Feeds

Mobile operators handed content billing blueprint

YouTube at 50 cents a month, Skype for €3

The essential guide to IT transformation

An allegedly leaked presentation from Allot Communications suggests that mobile customers might end up paying €3 a month for Skype, and 2 cents per MB for Facebook.

The leaked presentation isn't an operator plan, despite how DailyTech describes it - it's just what infrastructure providers Allot and Openet think would be appropriate. But as both companies supply billing and management systems to significant operators, it's worth taking a moment to see how they envision the future.

The unlimited, or fair-use-capped, data tariff fades in favour of tariffs based on the services and when they are used, with payment for data being bundled in the price of devices and applications as well as tariffs. So using Facebook costs 2 cents a MB, while the operator's own content is free and evening and weekend data is charged at a lower rate.

Data billing laid out

The presentation (pdf) goes on to suggest that devices might be sold with unlimited data, but limited functionality, and that applications could come with a quantity of data bundled with them.

None of this is new - Orange already provides discounted data in the evenings for users of Samsung's Galaxy Tab, while Amazon bundles unlimited data (for downloading books) with its Kindle e-book reader. Three already provides application-specific bandwidth in the form of free access to Facebook (over 0.facebook.com), and few operators count browsing of their own pages towards the fair-use cap already imposed.

In fact the only thing missing is the ability to pay for bandwidth when buying an application, which is logistically difficult given the number of players involved, but will surely come.

The other thing that is missing today, critically, is much in the way of transparency and fairness. The majority of mobile data users just want occasional Facebook access and are currently subsidising those few who do hit their data caps on a monthly basis, not to mention that all data users are still being subsidised by those who pay for voice calls by the minute - who contribute more than 70 per cent of operator revenue, despite accounting for less than five per cent of the traffic on a network such as Three's.

That situation is obviously unsustainable: we're going to have to pay more for our data, the only question is how we go about doing so. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder
Carrier is 'aware' of cockup, working on a fix NOW
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?