You have been fleeced

by Volker Weber


This picture show how ridiculous mobile data tariffs are. It only took me four minutes to blow the monthly volume of an entry level tariff out the door. What did I do? Check two hours worth of email (no attachments) and one reload of my feed aggregator. It only takes less than one hour of casual use to eat up the volume of the common 30 MB tariff. And this is only regular UMTS, not HSDPA.

The hotel also offers a T-Mobile hotspot. See the ridiculous rates:

t-mobile rates

If you are at the conference, try to stay in the same room I am, because I will be plugging in my WLAN access point into the wired network. The hotel cannot do it, since they are bound by an agreement with T-Mobile. I am not.

For Germany I can only say: Don't worry that E-Plus does not have HSDPA. Get their unlimited data plan at 25 Eur (on top of their 25 Eur voice tariff). This is the only offer which lets you use your computer without worrying about this nonsense.


I'm always amazed when people outside the US talk about stuff like this. I may not have guaranteed healthcare but I can download as much as I want on my DSL connection.

Charles Robinson, 2006-11-14

So can we, living in Germany. Vowe's talking about mobile tariffs, not DSL.

John Keys, 2006-11-14

Funny coincidence about the E-Plus deal. That is exactly what I ordered last night. Yes, the other big players offer HSDPA, but their pricing structure does not work for me. And, since boys need toys, I also ordered an E61 to hold the new SIM ;-)

Joerg Michael, 2006-11-14

Charles, you may want to look here.

Volker Weber, 2006-11-14

Base voice is down to 20€ in a Christmas special at the moment. I am considering getting their data flat, too, but am not sure about the data compression. Some say it overcompresses images, but a live test at the local Base dealership will tell. It should also give a realistic impression of bandwith available downtown on business days. Either way, Base indeed seems to be the only no-worries UMTS data offer.

Haiko Hebig, 2006-11-14

Haiko, I've read about the image compression stuff. Apparently that can be fixed with a Firefox plug-in called "Modify Headers". I haven't dug deeper yet. I'll get to that once I have received the package.

Joerg Michael, 2006-11-14

Joerg, yes, this one should help with use case 1, using the phone as a UMTS modem. Base/E-plus even seems to be recommending to use it. It of course does not help with use case 2, mobile browsing with the E-61 itself. Solution would be to set up a private proxy server and to send the entire mobile browser traffic through a https connection. Not sure if increasing page load time is worth that much trouble, though :-)

(Also have a look at Flat Aid).

Haiko Hebig, 2006-11-14

Ah, I missed the "mobile" part. I don't even have a mobile phone so I don't know anything about the tariffs on data. I had a conversation recently with someone from South Africa who was ranting about Telkom and that's what was stuck in my mind.

Charles Robinson, 2006-11-14

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