11 thoughts on “Vodafone’s flat rate data: less than what meets the eye”

  1. Use of AMR incurs around 2 kB of transfer per second. Hence one talk around 8 minutes of talk time for $4, which translates to about 50 cents per minute. So the new plan introduces arbitrage play for some overseas calls. In this regard, this is a positive development compare to outright banning of VoIP on the data service.

  2. You are counting the lowest possible AMR bitrate, and not the overheads. 3G operators charge every single byte in every single packet, so you can see that the true cost adds up. I’m pretty sure Vodafone has done the numbers on the back of another envelope to make the services uneconomic.

    Other than this, I once again would like to remark that so-called disruptive services cannot pretend to disrupt the revenue of the service that they depend on in order to function. Current networking technology offers an amazing capability to filter, prioritize and block traffic at per-packet levels, so this sort of news, I’m afraid, are only the beginning. Vodafone and others didn’t pay billions in 3G licenses just so that others could freeride on their data networks.

  3. Sounds like Europe needs Net Neutrality. To listen to TBL on Youtube, you would think it was only us silly Americans that had this problem.

  4. I did use the highest rate for the codec, but was a bit sloppy in the computation of the overhead. I apologize for that.

    The highest rate used by AMR is 244 bits per frame. The IP header adds 160 bits per frame. A VoIP provider can compact the UDP and RTP headers (non-standard of course), with one of their nodes expanding it. I suggest that 12 bits are sufficient. Thus the total length of a frame is 416 bits. If the service uses 20 ms sampling rate this translates to use of 2.6 kBps. In other words, the cut off is at 62.4, rather than 50 cents. I think my point still stands.

  5. Why is this so irritating to everyone? The huge infrastructure costs related to providing wireless service shouldn’t be preempted because people want to take advantage of the system.

    Providers should charge whatever the hell they want for data plans and whatever type of data. Wireless infrastructure isn’t a state-subsidized utility. It was built with private money. They should be able to do whatever they want with it, including charging enough for data plans to cover the loss from third-party VoIP providers.

  6. Right on Nick!

    Boo hoo Truphone (and all the others)! Complaining does nothing… and legal action is simply a failed attempt to cover up their own ignorance on the space and make it appear like the carrier is in the wrong. LOL!! Any VC that has put millions into mobile VoIP deserves to lose every cent for not understanding the landscape. The more people move to VoIP and subsequently Mobile VoIP the more difficult it is for third parties to provision this service. Nokia has developed and continues to perfect hardware specifically for filtering out mobile VoIP transmission. Its over. The carriers owe you nothing. The only solution is to have a new carrier come into the market that allows open and unfiltered access to third party applications on the internet. I dont see that happening anytime soon.

  7. It’s unfortunate that we will not be able to benefit from the innovations of scrappy, new companies while the big, old companies engage in this short-sighted behavior, but we really can’t expect governments to intervene after they raked in billions selling 3G licenses. It would be disingenuous to take the money and then dictate how the operators can make it back.

  8. “The only solution is to have a new carrier come into the market that allows open and unfiltered access to third party applications on the internet. I dont see that happening anytime soon.”

    I agree with john , but don’t you think that this is what Google is planing to do .with the purchase of Dark fiber ,there is already a rumor of Google Phone [a skype phone variant] . given the reach ,money and influence google commands is it too tough for them ?? .
    any thoughts OM ?

  9. Mobile phones with Wi-fi capability will humble the big telcos. Who would buy their plan when cities have the Wi-fi, until then all we can is, pray. iPhone will be the beginning of this story.

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