Timmy elsewhere

At the ASI.

Why bother to have the bureaucrats?

6 thoughts on “Timmy elsewhere”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    I sometimes think that rather than trying to take credit for something that is about to happen anyway, they actually want to prevent it happening at all but prefer to say otherwise in public.

    So laws on call roaming charges are most likely to preserve the right and ability of companies to charge huge sums when you go to another country.

  2. The rightpondian market isn’t working. There’s the odd niche reseller with an unreliable service doing this kind of thing. The main sellers in Germany (otherwise a highly competitive telecoms market) have the odd “lottery” tariff (e.g. pay a huge flat rate per call and a reduced per-minute rate). 98% are on the EU-standard deal. That is market failure.

    Ironically, T-Mobile are a German company, yet it seems they can offer their US customers flat-fee roaming but won’t dare introduce it in Europe. Again proof that the market isn’t working, despite being a bigger market (Europeans cross national borders far, far more often than Leftpondians do). What T-Mobile is doing in the US is more akin to EU telcos offering (near) global flat-rate roaming. What the EU is doing is still trying to achieve what the USA has had for a long time, i.e. no “roaming” charge for being out of your home state. Thus the EU telecoms market is years if not decades behind the curve.

  3. Three UK now allow you to use your phone’s data allowance and local call allowance to call/text the UK while roaming in Australia, Austria, Hong Kong, Denmark, Italy, Ireland and Sweden. Obviously there’s the usual Dont-Take-The-Piss clause but should be very handy for maps and email.

  4. So, calls to the UK from a few selected countries. Great progress.

    Where is my phone that I can buy and pay for in Germany and use in Hong Kong to call a customer in Sweden or Canada at a tolerable rate?

    In other words, why do I still end up buying a sim card in any country I visit and stay in for more than 2-3 days?

  5. But the whole point is that Steelie Neelie is trying to change the market, whereas T-Mob in the USA is just reflecting the market.

  6. JamesV is right, and Tim’s wrong on this one. When it comes to roaming, the European networks have been acting as a cartel for years. We’re beginning only now to see that break up in the face of Neelie’s threats.

    The call roaming charges made some sense in the early days, when a single call had to be organised across so many different companies in real time. Then they all bought each other, and we pay the same exhorbitant rates for using a Vodafone UK contract on Vodafone DE and Vodafone FR’s networks, as these completely different companies somehow coordinate their efforts. And the data roaming charges were never justifiable technologically.

    Just because I oppose the EU inprinciple, doesn’t mean they don’t sometimes do good things in practice.

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