3G licences

Eureka! I’ve worked out how the mobile telecom providers are going to pay for their 3G licences.

I’ve been abroad quite a lot recently and will be repeating ad nauseum for the next few months at least. That means that I’m spending a lot time roaming on GPRS to access the Internet. So I thought I’d get a UMTS card for my laptop and bring some speed into the equation.

Currently in the UK the only 3G data offering is from Vodafone. Their Mobile Connect service costs ?100.00 for the card and then ?99.00 per month for 500MB of transfer. Not the cheapest, but definately at a price worth considering. So how much for roaming? According to their price guide.

Data usage on other Vodafone networks: 5.88GBP incl. VAT per MB
Data usage on non-Vodafone networks: 10.28GBP incl. VAT per MB

That is going to catch a lot peope out. You don’t need to download much before you’ve chalked up a hundred quid’s worth of download costs.

There’s no way that I can justify the Vodafone product. I’ll look at the Orange offering, but I can’t see them being significantly cheaper. Fingers crossed though.

Interestingly, Vodafone Netherlands are charging a different way. 375.00 Euros for the card. Once you have the card, they don’t differentiate between the cost per MB for GPRS and the cost per MB for UMTS. Much more reasonable, but that’s only for their home network. There isn’t any small print that gives me the roaming costs. Cynical git that I am! I prefer to think of myself as realistic 😉

Saying that, I wouldn’t be surprised if the roaming costs were insignificant as the geography of the Netherlands means that you’re never far from a border and therefore roaming willy, nilly between two or three ‘foreign’ networks.


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