Saturday, 26 June 2010

Opinion: Mobile Data Just Got MORE Expensive

No, not an iPad.
Give me a break!
Sunday Times 30th May 2010: "Anger at Double Fee for iPads."
Following the British launch of the iPad, users Apple enthusiasts are calling for "fairer pricing."
If you want mobile internet on the iPad, its going to cost you a new data plan whether or not you have mobile data on your iPhone or other 3G device. All the plans on sale with devices are capped and going over your allowance is an eye-watering expense.  Speaking as a notorious tight-wad, I can only respond...

  • You already tagged yourselves Apple enthusiasts by buying this over-priced tablet with the trendy label. You're a gadget-freak with more money than sense. Stop whining.
  • You jumped on a bandwagon by buying the latest i-Plonk at launch. Be it TV's, phones, cars or sharp suits and handbags, you're a fashionista with more money than sense. Stop whining.
  • You're buying a subscription service for the web access. The telecoms companies are in the business of making money from telecoms, whether or not - no, especially if you're a proven on-line addict. They've got your number, it's listed under "more money than sense." Stop whining.
  • Telecoms companies like Vodafone and O2 are under no obligation to reward your loyalty (or stupidity) by selling you a job-lot of mobile bandwidth aggregated across several devices. Its your choice to carry the iPhone, iPad and whatever else you use. Stop whining.
  • In case you haven't noticed, all the telecoms companies in the states have just capped all their 'unlimited' tariffs for mobile bandwidth. We're in a recession, nobody is spending enough for the overpaid telecoms executives to justify their fat salaries amidst falling profits. The same is happening now in Europe.

    Of course, there is the more reasoned argument that mobile internet usage has mushroomed, the bandwidth doesn't exist and the telecoms companies need to invest in more capacity, which has to be paid somewhere.

    Can't afford it? Don't sign the contract for it, don't use it, then you don't have to pay for it. It's the internet, not life or death. It will still be at the end of the land-line when you get home. If you genuinely believe in free-market competition, then a consumer boycott will ultimately lead to lower pricing. Until then, stop whining.
I don't believe economics is ever a truly free market, however. Most certainly the telecoms business isn't one, lorded over as it is by a handful of global giants operating a near-cartel. Sign-up and pay up, or don't. Just stop whining.  RC

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