Unicom’s response was 5G: legal and reasonable in accordance with the agreement

Mr. Zhang, who lives in Beijing, was distressed by a 5G mobile phone card that “had to be used. Recently, Mr. Zhang complained to reporters in Beijing Business Today that he had handled a “5G broadband” integration package of Beijing Unicom and paid the monthly rent of the package in full and on schedule, however, because he did not use the 5G mobile phone card in the package, he was cut off by Beijing Unicom. For Mr. Zhang’s experience, Beijing Unicom believes that it is strictly in accordance with the agreement and has no fault.

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however, some lawyers believe that Beijing Unicom’s agreement may be suspected of the Overlord clause. Experts also believe that the integration package designed by Mr. Zhang is not reasonable, the user experience is not good, and it cannot bring much substantial benefits to the operators.

Different words

“Unicom broadband products for consumers (5G mobile phone card), consumers must use. If not, Unicom will cut off the Unicom broadband that consumers are using to force consumers to use Unicom’s 5G mobile phone card.” Mr. Zhang told the Beijing Business Today reporter.

According to Mr. Zhang’s description, at the beginning of this year, he handled a Fusion package called “5G version of smart wo family family” in Beijing Unicom’s online business hall, which was rented at 166 yuan per month, it includes a broadband with a network speed of 500 m and a Unicom 5G mobile phone card (including 40GB of traffic per month). Since Mr. Zhang already has two 4G mobile phone cards, and because of the epidemic, Unicom 5G mobile phone cards were not mailed to the goods in the first place, so Mr. Zhang did not intend to use this 5G mobile phone card.

On June 4, Mr. Zhang received a phone call from Beijing Unicom, telling him that he needs to activate and use the 5G mobile phone card included in the package, otherwise the package will be downgraded to ordinary monthly broadband. At that time, Mr. Zhang, who was in a meeting, refused the request to activate the 5G mobile phone card and hung up the phone.

On the morning of June 5, Mr. Zhang found that his 500 m broadband was stopped and he could not access the internet normally. Subsequently, Mr. Zhang, who thought he was in arrears, recharged 200 yuan to the broadband account, but the broadband still failed to recover. Then, Mr. Zhang dialed the customer service phone of Beijing Unicom. The customer service staff told him that if Mr. Zhang does not use this Unicom 5G mobile phone card, the broadband will be stopped and will not be restored.

In Mr. Zhang’s view, Beijing Unicom’s approach belongs to “robber logic”. On June 11, Mr. Zhang said, “Unicom has quietly restored broadband, but did not give me any explanation, and there is no compensation for the broken network in the past week”.

For Mr. Zhang’s experience, the relevant person in charge of Beijing Unicom told the Beijing Business Daily reporter that Mr. Zhang’s experience should not be attributed to Beijing Unicom. Beijing Unicom strictly follows the package agreement and is completely legal and reasonable. If Mr. Zhang only wants Beijing Unicom to change his package to a single broadband package, he can try to help him, but in addition, he cannot meet his other unreasonable demands.

Overlord clause

in the online business hall of Beijing Unicom, the reporter of Beijing Business Today found the Fusion package handled by Mr. Zhang. There is a rule at the bottom of the Fusion package page: “The main 5G number in the package will not be activated for 25 days, the convergence package must be canceled. The broadband fee in the package is changed to the standard single broadband monthly fee of the corresponding rate, and the one-year contract of the package is automatically canceled.”

in response, Mr. Zhang said, “If I don’t use this mobile phone number, I will automatically change to a separate broadband package, which I can understand, but I don’t say here that I will directly cut off the broadband, especially on the premise that my balance is completely sufficient”.

Although there is no “stop broadband without activating 5G card” clause on the above introduction page, is there any relevant clause in the formal package agreement? On this issue, Xu Wenting, a lawyer from Beijing Jingshi (Shanghai) law firm, told the Beijing Business Daily reporter, if some clauses in the package agreement support Beijing Unicom to do this to Mr. Zhang (stop broadband without activating 5G card), then these clauses are suspected of Overlord clauses. The content of these terms themselves is to exclude the consumer’s right to use broadband services when consumers do not use 5G cards, which is a typical format clause.

According to the public information, the format clause is also called standard clause, which refers to the clause that the parties have drawn up in advance for reuse and have not negotiated with the other party when concluding the contract, for example, the agreement signed by the mobile user when handling the mobile phone package belongs to the contract using the format clause. Since consumers can only express their full consent or rejection to the standard terms, consumers are in a position of obedience in the contract, rather than in a position of equal consultation with the provider of the standard terms.

“When using the format clause, the consumer must be highlighted on the contract or informed in detail in advance. In this matter, the consumer obviously does not know about this clause, therefore, this format clause of Unicom cannot be established.” Xu Wenting said that if he could not negotiate with Beijing Unicom, Mr. Zhang could complain to the consumer association on the one hand and the local communications administration on the other. If both channels are not satisfied, it can also be brought to court.

Intended to develop users

in fact, the reason why Beijing Unicom launched the above-mentioned “broadband 5G” Fusion package is not difficult to understand. Fu Liang, an independent telecommunications analyst, said that Beijing Unicom hopes to develop more 5G users by bundling sales because it may face KPI assessment pressure on the number of 5G users.

At present, the relevant departments have not yet given a standard definition of “5G users. However, according china Mobile and China Telecom’s caliber when disclosing monthly operating data, 5G users refer to mobile users who order 5g packages. According to this standard, once Mr. Zhang activates the 5G mobile phone card issued to him by Beijing Unicom, he will become a 5G user of China Unicom from the perspective of user statistics.

Unlike China Mobile and China Telecom, China Unicom has not yet announced the number of 5G users. On April 23, Wen Ku, a spokesman for the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said that as of the end of March, there were more than 50 million 5G package users nationwide. According to official data, by the end of March, China Mobile and China Telecom had 31.72 million and 16.61 million 5G users respectively, totaling 48.33 million. From this point of view, China Unicom’s 5G users in the same period are likely to be no more than 11.67 million, significantly behind the other two.

The scale of 5G users is the basic indicator reflecting the speed of 5G development, and accelerating the development of 5G is the established policy of China’s telecommunications industry. On March this year, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology clearly stated in the notice on promoting the accelerated development of 5G that “basic telecom enterprises are encouraged to promote 5G terminal consumption through package upgrade concessions and credit purchase, accelerate user migration to 5G”.

The reporter of Beijing Business Today noticed that it is not uncommon in the domestic telecommunications market to help certain types of businesses develop users by bundling sales. In order to attract more users to use their own broadband, China Mobile is also using similar means. In Beijing, as long as China Mobile users promise to reduce the monthly mobile phone package to 58 yuan, they can get a broadband of 100 m network speed, which is also equivalent to a “traffic broadband” convergence package.

Compared with China Mobile’s above-mentioned integration package, Mr. Zhang’s integration package “forced” means more, which is also an important reason for his dissatisfaction. “China Mobile meets the policy of low-cost broadband delivery. First, it gives users the freedom to choose whether to broadband or not. Secondly, even if they choose not to broadband, users will not be affected.” Fu Liang said.

Or will bind their hands and feet

it is worth noting that even if Beijing Unicom successfully attracts more 5G users with this kind of “broadband 5G” convergence package, it may not bring too many practical benefits to its own performance.

At the income level, take the 166 fusion package rented by Mr. Zhang in lunar January as an example. If the flow products included in the package are purchased separately, they need to pay 159 in lunar January, if the 500 m broadband products included in the package are purchased separately, 148 will be required. 33 rent in lunar January, the total monthly rent of the two is more than 300 yuan, which means that the income of this kind of integration package launched by Beijing Unicom is lower than that of selling traffic products and broadband products separately.

Fu Liang said that such packages of Beijing Unicom are not reasonable and there are some problems in the design ideas. From the marketing point of view, Beijing Unicom has no way to rely on this means to get a reasonable income, can only be said to increase some of the illusory 5G users. On the other hand, this kind of package does not implement the “user-centered” design idea. Although it helps to bundle non -5G users into 5G users, the user experience is not good.

According to the policies of the three major operators, only users who meet the two conditions of using 5G mobile phones and 5G network coverage can enjoy a 5G experience rate of up to 300Mbps. Since Mr. Zhang does not intend to buy 5G mobile phones for the time being, even if he activates and uses the 5G mobile phone card provided by Beijing Unicom, he cannot enjoy 5G network speed.

In addition, “forcing” Mr. Zhang, a user who only uses 4G mobile phones, to handle 5g packages may also bring other trouble to operators. It is understood that the 5G package contains more traffic, but when the 4G mobile phone is matched with the 5G package, these traffic can only be used in the form of 4G traffic, which may increase the burden on the 4G network.

“The promotion of 5G users by operators should be done in a down-to-earth manner, and users should not be forced to use 5G packages in disguised form.” Industry insiders believe that under the current situation that 5G networks are not perfect and 5G applications are extremely short, it is better to find ways to promote the maturity of 5G services than to develop too many unworthy 5G users. At that time, even if operators do nothing, more users will actively choose to handle 5g packages.

At present, there is no killer 5G application on the market. Most of the 5G experiences users can get are faster network speeds for downloading movies and music, but there is no subversive difference compared with 4G experience. However, the “5G message” service of the three major operators, which has been hotly discussed by public opinion, has not yet come to fruition.

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