How to lose your edge

by Volker Weber

Russell Beattie (who has lived in Spain before returning to California) says:

This morning I saw in The Reg that even though data prices are falling in Europe, the cost for GPRS data are *still* hovering around $18 per megabyte. That's *insane*. I pay $30 for all I can eat mobile data and only $0.001 per KB of tethered data (a buck a meg). For everyone else, the cost is a real disincentive to use data services. Not all services, since SMS is still pretty reasonable and if you're creating J2ME games, all you need is that one download and you're happy. But real opportunities (to me) are in mobile data services and right now it's being hindered in many parts of the world.

Ahh, but that's sort of a good thing. The fact that we've got unlimited plans here in the U.S. gives us an advantage of leapfrogging some of the other regions. Services that are out of the question to European users would be reasonable to anyone using American carriers with decent data plans.

Indeed. While T-Mobile & Co brand their telephones to force unsuspecting users online and then overcharge them, thus destroying their own market, the very same carriers serve the US with affordable flat rate pricing plans.

Comments

Well, actually prices aren´t yet as low as in the US of A, but not 18 bucks per megabyte! For example, T-Mobile here in Austria charges for the additional data option (added to a voice SIM card) e.g. EUR 7 for 10 MB included and EUR 1 for every following MB (or EUR 25 or 50 MB); minimum blocks are 50 kB.

For a data only SIM card prices are similar, there even a EUR 70 for 250 MB option - OK, that´s still lot more than the US flatrate but prices are falling definitely.

http://www.t-mobile.at/tarife_rechnung/tmobile_tarife/gprs/index.html

Adalbert, 2004-09-14

T-Online wants to have 10EUR for 10MB free volume, 1,90EUR per meg after you used the 10MB - or you pay 70EUR for 'free' 150MB and 0,90EUR/meg after you reached your limit.

Of course you can change between time based offers to o... 10EUR for 2hours flat, smallest billed unit is 10mins - after you had your 2hours every meg costs 1,90EUR. As you see - the prices are a little high in Germany even if it's not 18bucks/meg.

And no - the prices for SMS are definitive not reasonable. T-Mobile takes 0.19EUR/SMS. Thats 19cents for 160byte (160 chars), 1.71EUR for 1Kb ... round it up to 1MB ;-) However, I hope GPRS will get much cheaper to start into the 'always on' life :o)

Stefan Funke, 2004-09-15

You will pay 18 bucks per MB as soon as you go abroad :(

Vince Schuurman, 2004-09-15

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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