Saturday, August 23, 2008

Rationalisation

It's that time when your mobile phone contract is up (actually mine expired some months ago). I spend around £100 ($200) a month with Orange (largely since I have a rather unique limitless data plan, which I reeally don't use to its max).

In these austere times this strikes me as a lot of money for a service that actually doesn't work very well at all even for basic voice calls at one of my homes, or in many places I do business (the trouble is all other networks are even worse..).

And these guys are hoping I'll buy and spend more. Hmmm. No chance. I'm rationalising and looking not at what more I can do with my mobile, but what less I can do with my mobile. Let's face it, if you can't make a call on your phone, you're not going to be able to watch TV (unless the phone has a traditional TV receiver).

I also have a 3 (Hutchinson) mobile broadband dongle, but this works in so few places in the UK as to be laughable. City centres are great - but there I can often get free WiFi anyway. Anywhere else is bad. And the trouble with us consumers is that we're a demanding bunch, and, as far as I'm concerned, the ease of provisioning in Birmingham should be offset by a need to provision in a dark valley in Wales. Come on, OFCOM...

And I pay£5 a gig. This is silly money in a world where this commodity is now, at best, worth 50p. What I need is a £5 a month flat fee WiMax network with VoIP - ie free voice calls and a twitter/IM application that removes the need for texting. Companies like TFL might achieve this and usurp the stodgy incumbents.

In the meantime, I will seek to downsize my relationship with mobile networks. In these difficult times, their charges are taking the piss... Go small, everyone.

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