Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Dragon Flames the MNOs....

The Comment section of today's Financial Times carries a story by Doug Richards once of Dragons Den on the BBC in which he set about explaining that we will soon see the likes of Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile consigned to the History Books. Mr Richards explains that thanks to being overcharged we will soon dump these international networks and start using free VoIP.

Now rather than deconstruct Mr Richards opinion I have decided to take an approach similar to that used by the Dragons on the TV programme.

  1. Mr Richards lets first look at the fact that the majority of the users on Mobile Networks in the UK are not price sensitive, if they were then they would have dumped Prepaid for one of the contract tariffs that give away so much value.
  2. How technology savvy will my mother have to be to use such a service; having been a tester on the BT Bluephone project using a mobile that roams from hotspot to hotspot at present takes a fair degree of technical skills to maintain a database of profiles and switch to the right one?
  3. As most users buy a handset on the basis of its features, how do you propose to overcome the issues of battery life when running WiFi?
  4. How often have you dropped a call using SKYPE and do you think that it would be acceptable when you add the complexity of movement?

Look it is a nice idea but look inside the average persons wallet and you will see that they have more than one payment card. You do not need more than one credit card but you take as many as you are offered you do not dump the bank because it has ripped you off with its charges you keep using it. True some are starting to fight back and ask that the overcharging stop and the money that was taken be returned to them but very few are doing so. The retail banking industry is a lot older than the mobile phone business and it has taken a lot longer for the customers to start to complain, I can see Vodafone and Orange being around for a good few years. I for one would happily pay a fee for customer service and no adverts.

The nightmare that you paint could see my daughter having to watch an advert for McDonalds and Starbucks before having enough credit to phone NHS Direct for Obesity advice ;-).

I have heard enough and I am out!

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