Feeds

Vodafone promises more tiers for data hungry customers

Because some contracts are more equal than others

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

Nokia World Vodafone boss Vittorio Colao has been telling attendees at Nokia‘s annual shindig that they‘re going to have to get used to tiered pricing, and quickly.

Not that this should come as any great surprise. Flat-rate internet access is not sustainable once customers start making use of it, so this is part of a softening-up process to gauge customer reactions and get people used to the idea that rich people will (one day) be able to buy their way to better internet access than their poorer contemporaries.

Vodafone has already announced its German LTE pricing, which will see customers shunted to 3G connections once they pop their tariff-related cap. Slowing down heavy users is a good strategy, and they'll likely be offered the option of buying some more high-speed capacity at the same time. It would be unsurprising to see the same thing cutting poor users down to 2G speeds - as long as there are 2G networks that is.

The only thing preventing such tariffs, other than some minor technical hurdles, is the risk of customer backlash. The blogosphere reacts badly to this kind of thing and can quickly whip up a media storm. 3 found that out when it started offering priority 3G access to corporate customers.

3‘s proposition works both ways: a poor user on an underutilised cell gets unlimited data, but a rich user on a congested cell gets priority access. 3 wasn‘t even planning to cut anyone off, but even the proposal to restrict users to a single YouTube video stream (surely enough for most mobile users) raised such a backlash that it was dropped.

But the basic premise, that people on corporate tariffs get priority access to 3G data, did remain in place, and still is. Other operators say they‘re evaluating the matter, but the truth is that they can‘t afford not to introduce tiered pricing and are just waiting until we‘ve been told its inevitable so many times that we start to believe it. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.