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The UK's 5-Minute 4G Data Cap 261

Posted by timothy
from the better-be-some-great-youtube dept.
Barence writes "The tariffs have been announced for Britain's first 4G network and they include a data cap that customers will break within five minutes. EE's high-speed data service will start from £36 a month — or £21 a month SIM-only — although the lowest package's 500MB download limit might put data-focused early adopters off. With EE claiming average network speeds of up to 12Mbits/sec, that means users could theoretically exceed their cap in just over five minutes of full-speed downloads — or a little over ten seconds a day. There are no unlimited data deals."
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The UK's 5-Minute 4G Data Cap

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  • Mobile bandwidth (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @11:16AM (#41740469)

    So, guys... how's that whole "Let the market decide" argument working out for you? Capitalism works great for non-critical, non-infrastructure goods and services... but when it gets its hands on something everybody needs, it's gonna take you to the cleaners. Every single time.

    • by Quakeulf (2650167) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @11:17AM (#41740493)
      Introduce competition.
      • by Racemaniac (1099281) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @11:20AM (#41740519)

        because we've seen in the past that the "competitors" wouldn't ever dare to make deals to keep the prices artificially high

        • Re:Mobile bandwidth (Score:5, Interesting)

          by firex726 (1188453) <[moc.oohay] [ta] [627xerif]> on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @11:37AM (#41740799)

          Also considering the initial startup costs, just to break in would be very difficult.
          Cell towers are not cheap, nor the network wot support them.

        • by aicrules (819392)
          There is nothing artificial about a price that enough people will pay to make it worthwhile to the company providing the services/goods for sale. A free market doesn't work on the principle of one person or even a few people whining about the price of a service setting the price lower. Yes, if you don't like a price point and also cannot afford it, but enough other people can afford it and pay it, your poor little plight will not directly impact free market. Heck, even when there are NOT enough people wh
          • What are the price of spectrum and the price of tearing up roads other than "ACTUALLY artificial prices"?
          • Re:Mobile bandwidth (Score:5, Interesting)

            by neokushan (932374) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @02:27PM (#41743267)

            There is nothing artificial about a price that enough people will pay to make it worthwhile to the company providing the services/goods for sale.

            Well that's utter crap for a start. I guess you're either not from the UK or simply haven't followed this whole debacle. The prices are high when compared to comparative 3G services - I pay £15 per month for an unlimited 3G service, but for £6 more (nearly a 50% markup) I can get a 4G service with a paltry 500mb of data. The only difference is 3G and 4G and guess what - there's several 3G providers and currently only one 4G provider. What a shock, their prices are over-inflated. It's not a case of "people paying what they're willing to", it's a case of people not having much choice - if you want faster data, you WILL have to pay just one provider and you will not have a choice about it. That might sound like a stupid thing to say, but there are plenty of people who don't have access to a decent fixed-line broadband service that would make good use of LTE.

            The reason this all happened was because OFCOM allowed two huge mobile networks to combine and then allowed them to use "spare" spectrum for 4G - meanwhile, the rest of the mobile operators don't have spare capacity (and aren't allowed to use it for 4G anyway as it has already been allocated for 3G services) and have to wait and fight it out for a spectrum auction that has been delayed for years now (admittedly, this was somewhat self-inflicted but all the same - they shouldn't have greenlit EE to launch 4G this soon). EE will be the only 4G provider for about a year now and low and behold - inflated prices.

            Why on earth would they charge less, anyway? No competition so no need. If you want 4G, you're stuck with them.

      • Re:Mobile bandwidth (Score:5, Informative)

        by Phrogman (80473) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @11:24AM (#41740587) Homepage

        Here in my part of Canada, there is no competition. Oh there are companies that are theoretically competing with each other, but they seem to have agreed that charging outrageous prices is working for all of them so why fuck with it. No one is offering cheap, efficient service to the masses. Competition does not work when the service or item in question is more or less essential, and the barriers to entry are significant.
        The CRTC here in Canada just seems to rubberstamp what the industry tells them to do.

        • That's all of Canada.

          Robelus can eat my ass and the CRTC is a joke.

          Example: Rogers' best Internet plan is $130/mo. 250G of data. You will exceed that in less than 5h at full speed.

          Fucking assholes.

          • by vux984 (928602) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @12:11PM (#41741331)

            Rogers' best Internet plan is $130/mo. 250G of data.

            I doubt you need 250GB of data on your phone per month, or even per year. I'm not saying you couldn't use it. I'm saying you don't need it.

            You will exceed that in less than 5h at full speed.

            7.5 hrs by my calcs, but even that is unlikely. I doubt the average user would be able to exceed that cap in under 24hrs even if they tried as getting maximum theoretical peak speed for a sustained 250GB burst is just not going to happen.

            But that's beside the point. Mobile data caps on the top end plans is like those "free gas for a year" prizes. Its far more than enough gas for the average commuter in the average car.

            But some slashdotter will cry foul because in a Veyron at 250mph driving 24hrs a day he'll be out of his "free gas for a year" in under a week.

            Think of it as the networks are selling you 250GB/mo for $130, at the maximum speed they can deliver it, because that's the real deal on the table.

            If you don't find that to be good value then don't buy it, but I'm curious how you rationalize that you should somehow be entitled to "all you can possibly consume", especially seeing as they haven't promised you 'unlimited' anything.

            • by Jesse_vd (821123)

              I'm almost positive drunkennewfiemidget was talking about home (cable) internet. Rogers dominates most telecommunications here

              • by vux984 (928602)

                Ah, I'm on Shaw in Canada for home internet. I pay $75 for 400GB bandwidth at 50mbps/3mbps.

                The top tier shaw plan is $190 for unlimited bandwidth at 250Mbps/15Mbps.

                That's pretty freaking impressive if you ask me.

                As to the rogers plan, I see that it is their home internet, $130, 250GB bandwidth, at 150Mbps/10Mbps.

                Looking at the fine print, however, it appears the data overage rate for the ultimate plan is 0.50 cents a GB up to $100 maximum. So the plan can be restated as:

                $230, 450GB (unlimited?), 150Mbps/

        • Competition does not work when the service or item in question is more or less essential, and the barriers to entry are significant.

          4G service *is not* "essential". Desirable perhaps, but not essential.

          • by shaitand (626655)

            4G in and of itself might not be an essential class of service but it is fair to put it under the umbrella of "internet" and internet is essential.

          • by neonKow (1239288)

            I disagree. It's quickly getting to the point of becoming essential. Yes, we're used to using 3G for now, the internet is already starting to evolve with the expectation that mobile users will have access to 4G type speeds, just like we survived a long time on dial-up connections for the PC, but these days, the vast majority of sites most people visit (gmail, twitter, google, facebook, pinterest, youtube, hulu) rely heavily on images, videos, and AJAX calls that just don't work very well without a solid, hi

        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          My best advice is that if you live in the city, go with Wind or Mobilicity. I'm with Wind, and I have a $30 unlimited local calling, texting, data plan (slows down after 5 GB). For $40 you get unlimited long distance. Only disadvantage is that they charge you roaming when you go outside their "zone", which is basically outside the city. Even with the extra roaming fees for the few times I leave the city each year, I still come out way under what I'd be paying with Rogers/Telus/Bell. Also worth noting is
      • Re:Mobile bandwidth (Score:5, Interesting)

        by h4rr4r (612664) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @11:25AM (#41740605)

        Do we have any evidence that competition in such fields works as it normally does?

        Judging from the US mobile market I have to say it does not look likely.

        Real competition would have to be regulated into existence. Force compatibility of technology and radios, force cross network compatibility and legislate costs for using other networks. We would probably also have to set a maximum subscriber count or region limits. Might even be easier to just make the actual gear owned by a non-profit and let the profit seeking enterprises act only as MVNOs.

      • by cayenne8 (626475)
        I'm a bit confused on what the tax has to do with the data caps?

        I sympathize that the caps are too low, but what does that have to do with tariffs? Is the govt not only taxing the 4G connection, but regulating the cap amounts too with said taxes being levied?

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Competition is fundamentally limited by the combination of very high start up costs (infrastructure becomes a sunk cost) and very low marginal cost (once the towers are all built, running them is cheap). Railroads, power lines, and wire/fibre based telecommunication share these traits and historically demonstrate a tendency towards monopoly/duopoly structure.

      • Re:Mobile bandwidth (Score:5, Interesting)

        by MBGMorden (803437) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @11:31AM (#41740691)

        While that works, part of the problem in modern society is the cost involved in starting up a competitive business. Most of the tenants of capitalism were thought up when the largest companies around would qualify as a small business by modern standards. The industrial revolution saw the rise of megacorps and the problem has continued to rise into the digital age. It costs a fortune to start a telecom company to compete with an existing one - not quite the same as wholesaling your apples for less than the competing cart next door.

        What the solution is I'm not sure, but I think it will eventually have to involve government ownership of some of the very core services or at a minimum some rather strict regulation. We already have that with some things - where I live the power generation is handled by a government entity (Santee Cooper - a SC state agency), as is water and sewer services. Ambulance/911, law enforcement, and military are already handled by the government. Its just a matter of deeming telecommunications a critical public service.

        • by RMingin (985478)

          Tenets of capitalism. Capitalism does not have renters, but it does have core concepts.

          Your sig quote is particularly amusing in this context. I'll go put on my grammatical fascist armband and sit quietly in the corner now.

      • by girlintraining (1395911) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @11:35AM (#41740769)

        Introduce competition.

        When a capitalist says this, it's a hand wave. They're dismissing cost of entry into the market. And let me explain to you why cost of entry matters in telecommunications (or for that matter, any infrastructure industry)... First, limited resources. You need access to land to run cables. If you're wireless, you need to negotiate for spectrum. Both are controlled by someone else. And the law says they don't have to sell to you at a competitive price -- or any price, for that matter. They choose whether you get in the door or not... and they may just choose to charge you an arm and a leg. Municipalities sign exclusive contracts saying only your competitor can run cables in that area for a period of 5, 10, 20, even 50 years. Why, you ask? Because those companies tell the municipality if they don't agree, they won't do business with them. "Too risky. Need to protect our investment," they say.

        And then there's spectrum. It's not all equal -- and how well your network does wirelessly still depends on finding land to put your towers up. Again, exclusive contracts -- they'll fuck you every time. You can't just ask J. Random home owner to host your tower.. he'd probably love the income, but the government has zoning regulations... oh, and exclusive contracts.

        In fact, in every case where capitalism has failed in an infrastructure capacity, it's for that reason: Exclusive contracts. Exclusive rights. Exclusive. Not inclusive. Inclusive means competition, and we don't want that. Exclusive means "protected investment"... and "protected investment" means... you, the consumer, are gonna pay a premium. Not them, not the guys who forced you down this road. You. Because their money is more special than other people's money. Their money has a government stamp of approval.

        So the next time you hear a capitalist say "induce competition," remind them that they're the ones that asked for the exclusive contracts. Afterall, it's good business, right? And for them... it is.

        • by dywolf (2673597)

          So the solution to exclusinve contracts from regulation is.... more regulation.

          • It's a political disease. People want more or less regulation, but they don't understand that regulation is not fungible. Regulation that raises barrier to entry and solidifies control in the hands of the megacorps is bad; regulation that protects the consumer and lowers barrier to entry without punishing megacorps just for being big but without directly aiding them is good. We have a mix of good with bad and a habit of throwing out the good and causing disasters.
        • by alexgieg (948359) <alexgieg@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @12:05PM (#41741257) Homepage

          So the next time you hear a capitalist say "induce competition," remind them that they're the ones that asked for the exclusive contracts. Afterall, it's good business, right? And for them... it is.

          Which is why capitalists neither vote nor support libertarian candidates, preferring to go with some of the big government parties, not caring much whether it's right or left-leaning. Libertarianism, with all that talk of deregulating markets, undoing legislation, removing trade barriers, eliminating subsidies etc. is quite scary for them. It's way, WAY easier to "make a deal" with a handful of high level bureaucrats and a few very friendly mega-corp CEOs, all working together to lock down the market into a de facto monopoly, than to deal directly with hundreds of millions of customers and thousands upon thousands of competitors.

          • Actually, quite a few companies LOVE Libertarianism: those that have an entrenched market. Monopolists. Companies that have locked up a very limited resource that is needed by everybody. Companies that sell stuff with a very inelastic demand. See for example the Koch brothers supporting what amounts to economic anarchism. It's surely not because they think that it will reduce their bottom line.

            It's way, WAY easier to "make a deal" with a handful of high level bureaucrats and a few very friendly mega-corp CEOs, all working together to lock down the market into a de facto monopoly, than to deal directly with hundreds of millions of customers and thousands upon thousands of competitors.

            What makes you think that there are thousands upon thousands of competitors in a market that all have similar marke

            • by alexgieg (948359)

              Actually, quite a few companies LOVE Libertarianism: those that have an entrenched market.

              And yet, for some reason, the likes of Ron Paul in the US can never really compete against the republicrats, and here in Brazil the few libertarian think tanks we had all closed due to lack of funding.

              Sorry, but if you list a few exceptions to the rule, I can simply point out to the huge majority of basically everyone else out there.

              Besides, even those love at best a limited form of Libertarianism. Full blown Libertarianism would have every single law causing single businessmen to avoid personal responsibil

        • Re:Mobile bandwidth (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Phreakiture (547094) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @12:12PM (#41741363) Homepage

          Reminds me of an amusing story.

          In one area in rural upstate New York, just a few dozen miles outside of Albany, there was a small town where they wanted cell coverage, but nobody wanted to allow the tower to go up on their property.

          Eventually, one local celebrity stepped forward and said enough was enough. He didn't need the income, and didn't (at the time) have a cell phone. He just was sick and tired of hearing about it. He had done well enough for himself and had plent of land in a good, high location and let them build a tower on it.

          His name was Andy Rooney. Yes, that Andy Rooney [wikipedia.org]

        • by eth1 (94901)

          Introduce competition.

          When a capitalist says this, it's a hand wave. They're dismissing cost of entry into the market. And let me explain to you why cost of entry matters in telecommunications (or for that matter, any infrastructure industry)... First, limited resources. You need access to land to run cables. If you're wireless, you need to negotiate for spectrum. Both are controlled by someone else. And the law says they don't have to sell to you at a competitive price -- or any price, for that matter. They choose whether you get in the door or not... and they may just choose to charge you an arm and a leg. Municipalities sign exclusive contracts saying only your competitor can run cables in that area for a period of 5, 10, 20, even 50 years. Why, you ask? Because those companies tell the municipality if they don't agree, they won't do business with them. "Too risky. Need to protect our investment," they say.

          Which is why we just need a simple law that forbids the same company from providing any two or more of content, transport, or physical/wireless media.

          Company A (preferably a co-op, HOA or municipality) owns the line to your house, but any ISP can connect to the other end.
          Or you have one company that does nothing but provide and maintain standardized cell towers, through which any telco can provide service.

        • by Ichijo (607641)

          Municipalities sign exclusive contracts saying only your competitor can run cables in that area for a period of 5, 10, 20, even 50 years. Why, you ask? Because those companies tell the municipality if they don't agree, they won't do business with them. "Too risky. Need to protect our investment," they say.

          That's strange because when the municipality decides to build its own network, the economics suddenly make sense [slashdot.org] even without the exclusive contract.

    • by shaitand (626655)

      "The tariffs have been announced for Britain's first 4G network and they include a data cap"

      I tend to agree that human life and welfare and critical infrastructure shouldn't be left to the ravages of greed but tariffs are normally levied by government not free market.

      • Re:Mobile bandwidth (Score:5, Informative)

        by Brannoncyll (894648) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @11:35AM (#41740763)

        "The tariffs have been announced for Britain's first 4G network and they include a data cap"

        I tend to agree that human life and welfare and critical infrastructure shouldn't be left to the ravages of greed but tariffs are normally levied by government not free market.

        In the UK a 'tariff' in this context means what you guys would call a 'plan'. From Wikipedia: The word comes from the Italian word tariffa "list of prices, book of rates," which is derived from the Arabic ta'rif "to notify or announce."

      • Re:Mobile bandwidth (Score:5, Informative)

        by Coisiche (2000870) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @11:35AM (#41740773)

        You're jumping to conclusions about a language you don't speak. In British English a tariff is a list or schedule of prices for such things as rail service, bus routes, and electrical usage (electrical tariff, etc.). I was unfamiliar with other uses of the word until seeing your comment and doing a 2 second google search to find that it also means a fee, not a tax, on imports or exports (trade tariff) in and out of a country, which I assume must be the main American English use of the word.

    • High speed mobile internet could be the definition of "non critical". It's not a need. It's a luxury. And as far as I can see things have at least improved over the last 10 years here in the UK, but they're still not great obviously.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by ColdWetDog (752185)

        High speed mobile internet could be the definition of "non critical". It's not a need. It's a luxury.

        What are you about? Of course it's critical. You might miss out on a tweet on a slower network. Someone else might see that advertisement for the limited edition, genuine zirconium ear studs that you've always coveted.

        Damn it man, Lindsey Lohan might get arrested again and you wouldn't know about it for minutes.

    • by pr0nbot (313417)

      Not sure this is the example I'd choose for the failure of capitalism... the rail fiasco, or energy prices, are much clearer examples. 4G isn't exactly a critical infrastructure service, and if it ever becomes one, by then all the other providers will have come on-stream (they're rolling out 6 months from now).

      The downer for me in this announcement was that I'd hoped to have enough data on 4G to ditch wired home broadband (limited to 3Mbps until FTTC comes along) and just tether my phone, but if these caps

      • by shaitand (626655)

        Internet is a critical infrastructure service. Singling out 4G or other individual types of internet isn't very productive as it opens the door for nitpicking and debate. If one wants to argue 4G is essential (or not) the argument is whether internet is essential or not. In the modern world, it certainly is.

    • by Synerg1y (2169962)

      If only, if only, somebody thought of this... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesh_networking [wikipedia.org]

      • As a competitive force, that falls into the "Oh, you math geeks are so adorable. Why don't you go off and play in the ISM band where the big kids' table doesn't have to look at you..." category.

        • by Synerg1y (2169962)

          Fortunately, it doesn't get easier than plug n' play: http://www.open-mesh.com/ [open-mesh.com] . My point is if you don't like the way somebody's conducting a service, become the competition, all 3g/4g devices also connect to... wifi. A $5 a month paywall would also make this project fairly profitable to anybody with the up-front investment cash.

          • Those guys look similar to Meraki, before they starting branching out into wired stuff as well. Having been there when Meraki made the Big Switch and firmware-updated everybody out of their devices and into a 'cloud managed only' model, are there any sellers you know of that don't require some slightly creepy hookup to the mothership but do make things a trifle easier than "Obtain a FooCorp Model X router(version 3 only, other versions contain totally different chipset and run VXworks) and flash the one tru

            • by Synerg1y (2169962)

              As with any network there are multiple teirs of control, if you clicked my link on open-mesh you'd see they sell hardware with pre-loaded custom firmware. You can buy a small fleet of wrt54g routers and achieve the same result doing the flashing work yourself. The only way you'd have overmind control is to be the owner of the mesh network, not sure why anybody would let anybody administrate their network otherwise. Meraki is a step above in complexity for a mesh network. Sounds like something Starbucks

    • So, guys... how's that whole "Let the market decide" argument working out for you? Capitalism works great for non-critical, non-infrastructure goods and services... but when it gets its hands on something everybody needs, it's gonna take you to the cleaners. Every single time.

      It's not so much the criticality(or lack thereof) that gets you or saves you; but the barriers to entry and costs of duplicate entrants.

      Plenty of user-critical-without-which-modern-civilization-would-come-to-a-screeching-halt goods get produced just fine under market conditions, so long as the barriers to entry aren't too high and competition between suppliers of identical or reasonably substitutable goods is fairly robust.

      Infrastructure, of course, is sort of a classic case of high barriers to entry couple

      • You are correct, but only to a point. This isn't a "natural monopoly" situation because spectrum is (theoretically) a public resource. Nobody owns it, it's leased from the government under a set of rules... and cell phone spectrum operates using specific standards designed to be interoperable. So multiple economic agents can share the same resource (spectrum), since they're required by law to interoperate. And it's the same thing with land: While it is a limited resource, that's not what's keeping cell phon

    • by concealment (2447304) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @11:41AM (#41740863) Homepage Journal

      Capitalism works great for non-critical, non-infrastructure goods and services... but when it gets its hands on something everybody needs, it's gonna take you to the cleaners.

      While I'd love to blame an economic system for this, I feel the truth is more mundane: consumers are oblivious to what they are purchasing and are content to pay high prices for bad service.

      Imagine if even 25% of the new phone buyers took a look at these plans and said, "Wow, that's a terrible option. I'm going to roll back to my old Nokia flip-phone and wait for industry to get its act together."

      Yeah, well... they don't do that. They keep buying overpriced cable, ridiculous cell phone plans, Nickelback, lies by politicians, McRibs, etc.

      The problem is that the consumers will deny themselves nothing, and if it's a bad deal, they just pass the buck along to someone else.

      • by dywolf (2673597)

        Bingo. But GIT and most of the rest of /. doesnt get that and would rather "blame capitalism."

        • by Uberbah (647458)

          Failo. The entire point of capitalism is to make the most amount of money possible for the smallest investment possible. Which, in the absence of competition, frequently makes for shitty choices for the consumer.

          Which is kinda the point of the story.

      • While I'd love to blame an economic system for this, I feel the truth is more mundane: consumers are oblivious to what they are purchasing and are content to pay high prices for bad service.

        "Today, I'd like to pay more for everything!," said no one ever. That's the same argument politicians use against the unemployed, but the names have been changed to protect the guilty: "They're just lazy and don't want to work", and then complain that unemployment is only high because of minimum wage laws. The truth is... a lot of people are working jobs they don't want to for less than they're worth because that's all that's available. It's supply and demand -- the price is set in the area near or at where

      • While I'd love to blame an economic system for this, I feel the truth is more mundane: consumers are oblivious to what they are purchasing and are content to pay high prices for bad service.

        What difference does it make? Saying capitalism doesn't work because consumers are ignorant is no different than saying socialism doesn't work because people are greedy. Yeah, it'd be great if we could change behavior to make these systems work as intended, but that's not really an option. If the system doesn't work, it doesn't work, period. The reasons don't much matter unless you have a solution to match them.

      • by mk1004 (2488060)
        The typical cost of "telephone" service that families are paying have gone up significantly since the days when we only had land lines and pay phones were ubiquitous enough to be used when you were out in your car. How many families are paying a couple hundred bucks a month or so so that every family member can be reached 24/7? Between cell phones and home internet/TV bills, people often spend a much higher percentage of the household income for these services than before, and then wonder why they have no m
      • Yeah, well... they don't do that. They keep buying overpriced cable, ridiculous cell phone plans, Nickelback, lies by politicians, McRibs, etc.

        They don't do that because most people don't need arrogant commenters who think they know better and want to dictate what they buy. What do you think such a condescending attitude accomplishes?

        And FWIW, personally I like the McRib, I think my politicians are doing a alright (B/B-) job and I'm quite happy that I can buy a cell phone that would be in the top 500 supercomputers [anandtech.com] in 1993 with a WWAN faster than LANs of the time (remember 100baseT came out only in 1995 [wikipedia.org]). I don't know how you decided that this is

    • but when it gets its hands on something everybody wants and is willing to pay crazy prices for, it's gonna take you to the cleaners.

      FTFY.

      • by acoustix (123925)

        but when it gets its hands on something everybody wants and is willing to pay crazy prices for, it's gonna take you to the cleaners.

        FTFY.

        This!

        How is mobile Internet access a need? (Hint: It's not)

    • by dywolf (2673597)

      Let me FTFY: "[..] but when it gets its hands on something everybody wants, but no one has the guts to actually go without, it's gonna take you to the cleaners. Every single time."

      You are not insightful. In fact you are the opposite, willfully blind to your own fallacy. The market, ie consumers, did decide. They just decided that they dont care. They simply don't have the desire, or knowledge, or will, to stand up and say "hey, this is a ripoff, and im not going to give you my money anymore". They voted wit

    • by Fuzzums (250400)

      Nobody NEEDS 12Mbits/sec on a phone.

    • by dywolf (2673597)

      Dont blame capitalism for consumer apathy/ignorance.

    • by alen (225700)

      market is working fine

      just a few digital couch potatoes who do nothing but listen to music all day or watch netflix or some other media are whining.

      ios and android both have lots of offline options to sync via wifi and not use data. its the same OCD couch potatoes that seem to think that streaming is somehow cooler or better

    • So, guys... how's that whole "Let the market decide" argument working out for you? Capitalism works great for non-critical, non-infrastructure goods and services... but when it gets its hands on something everybody needs, it's gonna take you to the cleaners. Every single time.

      Need is the subjective word here. Is 3G or Edge not still available at competitive rates? The newest data streaming tech is anything but a critical need. Let alone the implications of having a government run the network. At least now we have the delusional air of privacy around our communications.

    • Because everybody needs high-speed mobile broadband all the time. It's just so ridiculously important to stay informed with 160kbit/s high-quality streaming music radio. You couldn't stay informed with lightweight mobile Fark and Slashdot.

      My provider says I eat 50-100MB a month. Most of that is the Mint.com app. I have an Android phone and use the Web browser to Facebook (though Facebook Mobile proper app will eat 100MB in about 5 minutes--their stand-alone Messenger app is very light-weight). I send

      • Also: UK data plans are worse than in the US.

        Really? I get 2GB of 3G per month for under £5... that's a hell of a lot cheaper than any of the prices I've seen quoted here by americans...

    • I generally agree with you that Capitalism frequently breaks down, but this isn't one of those times (that time is coming, but it's still decades away). At the present time, we are still firmly in the phase of smart phone data usage being really convenient, but not even close to being critical infrastructure.

      Right now, we're in the consumer intelligence test phase. This is a test of people's ability to differentiate between what they need and what they want. If you sign up for a data plan under those ter

    • by Cederic (9623)

      How else would you constrain demand for a limited resource?

      If they offered everybody unlimited bandwidth at £20/month then everyone would switch off their DSL subscriptions and tether.

      Even without that happening, population density means that there just wont be enough bandwidth to go around.

      The price is ludicrous, but if everybody needs this then they're fucked, because there are some pretty strict upper limits involved.

    • look, only the 1% deserve uncapped data.

      they're the 'content-creators', afterall!

  • They found out what the capacity of the whole network is, and divided by the number of people that could potentially buy a smart phone.

  • by AdmV0rl0n (98366) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @11:30AM (#41740685) Homepage Journal

    Don't sign up. When they see the lack of custom - they will rethink the idea/deals.

    In many cases people are their own worst enemy by signing up to things that are not in their favour. Apply an evolutionary curve to problems, let bad ideas/products die/ let the good ones survive.

    In some ways, I'm surprised that no mobile vendors have realised that they could decimate the old school ISP model with an aggressive take on this. All you can eat for £25 a month. They would unhinge the old bandwidth supply models too - as business realises that its mobile workers benefit greatly from an always on/always available model over the old 'on this WAN/LAN/WWAN model. A £60 all you can eat business tariff. Yum Yum.

    • Yeah, because it's easy for people to form collective buyer and seller pacts as individuals. Just walk over to your neighbor, and convince him to join your cause! Capitalism works because it depends on individual actors (you, your neighbor...) to make decisions about what would best benefit them. And usually, it does work. Sometimes it doesn't -- and when there's a market imbalance, it's usually the government's fault. And it is in this case -- exclusive contracts on spectrum use and land use keep competiti

    • At least in the US, it isn't entirely clear that the mobile vendors want to decimate the old school ISP model except where it fits their existing business interests.

      If you are a wireline ISP, and already have sunk costs(quite literally) buried in the dirt, it only makes sense to 'decimate' the old school model if you can make more money by selling cut-price wireless access, rather than selling your already-amortized wireline services comparatively cheaply and bleeding the business users and/or compulsive sm

    • Don't sign up. When they see the lack of custom - they will rethink the idea/deals.

      What they'll "rethink" is 4G service, not their pricing. If customers aren't signing up, why invest in new equipment when your old, mostly paid for by now, 3G network is making you more money and the customers have nowhere else to go?

  • by Meneth (872868)
    Bandwidth in the air is limited, and everyone has to share. Perhaps this will teach some people to return to wired connections.
  • according to their site, http://ee.co.uk/plans#section-phones [ee.co.uk], the 500mb option is on the cheapest plan. for 36gbp you get 5gb. The previous highest i could find when shopping around early in the year was 2gb from vodafone.

    While I would prefer an unlimited plan, this doesn't seem particularly unreasonable, or am i missing something?

  • I fail to see what all hype about 4G is about.
  • Having been on Orange at work, and then transferred to T-Mobile, I find it hard to believe the EE's service will provide anything like this kind of throughput. You'd be lucky to hit 500MB downloading non-stop for a month.

    With Orange, the 3G data service was frequently utterly unusable. Imagine coming out at Oxford Circus in London and trying to use maps on an iPhone and giving up waiting for it to load and it being quicker to walk around Soho in circles to find your intended destination. Or taking the tr

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