Just in time for summer hols?
I very much doubt we'll see actual lowering of roaming calls to end-users until after the summer hols, unfortunately.
The EU has given the thumbs up to the Euro tariff for mobile phone roaming. Joachim Wuermeling, speaking on behalf of the German EU Presidency, said legislation should be in place by 29 June. Commissioner for Information Society and Media Viviane Reding said that she wants to see it even sooner. The proposal is that wholesale …
I have no sympathy for the GSM Association. They have been ruthless with roaming rates for both contract and pre-paid customers. As for their plea for "self-regulation", well, every protected industry likes to call for that (e.g doctors, banks), and sometimes it works. In the case of mobile operators, the EU have been discussing flat-rate roaming within the EU for a number of years and the industry has not acted to bring rates down.
Some have offered half-hearted, opt-in services such as Vodafone, with their Vodafone Passport service. However, it is limited as you must roam within their network, and the pricing structure is complicated. Go outside of the Vodafone network and wham, you'll be milked for all you're worth again.
I'm not really buying the unprofitable routing argument, either. Their primary revenue stream should be when the customer is in their own country, anyway, not making maximum profit while the customer is abroad. What's likely to happen is that there will be much-increased use of mobile phones while roaming, and this will increase profitability.
Interesting too, is that in 2011 or so, the maximum outgoing call rate will be €0.40 per minute. It should be difficult for operators to justify charging more than that on their domestic network, then, as they currently do!
It would be good to see a maximum rate for SMS sent/received, and GPRS while roaming also.
I think it's a great move by the EU to push this through. It's ridiculous really being charged in excess of €1 a minute for receiving calls while in EU countries. AFAIK the lesser-developed US market doesn't have those kind of roaming rates, and it has a bigger land mass.
Let's hope there are no silly "opt-in" concessions also.
Your report says the legislation should be in place by June 29. Does this mean the new tariffs become effective then also?
The operators have been ripping us off for eons. They are not interested in self regulation (or they would have implemented lower rates already in order to have headed off this legislation). I say 'hurray' for the EU who frankly do very little to help the man/woman on the street.
They should indeed also sort out data charges. I have 10GB/mnth from T-mobile built into my £45/mnth account. They charge me £6/MB while roaming (yep, MB). So.. pulling down a linux ISO would cost me £3900!!!
My mobille phone over HDSPA IS my broadand so downloading an ISO is no longer an oddity!
A fair price for data when roaming would be £10 for 100MB
The GSMA is not telling the truth when they claim it is not technically possible to provide roaming below 65 cents.
I remember a presentation at a GSM billing conference in 2002 (?) about an alternative roaming system called "Zebra Roaming".
I know a well engineered thing when I see it and this one was one of those.
It was amazingly simple both in concept and technical implementation.
The basic principle behind this technology was that one should pay the operator in the visited country directly and be treated just like any other local subscriber there, in the process cutting out all the middlemen and overhead that makes roaming so expensive.
The system would provision a local account in the visited country seamlessly over the air. You'd be notified by SMS of things to know. There was a prepaid and a postpaid option. It was all very well thought out.
A hotel analogy was offered for illustration: Pay cash upfront at the hotel desk or leave your credit card imprint when you check in, then pay on check out. The hotel analogy also illustrates just how disingenious the current roaming system is: Pay your landlord to pay your hotel bills overseas for you and then charge extra for the administrative overhead and risk involved.
The integration of this technology was painless, too: A simple drop-in server box and no changes to existing infrastructure. It could even coexist with the conventional roaming system, both services running side by side.
So, what happened to this thing? Did the operators sleep all this time? Was it inertia? A case of "we only buy from Alcatel/Ericsson/Nokia/Siemens"? Did the clearing houses intervene to stop this in its track?
Maybe now that the EU is putting on the screws it will hurt enough for a newer, better technology like Zebra Roaming to get a chance. We would all benefit, well perhaps not the clearing houses, but who likes middlemen anyway?!
Having just bought a specialist "roaming" SIM, I was afraid I'd wasted my money until I saw the prices for the new reduced tariffs. The specialist SIMs remain the best value for money when roaming in Europe, .24EUR vs free for incoming calls, .49EUR vs .38EUR for outgoing with the one I'm using and the rates apply to place the EU doesn't touch (Russia for example).
Here are a couple sites to look at -
First thing is we'll see q lot of adjustments to tariffs - they'll add on the losses somewhere.
But in reality, all their squealing is simply demonstrating that they are at each others throats and ripping each other off ! If they claim that they cannot make a profit on these rates, then who is getting the money ? The simple fact is that EVERY operator screws every other operator for allowing it's customers to roam - that is the ONLY reason why rates are so high. If the operators were to charge each other a fair and proportionate rate then roaming rates would have come down on their own.
So to the mobile industry, you brought this down on yourselves by your collective stupidity and greed<period> So stop whinging and just get on with it.
After returning from a three day trip to Holland recently, I have personally been whacked with a £1500 data charge bill, apparently I downloaded 200+ Mb of data.
T-Mobile have subsequently cut off my phone and can do nothing about re-enabling it due to it not being the right billing period (the bill is levied next month). No I didn't understand it either.
I personally feel I was massively ripped off - at no point was it made clear to me that 3G charges would be so high (£7.50 per Mb), I have no idea how I could possibly have generated 200+Mb of web traffic in 3 days!
All I got was a notice sent to me via SMS about the phone and SMS rates so I'm trying to negotiate a compromise, but all I'm facing is a blank wall - they say that T-Mob UK have to pay T-Mob Netherlands the full fee and so that is levied against me. They say that nothing can be done about re-enabling my phone OR about possibly reducing my bill until mid June!
So I sincerely hope this legislation going through affects data tariffs because at the moment we're all being royally screwed by them. It would still be expensive at a tenth the price they are currently charging.
I would guess that their actual operating costs accounting for my three days in Holland can't ACTUALLY cost more than £20 or £30, so they charge me £1500.
Any advice guys!? ;-)
So from here-on-out, I'm not taking a phone abroad with me any more. Payphones are the future!
A California Right to Repair bill, SB 983, died in committee last week, despite broad consumer support for fixable products.
It's not clear who killed the bill, but Right to Repair advocates point to the usual suspects – the tech companies that benefit by controlling who can repair their goods and that have lobbied against Right to Repair bills all over the US.
"It happened in the most shadowy, unaccountable part of the process, so it's hard to know exactly what happened," said Nathan Proctor, US Public Interest Research Groups (PIRG) senior Right to Repair campaign director, in a message to The Register.
New York City this week ripped out its last municipally-owned payphones from Times Square to make room for Wi-Fi kiosks from city infrastructure project LinkNYC.
"NYC's last free-standing payphones were removed today; they'll be replaced with a Link, boosting accessibility and connectivity across the city," LinkNYC said via Twitter.
Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine said, "Truly the end of an era but also, hopefully, the start of a new one with more equity in technology access!"
A leaked internal report details how Ericsson paid hundreds of millions of pounds to Islamic State terrorists in Iraq, substantiating earlier reports that the company was paying intermediaries to buy off ISIS on its behalf.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) revealed over the weekend that the leaked report, which reviews the years 2011 to 2019, included names and precise details of how money from the company found its way to terrorists.
Rather than halting operations in Iraq as Islamic State ravaged the country, some personnel within Ericsson instead bribed "politically connected fixers and unvetted subcontractors", the ICIJ said, while the Swedish biz continued building potentially lucrative mobile networks.
Exclusive Britain's tax collection agency asked a contractor to use the SS7 mobile phone signalling protocol that would make available location data of alleged tax defaulters, a High Court lawsuit has revealed.
Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs had the potential to use SS7 to silently request that tax debtors' mobile phones give up location data over the past six years, according to papers filed in an obscure court case about a contract dispute.
SMS provider MMGRP Ltd, operators of HMRC's former 60886 text messaging service, filed a suit against the tax agency after losing the contract to send text messages on its behalf. Court documents obtained by The Register show that the secret surveillance capability was baked into otherwise mundane bulk SMS sending carried out by MMGRP Ltd.
Vodafone is to begin retirement of its 3G network next year, saying this will free up frequencies to improve 4G and 5G services.
The move follows proposals by the UK government late last year to see 2G and 3G networks phased out by 2033. Other networks have already confirmed plans to start early, with BT phasing out 3G services for EE, Plusnet and BT Mobile subscribers from 2023.
Vodafone said it will begin retiring its 3G network in 2023 as part of a network modernisation programme.
Mobile networks across the UK are once again set to panic their users this afternoon as part of a test of the government's Emergency Alerts system – causing selected mobiles to "make a loud, siren-like sound."
Due to launch for full operation this summer, the government Emergency Alerts system is a messaging platform designed to get information out to as many people as possible as quickly as can be.
"Emergency alerts work like a radio broadcast," the government explained. "In an emergency, mobile phone masts in the surrounding area will broadcast an alert. Every compatible mobile phone or tablet in range of a mast will receive the alert. You will get alerts based on your current location – not where you live or work."
A very-literally-mobile museum boasting over 2,000 exhibits is to go online and on the streets this year to show off the evolution of the mobile phone from 1984 to the present day - and its founders are looking for donations to fill a few gaps in the collection.
"I've been collecting phones for more than 25 years. Over the last three decades the mobile phone has become part of the fabric of society and the design diversity, from early transportable phones to the latest smartphones with flexible displays, is something to behold," museum founder Ben Wood explained in a prepared statement.
"When the online museum launches later this year, we want it to be a rich learning resource and a way to inspire young people to go on to create incredible mobile innovations of their own in the future."
Analysis Hot on the heels of the UK government enshrining in law the power to strip out Huawei, five European carriers have banded together to ask European policymakers to push the development of open radio access network (OpenRAN).
The operators – Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telecom Italia (TIM), Telefónica, and Vodafone – published a report, "Building an OpenRAN system for Europe" [PDF], asking the EU to throw money and support at whitebox mobile infrastructure.
This is almost certainly in the hopes the (ideally) cheaper, interoperable kit will help the carriers' own bottom lines, but also to regain some control after several years of uncertainty, maintenance of mix-and-match kit, plus the shock of rip-and-replace mandates after many of them thought they had invested in a relatively cheap and lasting solution in the form of Huawei 5G equipment.
With 5G adoption on the upswing, Samsung provided a detailed glimpse as to what a 6G world would look like.
"We already started 6G research with the commercialization target around 2030," said Sunghyun Choi, corporate senior vice president at Samsung Electronics, during a presentation at the Samsung Developer Conference webcast this week.
6G networks may start going up in 2030, he said, in line with a new network being introduced every 10 years. The first generation network came about in the mid 1980s, and a new generation of communications technology has occurred roughly each decade.
MBB Forum 2021 The "G" in 5G stands for Green, if the hours of keynotes at the Mobile Broadband Forum in Dubai are to be believed.
Run by Huawei, the forum was a mixture of in-person event and talking heads over occasionally grainy video and kicked off with an admission by Ken Hu, rotating chairman of the Shenzhen-based electronics giant, that the adoption of 5G – with its promise of faster speeds, higher bandwidth and lower latency – was still quite low for some applications.
Despite the dream five years ago, that the tech would link up everything, "we have not connected all things," Hu said.
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022