t any ‘Up to’ but there was the fair usage

    It has been a while since the little ” *Fair Usage Policy” disappeared from the Orange website when they say Unlimited. I am not sure capping the speeds as they do with the fibre packages can be considered as a FUP.

    As for Emtel with its FUP, apart from illegal downloading of copyrighted material as mentioned in the FUP pdf which you can find here: in section 1 b:

    b) Sending,
    receiving, publishing, posting, distributing, disseminating, encouraging the
    receipt of, uploading, downloading or using any material which is offensive,
    abusive, defamatory, indecent, obscene, unlawful, harassing or menacing or a
    breach of copyright, trademark, intellectual property, confidence, privacy or
    any other rights of any person

    My problems are ;

    As mentioned in section 1 k:

    k) Making excessive
    use of, or placing unusual burden on, the network, for example by sending or
    receiving large volumes of email or excessively large email attachments;

    As the article said, large email attachment LOL! But what
    about “placing unusual burden on the network”? I am a heavy downloader. I
    download HD content, stream HD content on services like YouTube and download
    video games on Steam and Origin and hence can easily excess 100GB per month, is
    that a burden on your network Emtel? Why else would some individual need such
    speeds to connect to the internet? What if I buy a HD webcam tomorrow and
    upload plenty of videos on YouTube in 1080p? Is that a burden? What if with my
    webcam I video call with family and friends abroad with Hi-definition? Is that a burden?

    Will they decrease my speed without letting me know as
    mentioned in the 3rd section:

    3. Excessive Network Usage
    a) There is no limit on the monthly network
    usage. However, if we feel that your activities are so excessive that other
    customers are detrimentally affected, we may or may not give you written
    warning (by email other otherwise). In extreme circumstances, if the levels of
    activity do not immediately decrease after the warning, we may terminate or
    limit your Services.

    Is 100GB download/upload too much for your network? What is the limit? What is
    excessive? Do some light internet user really needs 10Mbps i.e. 1MBps to check his
    mail once per week and surf on Facebook everyday?

    Although I’m speculating here but what if there’s Canalsat channels soon too, with some HD
    channels, what then?

    On the other hand should I wait 2018 for fibre…


    1. First of all, the locations of antenna might be different between WiMAX and FTTA. Right now Emtel is covering the map with 5 antennas only. There are surely more antennas for WiMAX and here on the west coast, Emtel is clearly choosing different places – otherwise, Airbox would have been covered already. Ergo, ask for the package and let Emtel do the site survey – it won’t cost you anything and at least you know whether your location is eligible or not.

      Eventually, you might have read my earlier comment regarding my consumption on WiMAX. As for your explanations re. your usage it all looks legit and I wouldn’t expect Emtel to give you any restrictions. And BTW, WiMAX is also an unlimited package; since years. Compared to Mike, I got my subscription already back in 2008 and relocated the antenna 3 times during this time as we moved office. Hardly any issues and if ever it was the case then a call at the Emtel customer service helped to resolve the issue quickly.

      Seriously, you don’t like the non-guaranteed bandwidth?
      Are you signing a Service Line Agreement (SLA) with Emtel? And quite frankly, how’s your Orange connection? Honestly, I was having the crux to deal with several MyT and ADSL connections in the past (waving to family, friends and clients) I can assure you that those customers are shamelessly ripped off every single day by those “jusqu’a xx Mbps” subscriptions of Orange.
      Worst example, family paid Rs. 999.- (1Mbps MyT) every month for an unreliable connection that never(!) went faster than 256kbps. No matter how often we reset the modem, changed computer settings and called “customer service” and the technical department of Orange… After months of complaints, we got the non-official information that the premises are a bit too far from the next switchboard and that the service will never work correctly… How honest is that?

      Yes, Currumjee is going to bundle Airbox with Canal+ – there will be a new product called “CanalBox” coming in the next couple of weeks; additional fee might be ~ Rs. 300.-
      The technology of Airbox is based on a multiplex communication channel and has enough capacity for internet, telephone and TV signal. Eventually, you might like to watch those 2 videos provided by Emtel, and additionally search for “bluwan” on Youtube for more details.

      So, instead of seeing all the negative, unclear parts why not being a bit opportunistic, or should I say adventurous, and just go for the package… ? Frankly, what do you have to loose?
      Seeing happy WiMAX customers eagerly jumping on Airbox to get faster and cheaper connectivity, should diminish your doubts actually, don’t you think?

      Cheers, JoKi


      1. “Yes, Currumjee is going to bundle Airbox with Canal+ – there will be a
        new product called “CanalBox” coming in the next couple of weeks;
        additional fee might be ~ Rs. 300.-”

        Now THAT is a great thing! I hope it arrives soon. Will it be like cable internet, or CanalSat over Airbox? Any more details?


      2. i agree for the most part of it but 1Mbps is not equal to 1MBps one stands for megabits and the other megabytes where 8 bits = 1 byte… so 1Mbps from orange is roughly around 128KBps which is pretty acurate with what it gives its just some nasty marketing stuffs but they arent lying.


      3. I am sure Jochen knows the difference between bits and bytes. Generally an ISP will quote the speed in mbps, never MB/s.


  6. Hello guys I have tested the 10mbps one and it seems very rapid in Riche Terre region… Tomorrow the technicians will be at my place for an eligibility test for Airbox 30mbps. I will let you know when its done.


    1. Hi guys, finally got it installed yesterday during the rainy conditions. Started installation at about 3:30p.m but appointment was scheduled for 2:15p.m. Installation completed at 8:35p.m (the house is big so this seems to be ok). There is a small kind of antenna with a very big LNR Transceiver (they told me that the transceiver cost around Rs 10-15K). The first thing that they will do is to look for the antenna with a pair of binoculars (many of you may be disappointed as if they don’t see it, they won’t do anything…). Everything else is like installing Canalsat or Parabole. They have a special spectrum analyser that will indicated the level of signal receiving and its strength… it needs to be minimum 84dbµV and strength minimum 28 (don’t know if it is db or another thing like that). The antenna needs to be adjusted very carefully to have those values. After that they will install a power injector for the big, really big LNR which is rather heavy and around three times that size of the normal one you see on your sat antenna. The power injector must be installed within the first 20 metres thus if you are like me and your pc is far for the dish, you must provide a place to install the power injector mid way… for me it is in the kitchen… its like a loop on the wall… no need to say that it should be on always. The modem/box wifi is really strong and powerful… it gives me more powerful signals that compared to my TP-Link MIMO access point which is in the same location with two 5db antenna (this normally has to be powerful but airbox beats it hands up in my case). The telephone does not come with a screen for the CLI (lol) however if you have a CLI device it would work with the box… any PTSN telephone set will work with it by the way (nimporte ki telephone fixe, mem seki cordless la). A lot of waiting time for the signal to be up the first time… One speedtest later 31.16 Mbps ping 32ms… this is blazing fast 🙂 when done with MT servers in MRU you got around 25.77Mbps ping 25ms… Test a download via torrent Furious 7 1.48GB around 7mins… I’m satisfied for the time being… This is a new page in the history of the internet in Mauritius my friends… Any questions, please ask…


      1. Watch the start time, size and the finish time my friends. They were all downloading at the same time.


  7. This fair usage policy is boring us. Every ISP have this shit.But…… Emtel does not specify anything about FUP. This is a trap. If someone sign the 1 year contract, there’s no way back. (apparently)….


  8. Could someone with an Airbox ping these and post their results please.

    Thanks in advance!


  9. Being a binge torrent user I don’t see the point of having high speed connection if you can’t use torrent. -_-


  10. I am one of those who download/upload 24/7 through P2P network. You may guess what types of file I talking about :P. So far I’m not really concerned about the FUP. Even if they monitor my connection they won’t be able to know what types of activities are ongoing as all are encrypted through a VPN. Concerning the amount of bandwidth used, emtel staffs stated in a facebook post that they don’t find 200GB per month excessive, I will surely go way beyond that and we will see what happens when it is available in my region.


    1. This is no new offers.
      This is just to “couyone dimoune”.

      The non-geek people will think its same as emtel offers at one glance


  11. 3. Excessive Network Usage
    a) There is no limit on the monthly network usage. However, if we feel that your activities are so
    excessive that other customers are detrimentally affected, we may or may not give you written
    warning (by email other otherwise). In extreme circumstances, if the levels of activity do not
    immediately decrease after the warning, we may terminate or limit your Services.

    Volume Allowance is capped. Going above this should enable them to enforce the FUP.


  12. Guys Canalbox is here
    Price very attractive

    Apparently they will use two dishes.
    one for tv (canalsat dish) , and the other for internet (Airbox one)
    *Vous aurez une antenne pour la réception de vos chaînes CANAL+/CANALSAT
    par satellite et une antenne sera pour la connexion Internet.


  13. Subscribed to Airbox since 13th August for a package of up to 20mbps, So far till Friday everything was fine but by Saturday,
    My ping in-game went from 200ms to 1200ms. Not only that
    Download speed became unstable from the 20mbps, it had dropped to 10mbps but even so was not steady , I have some screenshots
    of the connection as of 200kbps too. What’s funny is that i have direct LoS to Mnt Signeaux and reside in Port-louis(had 22mbps when they installed it). With all this being said, I’ve called the hotline, I think they try to trick us into believing they do update on their website or whatever, from what i’ve read on here and there on google, another guy had same issue around the 5th August, everything was fine for 1-2 day before emtel dropped his connection speed dead down the pot.

    So Far no ETA given for a fix yet, I’ve been told it should be fixed by the 28th Aug. As for now, i’m stuck with a no more than 4-2mbps connection speed which is unsteady, interrupts a lot and which isn’t not even reliable for gaming anymore.

    satisfaction : 0 😦


  14. Anyone can give a feedback of Airbox in the North region, Triolet or around connecting to the Butte aux Papaye Antena Relay?
    How the speed and consistency of the connection?


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