in Digital Business

Roaming mobile data charges

I’m writing this post as I hurtle through the Kent countryside on a Eurostar bound for Paris (and ultimately to Angouleme on a TGV). My laptop is connected to my T-Mobile MDA Vario II which is giving me a respectable 230kbps. It seems faster than the Vodafone data card we use in the office.

However, the moment I get to la belle France, I shall be closing the laptop and reading some traditional (but very good) media*. Why? Because T-Mobile’s roaming data charges are obscene. I subscribe to the Web’n’Walk Plus service which allows me to download up to 3Gb, all for £12.50 per month. When in France, T-Mobile will charge me £7.50 a Mb for data. That’s right – £7.50 per megabyte. If I downloaded 3Gb at that level it would cost £23,040!

I was at an E-consultancy round table a couple of weeks ago when it was asked whether 2008 would be the year for mobile advertising and search. Unfortunately all the control and innovation needs to come first from the networks and the handset manufacturers. I still think there’s a long way to go.

BTW, there’s a old chap sitting across the aisle and all he’s done so far is send text messages. Bloody pensioners, why are they always staring at their phones? They should have a newspaper and a book to read like I do!

* The Guardian, the Financial Times, Gullivers Travels and The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

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