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  • FIRST POST
    • Former MSE Helen
    • By Former MSE Helen 6th Jul 11, 4:19 PM
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    Former MSE Helen
    MSE News: New rules could slash data roaming costs abroad
    • #1
    • 6th Jul 11, 4:19 PM
    MSE News: New rules could slash data roaming costs abroad 6th Jul 11 at 4:19 PM
    This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

    "Mobile operators could be forced to cut data roaming costs under new EU proposals"

Page 2
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 8th Jul 11, 5:22 PM
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    zagfles
    If the EU keeps pushing the networks around kiss goodbye to free handsets on any tariff.
    Originally posted by ampletime
    Good. Why should other people pay for your new handset?
  • coolesticeking
    Have a read at this:
    http://www.gsmworld.com/documents/sms_data_roaming_explained.pdf
    David
    1 of debt is too much for me!
    • NFH
    • By NFH 8th Jul 11, 8:24 PM
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    NFH
    Interesting document, but it's about data and SMS roaming, and therefore unconnected with your earlier claims about charges for outgoing calls. Please explain the relevance.
  • 2sides2everystory
    It was also published almost 3 years ago - things move fast in this business

    Here's another one that is interesting for its historical value:

    "BT gobbles up Cellnet" ("a quarter of the UK population have a mobile phone")

    and "BT Cellnet Provide Innovative Wireless Solutions To Americans Traveling To The U.K"

    Those poor Americans pay through the back teeth for compatible mobile services on their European visits - oh wait - that was then
    • nsabournemouth
    • By nsabournemouth 9th Jul 11, 11:37 PM
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    nsabournemouth
    Can you explain the economics of that? What you are suggesting is not a logical consequence of EU regulation on roaming charges.


    You can't use wifi unless you're lucky enough to find a wireless network within range that's free to use. With regard to how much it costs to run a mobile network, when you're roaming, your phone is using the same technology as it does on your home network. The costs of operating the foreign network are roughly the same as your home network, so why should the charges be higher?
    Originally posted by NFH
    If the networks have to keep dropping prices they will raise them somewhere else. The head of O2 has said that it may get to the point where we are charged for incoming calls and that 'free' handsets will be a thing of the past.

    Early termination rates, box breaking and the networks having various things forced on them will all contribute to what the O2 chief said. The drop in termination rates are in no way a victory for the consumer,the cost of calls and text on pre pay has gone up as a result.
    • nsabournemouth
    • By nsabournemouth 9th Jul 11, 11:44 PM
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    nsabournemouth
    Good. Why should other people pay for your new handset?
    Originally posted by zagfles

    They don't! It's covered in the tariff. If things carry on we will see the US model here in the UK and that means higher handset costs, charges for incoming calls.
    • NFH
    • By NFH 10th Jul 11, 7:43 AM
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    NFH
    If the networks have to keep dropping prices they will raise them somewhere else. The head of O2 has said that it may get to the point where we are charged for incoming calls and that 'free' handsets will be a thing of the past.
    Originally posted by nsabournemouth
    I can understand the reduced termination rates on domestic calls influencing domestic price rises for outgoing calls. However, please explain why a network would need to increase non-roaming prices as a result of roaming prices being capped. At the same time that the retail roaming prices are capped, the wholesale roaming costs are likewise capped, still leaving a huge profit margin for the network. If artificially high roaming charges are currently subsidising free handsets and free domestic incoming calls, then that subsidy should end, although I don't believe that such a subsidy even exists.
    • grumbler
    • By grumbler 10th Jul 11, 8:18 AM
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    grumbler
    Even if roaming business has a huge profit margin, this doesn't mean that the network operation on a whole has a big profit margin. This business is not super profitable. Do you remember what enormous prices they pay on frequencies auctions?
    Roaming used to be and still is a cash cow for recovering these expenses. If it ceases to be, they will have to find other ways.
    An I don't know any evidence that the 'free' handsets are subsidised by roaming. It's just a local business model based on the nation's love affair with credit. Similarly, mortgages and credit cards are far less common in EU than in UK.
    We are born naked, wet and hungry...Then things get worse.

    .withdrawal, NOT withdrawel ..bear with me, NOT bare with me
    .definitely, NOT definately ......separate, NOT seperate
    should have, NOT should of
    .....guaranteed, NOT guarenteed
    • NFH
    • By NFH 10th Jul 11, 8:31 AM
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    NFH
    Roaming used to be and still is a cash cow for recovering these expenses. If it ceases to be, they will have to find other ways.
    Originally posted by grumbler
    The point is that if I travel only 90 miles to France, why should it cost me 300 times as much to use data than if I travel over 300 miles to Edinburgh? The cost of using the service should be similar, irrespective of location throughout the EEA. If some levelling out of prices is necessary to achieve this, then so be it.

    An I don't know any evidence that the 'free' handsets are subsidised by roaming. It's just a local business model based on the nation's love affair with credit. Similarly, mortgages and credit cards are far less common in EU than in UK.
    Originally posted by grumbler
    Absolutely true. The current model in the UK results in wasteful frequent acquisition of new handsets by customers because they believe they are "free". And then people who want to get out of their contract come on to this forum and complain they can't do so without paying off their effective interest-free loan for the handset.
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 10th Jul 11, 9:39 AM
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    zagfles
    They don't! It's covered in the tariff. If things carry on we will see the US model here in the UK and that means higher handset costs, charges for incoming calls.
    Originally posted by nsabournemouth
    Good. The US model is more realistic, rather than all the silly cross-subsidy we get here. "Free" phones worth 400?? Yeah right - typical contracts are mostly a disguised loan for a new phone, which you pay back over the contract period.
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 10th Jul 11, 9:48 AM
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    zagfles
    Even if roaming business has a huge profit margin, this doesn't mean that the network operation on a whole has a big profit margin. This business is not super profitable. Do you remember what enormous prices they pay on frequencies auctions?
    Roaming used to be and still is a cash cow for recovering these expenses. If it ceases to be, they will have to find other ways.
    Originally posted by grumbler
    Yes. Just like the banks had to after years of conning gullible people into buying rip-off endowments, PPI, selling personal pensions to those in company schemes, excessive penalty charges on unauthorised overdrafts, etc.

    Same old arguments were used -"but, but if you stop them ripping those people off, the rest of us might have to pay our fair share, that's not fair. Keep ripping them off so I can get my product cheap !!"
    Last edited by zagfles; 10-07-2011 at 10:13 AM.
    • grumbler
    • By grumbler 10th Jul 11, 9:54 AM
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    grumbler
    The point is that if I travel only 90 miles to France, why should it cost me 300 times as much to use data than if I travel over 300 miles to Edinburgh? The cost of using the service should be similar, irrespective of location throughout the EEA. If some levelling out of prices is necessary to achieve this, then so be it.
    Originally posted by NFH
    You can perfectly survive in France without data if it is too expensive for you.
    State regulation of all prices, including non-essential ones, is a socialistic approach that proved to be inefficient by many failed states. We live in a market economy. The state intervention has to be generally limited by preventing monopolization, not by regulating every price and the shape of cucumbers - what Brussels' jobsworths keep doing to justify their enormous salaries end excessive benefits that have to be cut in the first place.

    If the state doesn't like the prices, they have to privatise the industry and set the prices they like. For the obvious reasons they don't want to do this.
    Last edited by grumbler; 10-07-2011 at 10:10 AM.
    We are born naked, wet and hungry...Then things get worse.

    .withdrawal, NOT withdrawel ..bear with me, NOT bare with me
    .definitely, NOT definately ......separate, NOT seperate
    should have, NOT should of
    .....guaranteed, NOT guarenteed
    • NFH
    • By NFH 10th Jul 11, 10:16 AM
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    NFH
    You can perfectly survive in France without data if it is too expensive for you.
    Originally posted by grumbler
    It's not a question of being able to survive and I never said it was. It's a question of why I should pay more to use my phone 90 miles away in France than I do when I'm over 300 miles away in Edinburgh. Why shouldn't I be able use use my monthly data bundle in France in the same way that I do in the UK?
    State regulation of all prices, including non-essential ones, is a socialistic approach that proved to be inefficient by many failed states. We live in a market economy.
    Originally posted by grumbler
    The problem is here is that there's no competition in the roaming market. You have to put up with whatever your home network charges you, and you can't shop around. If you read the press release from the European Commission, you will see that one of their proposals is to introduce competition into the roaming market, following which there should be no need to regulate prices.

    The same mandate for competition started happening with fixed lines over 20 years ago. If that hadn't happened, we'd still be forced to pay BT for all line rental and calls on our fixed lines. Enforcing competition is sometimes necessary when the established players do everything they can to prevent it.
    • grumbler
    • By grumbler 10th Jul 11, 10:54 AM
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    grumbler
    ...Why shouldn't I be able use use my monthly data bundle in France in the same way that I do in the UK?
    Originally posted by NFH
    Why should you? It's France, not UK. They drive on the other side of the road. They use euro. They speak French and hate English. You can get only basic medical help for free there unlike in your own country etc. Why do you not complain about the cigarettes being cheaper there?
    Even in UK you pay different landline rates for local and national calls.

    ...one of their proposals is to introduce competition into the roaming market, following which there should be no need to regulate prices.
    Do it then instead of proposing. They will obviously look more busy by doing dozens of pointless steps and spreading this 'activity' over decades.
    Last edited by grumbler; 10-07-2011 at 10:59 AM.
    We are born naked, wet and hungry...Then things get worse.

    .withdrawal, NOT withdrawel ..bear with me, NOT bare with me
    .definitely, NOT definately ......separate, NOT seperate
    should have, NOT should of
    .....guaranteed, NOT guarenteed
    • NFH
    • By NFH 10th Jul 11, 11:10 AM
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    • 1,415 Thanks
    NFH
    Why should you? It's France, not UK. They drive on the other side of the road. They use euro. They speak French and hate English. You can get only basic medical help for free there unlike in your own country etc.
    Originally posted by grumbler
    What bearing do any of those factors have on whether it should cost a UK customer 300 times more to use data in Calais than in Edinburgh?

    Why do you not complain about the cigarettes being cheaper there?
    Originally posted by grumbler
    First because I don't smoke, and second because it's down to tax. The EU roaming regulations are capping prices excluding tax, not including tax. Tax is not a factor in this, so your cigarette example is not a good parallel.

    Do it then instead of proposing. They will obviously look more busy by doing dozens of pointless steps and spreading this 'activity' over decades.
    Originally posted by grumbler
    I'm surprised they haven't thought of it sooner, because something similar to competition existed for roaming until around ten years ago. Every foreign network charged different prices for visiting roaming customers, and your home network would charge you the foreign networks' prices plus its own markup (around 35% I believe). You would often find that in a particular country, as well as very different prices for calls, one network would have per-second billing for example, another wouldn't charge for outgoing SMS, or another would charge very little for calls to its own customers. I remember when I lived in Germany with an Orange UK phone (before the days of PAYG in Germany), setting the order of preferred networks in my phone was important so that my phone would log on to the more optimal networks in preference to the others. The charges for incoming calls were always set by one's home network though because incoming calls pass through the home network, and Orange's incoming charges were a fraction of the other UK networks' charges. Some charges by foreign networks were very reasonable. I remember paying 6p/min for local roaming calls within Singapore for example. But 10 years ago, the UK networks (and others around the EU) decided to "standardise" roaming charges by charging their own much higher prices for every network in a given group of countries. The result was that a local roaming call within Singapore on Orange suddenly went up from 6p/min to 1.30/min. The element of competition was thereby removed, and the EU is now attempting to reinstate it, but to a greater degree than existed previously.
    • grumbler
    • By grumbler 10th Jul 11, 11:17 AM
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    • 21,937 Thanks
    grumbler
    What bearing do any of those factors have on whether it should cost a UK customer 300 times more to use data in Calais than in Edinburgh?
    Originally posted by NFH
    It's obvious: you cannot expect everything over there to be the same as here. What if it was 30 or 3 times?
    You asked why you shouldn't. In return I asked why you should and you have not answered my question yet.
    First because I don't smoke, and second because it's down to tax. The EU roaming regulations are capping prices excluding tax, not including tax. Tax is not a factor in this, so your cigarette example is not a good parallel.
    When I overpay for something and am not happy, it makes no difference to me if it is because of some tax or some other reason.
    Last edited by grumbler; 10-07-2011 at 11:20 AM.
    We are born naked, wet and hungry...Then things get worse.

    .withdrawal, NOT withdrawel ..bear with me, NOT bare with me
    .definitely, NOT definately ......separate, NOT seperate
    should have, NOT should of
    .....guaranteed, NOT guarenteed
    • NFH
    • By NFH 10th Jul 11, 11:20 AM
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    NFH
    It's obvious: you cannot expect everything over there to be the same as here. What if it was 30 or 3 times?
    You asked why you shouldn't. In return I asked why you should and you have not answered to my question yet.
    Originally posted by grumbler
    I had already answered that question in my earlier post in this thread. I don't wish to repeat myself.
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 10th Jul 11, 11:26 AM
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    • 12,452 Thanks
    zagfles
    I'm surprised they haven't thought of it sooner, because something similar to competition existed for roaming until around ten years ago. Every foreign network charged different prices for visiting roaming customers, and your home network would charge you the foreign networks' prices plus its own markup (around 35% I believe). You would often find that in a particular country, as well as very different prices for calls, one network would have per-second billing for example, another wouldn't charge for outgoing SMS, or another would charge very little for calls to its own customers. I remember when I lived in Germany with an Orange UK phone (before the days of PAYG in Germany), setting the order of preferred networks in my phone was important so that my phone would log on to the more optimal networks in preference to the others. The charges for incoming calls were always set by one's home network though because incoming calls pass through the home network, and Orange's incoming charges were a fraction of the other UK networks' charges. Some charges by foreign networks were very reasonable. I remember paying 6p/min for local roaming calls within Singapore for example. But 10 years ago, the UK networks (and others around the EU) decided to "standardise" roaming charges by charging their own much higher prices for every network in a given group of countries. The result was that a local roaming call within Singapore on Orange suddenly went up from 6p/min to 1.30/min. The element of competition was thereby removed, and the EU is now attempting to reinstate it, but to a greater degree than existed previously.
    Originally posted by NFH
    Quite - the networks just got incredibly greedy - a 35% markup is a very high margin - compare that to banks who tend to charge about 3% or less for foreign use of cards.

    But they wanted more - far more - and when users came back off holiday to find bills of hundreds, thousands or even in some cases tens of thousands for usage which would have cost very little or even nothing in the UK, they were asking for trouble, and now they've got it, and deserve it.
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 10th Jul 11, 11:30 AM
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    zagfles
    It's obvious: you cannot expect everything over there to be the same as here. What if it was 30 or 3 times?
    You asked why you shouldn't. In return I asked why you should and you have not answered my question yet.
    When I overpay for something and am not happy, it makes no difference to me if it is because of some tax or some other reason.
    Originally posted by grumbler
    It shouldn't "cost the same as here". But it shouldn't cost 300 times more for a British person in France than it would cost for a French person buying the same product in the same place.

    Your analogy is like going into a shop and asking for a packet of cigarettes and having to pay EUR1200 for it just because you're British, while the Frenchman in the queue behind you only has to pay EUR4.
    • grumbler
    • By grumbler 10th Jul 11, 11:30 AM
    • 51,718 Posts
    • 21,937 Thanks
    grumbler
    I had already answered that question in my earlier post in this thread. I don't wish to repeat myself.
    Originally posted by NFH
    The costs of operating the foreign network are roughly the same as your home network, so why should the charges be higher?
    Originally posted by NFH
    Because in the market economy prices bear very little relation to the сost price and are driven by the demand and supply in the first place. This is the main feature of the market economy as against the command economy where 20% of the population are busy calculating the 'true' prices and making sure that the prices are exactly the same in all parts of the country. Luckily, there are very few countries with this type of economy left nowadays. Unfortunately, Brussels and some UK bodies are doing their best to fill the gap. IMO, this is the main reason of the UK economy becoming uncompetitive and dying.
    Last edited by grumbler; 10-07-2011 at 11:35 AM.
    We are born naked, wet and hungry...Then things get worse.

    .withdrawal, NOT withdrawel ..bear with me, NOT bare with me
    .definitely, NOT definately ......separate, NOT seperate
    should have, NOT should of
    .....guaranteed, NOT guarenteed
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