The kind folks at O2 sent me a gentle reminder a couple of days ago:
"While abroad all Data used is excluded from your tariff allowance and charged at £6 per MB (£3 per MB in the EU)"
Apart from the peculiar capitalisation of Data and the multi-country message (surely they know where I am and so could send a specific message), I wondered:
- What's a MB? In a world of all-you-can-eat bandwidth at home, wireless networks on the street and - when on your home cellular network at least - unlimited texts and web browsing, why do I even care what a MB is?
- How many MB does it cost to check the weather forecast every day? How would I know? Why should I care?
- In 1994 when I used Compuserve, I was charged data access by the minute - not by the byte - so why is that model back?
- Does O2 make more money by charging a per byte fee than it might with a more liberal model?
Couldn't O2 put a package together that offers me, say, 7 days unlimited data usage on my iPhone whilst abroad? Some days I'd get more bytes than other days, some days I perhaps wouldn't trouble their network at all.
Back when MMS was new, the networks couldn't figure out how to bill for it - so they charged you a flat fee - usually £10 or £20 a month - for unlimited messages. It's time they all used that model for international data roaming.