Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Dean Bubley: Roaming and the EU.... not far enough

Commenting on the European Union's proposed roaming legislation, Dean Bubley posts at his Disruptive Wireless blog that the EU's proposal is laudable, but needs to go further. Bubley notes that as an independent wireless analyst, he pays his own cellular and WiFi charges so he is "acutely conscious of cellular roaming charges, and their complete disconnection from any form of reality."

He writes that "despite pronouncements from the GSMA about "8% per year price cuts", and isolated tariffs like Vodafone Passport, typical charges bear little relation to the underlying costs of international voice traffic interconnection, as the success of myriad carrier-grade international VoIP services indicate." He also opines that:

It's a real pity that the EU's new & otherwise laudable proposals on roaming do not also include recommendations on data roaming, which is possibly the most egregiously-priced communications service on the planet, often overpriced by between 10x and 1000x sensible rates. In some cases, it's cheaper to use satellite data downlinks than GPRS or WCDMA roaming.
He also calls "on some form of worldwide authority - the ITU or WTO - to follow the EU's lead on this." Bubley concludes that:
It's just a pity that the EU's website is so opaque that I cannot easily find out where to add my comments to their ongoing consultation.....