4g Business

4 G E E L T E 4 ME?

4G EE LTEEE is doing a good job at building up market expectation. Today the mobile network operator launched its pricing plans, available from the end of this month.

Consumers can have unlimited calls and texts with 500MB of data for £36. Remembering that I used 60MB of data in one minute on the O2 LTE trials I suspect that not many people will stay on this plan. The options are:

500MB £36
1GB £41
3GB £46
5GB £51
8GB £56

I assume that this comes with a phone though it isn’t clear. Their site suggests you can get the Nokia Lumia 920, 820, Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE and Note 2 LTE, HTC One XL and the iPhone5 plus a few other also rans (sorry).

If you use up your data allowance you won’t be able to access the internet until you buy a data add-on (ok). It isn’t entirely clear but it looks like the cost of a data add on is £6 for 500MB or £15 for 2GB so it makes sense to get your plan right in the first place.

I note there is a roaming package for £5 a month though this doesn’t seem to apply to data which in my mind is what I am most likely to use when roaming – checking restaurants, bars, local attractions (library locations etc).

The speeds are quoted at 8 – 12Mps on average.

It also looks as if they will not be blocking VoIP

4g End User

iPhone5 availability with 4G LTE & beginning of the end for Orange and TMobile?

Just spoke with an Orange customer service representative. They sent me an email asking if I’d like to sign up for an iPhone5. Here’s the rub. Nobody has a date for availability of LTE yet. Moreover Orange and TMobile won’t be offering it. You will have to go to a brand new company known as EE to get the service.

I’m thinking this is likely to be the beginning of the end for the Orange and TMobile brands. In time all services will be 4G and according to this logic existing Orange and TMobile customers will have mostly migrated to EE. Quite clever.

The Orange person was unable to give me a date for when EE would be up and running or when one would be able to sign up for 4G though anyone buying an iphone5 from them now could be migrated in due course.

Business mobile connectivity

Orange and TMobile announce UK JV Everything Everywhere

Orange and TMobile unveiled their UK joint venture today. I was quite impressed with the slickness of the delivery of their online press pack, not that I often download press packs. It isn’t often I comment on purely mobile news. I’m into IP.

On this occasion however it is such a big announcement that it has attracted my attention. Such a large scale business has to figure out how to keep it’s messaging simple whilst communicating what is presumably a hugely complex change to the business. This I believe it has made a reasonable stab at:

  • Everything everywhere
  • Best for customers
  • Biggest network
  • Benefits begin this year with x-network roaming
  • Boost for sales
  • Brilliant service
  • Acceleration into the business market

Whilst in principle a bigger and better network should server customers better there are a number of things to watch out for here.

  1. Bigger and better often means slower to respond.
  2. Bigger and better often means poorer customer service
  3. The business market is a completely different kettle of fish from that Orange and TMobile are used to
  4. It isn’t clear to me how the jointly larger high street footprint will result in a boost for sales unless they are jointly going to spend more money picking up customers than they used to and this has it’s downsides in terms of operating margins. They have to keep the brands separate or the likely result is a lower overall sales level (which might of course be accompanied by lower operating costs)

I should mention that as an O2 and Vodafone service provider I have an interest to declare but I’m not really letting that colour my opinions. The success of this venture is going to depend on how well they can make the complex business of running a mobile service simple. Only time will tell.

PS I’d love to have their  marketing budget.

PPS It wasn’t immediately obvious to me that the name of the JV appears to be “Everything Eveywhere”. Marketing money well spent?

End User mobile connectivity

Google G1 Phone Date Announced

Google is launching its new mobile handset, labelled the G1, in the UK on Thursday 30th October. This is Google’s first phone and is based on a new open source operating system named Android.

I haven’t had a play with it myself yet and am unlikely to in the near future as T Mobile has an exclusive deal in the UK.  In anycase it is initially going to be a consumer play and I use a mobile phone for business rather than listening to music etc.

The exciting thing here is that Android is open source. Anyone can write an application for it. I’m sure there will be gotchas that benefit Google but that is understandable. Why otherwise would a company make such an investment.

If you don’t understand the implication here of “openness” look at Facebook. Facebook has had thousands of applications developed for it, good and bad.

Nokia is making its own Symbian OS open source and Apple allows developers onto its iPhone although not with complete freedom. The mobile revolution is about to move onto its next phase.