Archive for April 5th, 2006

The crazy GPRS/WAP prices

Russell Beattie blogged about a friend of his that has to pay over $1000 to Cingular just because Cingular forgot to activate his unlimited Gprs data plan. Boy, isn’t that sucky? But what’s worse, is the prices themselves! $10 per 1 MB of data? I mean, come on US! You make me feel that I am back in Greece in 1995 when the whole country had a single link of 50KB/sec to share as the Compulink ISP couldn’t afford anything better at the time and the telephone lines were really of bad quality!

I wish there was a Google-kind of company in the telcos world that would bring a revolution to such services and their charges, like Google did with its 1+ GB of Gmail storage when its competition were ‘afraid’ to give over 200 MBs to their users. Today, Gmail offers 2.7 GB of storage, and it’s growing. All it takes is guts. Come on Cingular, you know you can do it.

If a telco company would offer $0.50 per MB to its non-web-contract customers, there would be a surge of web usage via phones today, like it is in Japan for years now. Sure, it still would be expensive compared to ISP prices, but it’s enough to do some quick Gmail/hotmail/yahoo check-up via your phone or visit 1-2 mobile-enabled sites per day just to keep yourself current when on the go. These days phones have high-res screens and more capable browsers, but the GPRS prices remain the same! This is the the biggest stumbling block.

March last year, there were 12.7% of users in US that used their cellphones to browse the web. This March, the same survey showed now that there were… 10,1% that did so! So instead of having people using the web via their (better by now) phones more, they are using it LESS. If that’s not a way to show to the telcos that they and their prices suck a$$, I don’t know what is.