Latest Podcast



Featured Articles

Ofcom says mobile contracts should ditch inflation-related price rises

Ofcom says mobile contracts should ditch inflation-related price rises

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom wants to ban inflation-related rises in phone and broadband contracts. Instead, it says any potential mid-contract price rises should be set out in pounds and pence.
Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating

Global smartphone market is set for recovery, says new forecast

A new forecast from research specialists Canalys shows the smartphone market is set to recover next year. Worldwide shipments declined by 12% last year but that decline is expected to slow to 5% this year.
Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating
Vodafone and Three plan to merge their UK businesses

Vodafone and Three plan to merge their UK businesses

New Hutchison/Vodafone network would be biggest UK operator

Vodafone Group plc and CK Hutchison Group Telecom Holdings Limited have agreed to combine their UK telecommunication businesses, respectively Vodafone UK and Three UK. The merger will create a large new network operator to compete with Virgin Media O2 and EE.
Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating

UK mobile payment service Paym to close in March 2023

UK mobile payment service Paym will close on 7th March 2023. The service, which allowed users to make and receive payments using their mobile phone numbers, was launched in 2014.
Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating
Qualcomm legal action moves forward in the UK

Qualcomm legal action moves forward in the UK

Which? seeks payout for Samsung and Apple smartphone owners

Consumer protection organisation Which? has been given permission by the UK's Competition Appeal Tribunal to represent Apple and Samsung smartphone buyers in a legal case against chip manufacturer Qualcomm.
Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating
RSS

Opinion Articles

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Are mobile networks about to cut down on free WiFi?

Mark Bridge writes:

I don’t mind paying for a spot of WiFi when I need it. Admittedly I’d prefer to find a coffee shop with a free hotspot but I’ll pay if I really need a connection. Not just here in the UK but abroad too.

It seems I’m not alone. Today I saw details of a survey from cloud-based communications provider MACH. It caught my eye, not least because I’d spoken to the company at Mobile World Congress last year. Anyway, MACH had commissioned some research into roaming - and it’s revealed that many customers prefer WiFi to 3G when abroad because they can manage their costs better.

Lokdeep Singh, Chief Technology Officer at MACH, is quoted as saying “If operators can provide a seamless experience for the user to log onto WiFi and also integrate billing into their overall service capability, then their addressable market can be significantly expanded. It is also interesting that for a subscriber, control of costs is as much of a concern as the costs themselves. Consumers feel more in control of their costs with WiFi: it is not about just knowing that WiFi is cheaper, it is also about knowing that they will only spend a set amount and not go over it accidently.”

The idea of mobile operators charging for WiFi when abroad is a contrast to some services in the UK, where WiFi is included as part of the monthly cost. It’s an arrangement that suits everyone nicely: customers get a faster connection on WiFi, so it’s seen as a benefit... and networks get to offload some usage, freeing capacity for other customers.

T-Mobile has done this with The Full Monty tariff, which not only includes free 3G internet access but throws in free WiFi as well. However, there was a turn of phrase in the announcement that caught my eye.

“The Full Monty plan provides access to our preferred WiFi partner’s WiFi network; presently this is BT Openzone network excluding any sites providing access to any organisation or location which is part of the Olympic Games in London in 2012.”

Leaving aside the question of special Olympics WiFi zones, it seemed to me that T-Mobile wasn’t particularly committed to its current preferred partner. There was, at the very least, an implication the provider could change.

After all, that’s just happened over at O2. Gone is The Cloud from the list of suppliers, leaving T-Mobile’s current mate BT Openzone and O2’s own smaller hotspot collection.

Why?  Well, given the commercial nature of the agreement, I’d say money was the most likely cause.

And that raises a question.

With many mobile network operators uncomfortable about the idea of ‘unlimited’ mobile tariffs because of the cost implications and the risk of reduced quality for other users, is WiFi the next battleground?  Are those deals between mobile networks and hotspot providers getting a bit pricey as smartphone usage increases?

What’s next?  Will we soon be back to paying for wireless hotspots because it’s not viable to give away the bandwidth?  If so, I wonder what kind of incentives will be offered. I’m hoping someone will think of giving away a free cup of coffee with their WiFi.

Print
Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Rate this article:
No rating

Leave a comment

This form collects your name, email, IP address and content so that we can keep track of the comments placed on the website. For more info check our Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use where you will get more info on where, how and why we store your data.
Add comment

Recent Podcasts

From CES to customer service, we talk about all the latest mobile tech news

Podcast - 8th January 2014

Iain Graham, James Rosewell and Mark Bridge return with their first mobile industry podcast of 2014.

This week they're looking at new Samsung, Sony and ZTE products from CES, they're talking about Android embedded in cars, they're catching up with the latest news from BlackBerry, they're discussing cheque payments by smartphone, they're revealing complaint data from Ofcom and they're investigating quite a few other stories as well.

Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating

We make our mobile industry predictions for 2014 and review our end-of-year forecasts from 2013

Podcast - 18th December 2013

It's our last podcast of the year, which is the traditional time for us to predict what'll be happening in the mobile phone industry during the next 12 months... from forthcoming consumer technology to deals between network operators.

As well as making our 2014 predictions, we'll also be reviewing those we made last year and discovering how accurate our forecasts for 2013 really were.

Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating

Bill shock, cheaper roaming, court injunctions, satellites, shopping and loads more mobile industry news

Podcast - 11th December 2013

This week we're talking about a UK government deal to prevent bill shock, good news for some UK consumers visiting the USA, a court threat to HTC sales, new high-speed satellite broadband, mobile search, mobile shopping and much more.

Join Iain Graham, James Rosewell and Mark Bridge for an informed and entertaining look at all the major mobile industry news stories from the past seven days.

Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating

Sailfish smartphones, shopping, security, spectrum shortages and several supplementary stories

Podcast - 4th December 2013

It's been a week of diverse mobile headlines in which Jolla started selling its Sailfish smartphone, mobile shopping broke records and BlackBerry's CEO looked to the future.

We're also talking about smartphones for seniors, battery life, a looming spectrum shortage, phone theft and Sony's Smart Wig. Something for everyone, surely!

Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating

We interview James Atkins of UK-based smartphone manufacturer Kazam

Podcast - 29th November 2013

In today's programme we're talking to James Atkins, co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of smartphone manufacturer Kazam.

The company launched earlier this year and has just announced its first seven Android-based handsets. James explains the story behind Kazam's creation, the company ethos, its product range and its plans for the future.

Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating
RSS
First910111214161718Last

Follow thefonecast.com

Twitter @TheFonecast RSS podcast feed
Find us on Facebook Subscribe free via iTunes

Archive Calendar

«April 2024»
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
25262728293031
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293012345

Archive

Terms Of Use | Privacy Statement