Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Dean Bubley: Per-megabyte rip-off in the UK

Dean Bubley complains about the outrageous cost of mobile data usage in the U.K. at the Disruptive Wireless blog. He finds the pricing is "ludicrous" and U.K. network carriers are "building up a future base of potential churn candidates like you wouldn't believe."

Bubley is looking for a new mobile data plan that will allow browsing outside the carrier's walled garden, and doesn't like what he has found. First, he had a hard time finding the rate plans (must be a carrier thing, because in the U.S. it's just as difficult). Regarding pricing, he says, "they are somewhere between 10x and 1000x reasonable figures." He looks into the high costs of the various network operators and then into the higher costs for international data roaming.

Bubley ends up not a happy camper, and concludes with:

I'm also wondering whether any of this could possibly be classed as "anticompetitive" and worthy of investigation by regulators. Any combative lawyers out there fancy pitching this to Ofcom or the European Commission?
I guess I can't complain too much about mobile data pricing here in the U.S. At $15 a month, Sprint's all-you-can-eat EV-DO bundle is a steal...