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Indian Minister Says Telecom Companies Should Only Charge For Data 177

Posted by timothy
from the remember-that-voice-is-data dept.
bhagwad writes "In the US, telecom carriers are trying their best to hold on to depleting voice revenues. Over in India, the telecom minister urged carriers to stop charging for voice calls and derive all their revenues only from data plans. Is this kind of model sustainable, where voice becomes an outmoded and free technology, and carriers turn entirely into dumb pipes which have no control over what passes over them? This is a step forward and hopefully will make Internet service more like a utility."
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Indian Minister Says Telecom Companies Should Only Charge For Data

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  • by rgbrenner (317308) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @11:44AM (#41506369)

    so you want to subsidize phone calls by overcharging on data...

    how is that an improvement?

    • by Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @11:48AM (#41506399)

      I think he's probably saying that voice and text messages are hugely overpriced. I don't know about voice but SMSes certainly are.

      • by davester666 (731373) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @01:34PM (#41507123) Journal

        Two things will happen:

        1) New phones will be changed so that both voice and SMS's are sent over the data channel
        2) Suddenly, every carrier will be all over HD Voice. Who needs compression, you need to be able to clearly hear the other party and they need to clearly hear you!

        Carriers have the knowledge and experience to game whatever system politicians can come up with, even if the carrier's don't millions of dollars helping to craft new rules/regulations.

        • I can live with that. The nice thing without carriers just pushing bits around for a flat fee is that you don't have to use their voice service.

      • I think he's probably saying that voice and text messages are hugely overpriced. I don't know about voice but SMSes certainly are.

        Are voice calls and SMS messages *really* overpriced when people continue to use them despite there being cheaper alternatives?

    • by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @11:56AM (#41506449) Journal

      so you want to subsidize phone calls by overcharging on data...

      how is that an improvement?

      The actual amount of data transfer which a voice call is "deemed" to have involved might be a surprise to the average customer.

      Yes, we all know your voice will be compressed to at best a barely tolerable audio content. But the data charge might be for full duplex 320kbps, if you're lucky. If you're unlucky, they'll charge your full theoretical bandwidth times the duration of the call (with a theoretically 5Mbps link, a 2 minute call would appear as 75 MB, and 1GB would be less than 27 minutes).

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2012 @12:43PM (#41506783)

        Not if they have a modern network, and are honest. Modern networks are completely ip on the inside. Price to customer pr megabyte of voice traffic is approximately 100x that of the same volume on a data plan.
        But note that carriers production cost on data is very high nowadays, due to very large build costs. Don't know about India, but in western networks data usage have been growing by about 80-90% year-over-year the last few years - that is, exponentially. Revenue is only increasing in the low double digits, far lower than cost. Equipment cost is also falling, but not quickly enough. In the long run this is unsustainable. That's the reason for the more restrictive data plans and price hikes you have been seing the last few years. For many carriers, voice is susidizing data right now.

        Source: I'm technical management at a large telco.

        • Good info. Since voice is just time sensitive data it makes sense to only charge for data so long as you can estimate minutes remaining based on data usage before you go over your monthly data limits (e.g. if I have 100MB remaining until I go over, how many minutes is that).
        • by sjames (1099)

          ...and are honest

          Well, so much for that then!

      • by mspohr (589790) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @04:22PM (#41508139)

        I assume you are being cynical (with good cause).
        However, Skype calls (better quality than standard voice channels) actually use about 0.5 MByte of data per minute.
        Where I am now (traveling in a developing country), they charge about US$0.14 per megabyte (2 minute call) and the same per minute for local calls. Of course, with Skype, you can call anywhere for the same cost so yes, data calls are cheaper.

    • by jd2112 (1535857)

      so you want to subsidize phone calls by overcharging on data...

      how is that an improvement?

      New phone model: 2GB cap at double the current data rate and voice calls are all routed through Skype.

      • voice calls are all routed through Skype

        They're already routed through VOIP.

        • by jd2112 (1535857)

          voice calls are all routed through Skype

          They're already routed through VOIP.

          Perhaps, but they are currently billed against voice minutes separate from data. I'm saying a "data only" plan would both be more expensive than current data plans but you would get to pay for voice calls out of your data plan as well.

      • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOsPAM.gmail.com> on Sunday September 30, 2012 @01:54PM (#41507255) Journal

        Hell I recently read an article (sorry I didn't think to save the bookmark) that MSFT was doomed in the mobile space precisely because the carriers don't want competition from Skype and are punishing MSFT for buying it by refusing to give WinPhone the same push and deals they do with the Droid phones. Considering how badly they screw you on voice and data? Certainly sounds believable to me.

        This is why the whole "pushing smartphones" frankly scares the living hell out of me, AT&T in my area has pretty much stopped bothering to add so much as a single foot or Mbps to their DSL offerings and are instead pushing cell phones where they can make insane profits and the cableco has decided to simply gouge the customers they have instead of adding more customers and running lines. Imagine a world where you can't get on the net except with a smartphone with no tether ability? Makes the carriers happy, they can gouge away, makes the content owners happy, you won't have enough bandwidth to do anything that would piss them off, but it would royally suck for the users as you'd be stuck on these crappy little screens with no hope of getting anything better.

        • by SpzToid (869795) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @05:34PM (#41508543)

          Here is an editorial that works to explain the carriers' boycott against Skype, (and vis-à-vis Microsoft's ownership, along with Nokia's position).

          http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2011/09/why-do-carriers-hate-skype-let-me-count-the-ways.html [blogs.com]

        • by Cigarra (652458)

          ...I recently read an article (sorry I didn't think to save the bookmark)...

          Seriously? If you remember just a single phrase (four or five words together), let alone the title of the article, Google will "remember" the article for you. Are you really saying you can't recolect a single phrase from it?

          • by hairyfeet (841228)

            Dude, know how many tech articles I read in a week? I remember the CONCEPTS and ideas, I don't have a damned clue how the writer wrote the phrasing. Frankly I never have to remember anyway, as the guy above you helpfully provided the link for me and since my Google Fu does sucketh that is just as well.

            But this is why I probably have over a thousand bookmarks now, all compiled into various categories, because if its anything I think I'll ever want to read again or cite I pretty much have to bookmark or I'l

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You get all you can eat data for 15 pounds a month in the UK on Three. They still charge for calls, but you can Skype to your hearts content, until the cows come home (no fair use policy, no clause to let them introduce one later if they change their minds). Not sure how big their customer base is though... but it doesn't seem to scare the rest of the carriers into providing similar services.

      If the Indians get their way and say "everything is data" and start charging a flat monthly fee and only capping your

    • by timeOday (582209) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @12:10PM (#41506529)

      so you want to subsidize phone calls by overcharging on data...

      You assume voice and data are ultimately different things. If providers simply charged for data (which may or may not happen be voice), and competed on $/megabyte, then making a phonecall would be vanishingly cheap, and texts even moreso.

      I realize I just said something different than the Indian telecomm minister, who things voice should be completely free. But I think simply dropping the mostly mental distinction between voice and data accomplishes almost the same thing and makes more sense.

    • Quality of service (Score:5, Insightful)

      by goombah99 (560566) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @12:26PM (#41506659)

      Voice is lower total bandwidth but requires low latency and no interruptions to be high quality. When data connections are not strained then there is no challenge to provide that but it can become important and thus much more expensive than the data it bears. Personally I do use VOIP and so I know it's not as good as non-voip some of the time.

      • by sjames (1099) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @04:13PM (#41508083) Homepage

        That's what properly implemented QOS is for. Voice traffic goes to the front of the queue (possibly at the cost of dropping a bulk data packet) and emergency voice traffic can bump other voice packets into the bit bucket if necessary.

        • by goombah99 (560566)

          That's what properly implemented QOS is for. Voice traffic goes to the front of the queue (possibly at the cost of dropping a bulk data packet) and emergency voice traffic can bump other voice packets into the bit bucket if necessary.

          right. And yet india moves to an system indifferent to data types then poof goes your QOS

          • by sjames (1099)

            I see no evidence of anything that would preclude QOS anywhere in TFA.

      • by jamesh (87723)

        Voice is lower total bandwidth but requires low latency and no interruptions to be high quality. When data connections are not strained then there is no challenge to provide that but it can become important and thus much more expensive than the data it bears. Personally I do use VOIP and so I know it's not as good as non-voip some of the time.

        Personally, I've used VoIP (Skype) so I know it's _way_ better than non-VoIP some of the time.

    • by rew (6140)

      I don't know if they are actually going to do it this way, but a voice call also causes data to be transferred back and forth to/from the phone.

      So by just charging for the data, people get more choices: Chose a lower bitrate and pay less. Send an SMS for incredibly little, etc etc. Download a HQ video from Youtube: Pay a lot.

    • by eth1 (94901)

      so you want to subsidize phone calls by overcharging on data...

      how is that an improvement?

      No, I want data only, with two classes of service available. Let me buy enough kbps of guaranteed/low latency bandwidth to get one VOIP call through, and as much bulk bandwidth as I feel like paying for.

  • And I imagine Mr. Sibal thinks that voice should be just as unreliable and as low priority as data services. After all, reporting a car accident with multiple injuries is just as important as delivering the latest cricket scores.
    • "After all, reporting a car accident with multiple injuries is just as important as delivering the latest cricket scores."

      Is that how things are in India? Most countries have a "911" number or its equivalent that's either free or costs much less than a regualr call. So if there's a serious accident that's the number you call.

      • by Compaqt (1758360)

        What he's saying is even if you "call" emergency services, who knows when the packets carrying your voice will arrive at the other end, or in which order, hence not being able to talk as well when you really need it.

      • by unixisc (2429386)
        Do most countries have a mobile 911 facility as yet - one where the police or paramedics know your location from GPS or triangulation services? I know that the US was working on it, but haven't kept track of that. But I think it's safe to say that India is nowhere near it.
      • by khallow (566160)

        Most countries have a "911" number or its equivalent that's either free or costs much less than a regualr call.

        Nothing is free particularly emergency services. And for some reason, most places want that 911-equivalent service, which piggy-backs on voice, to be pretty reliable.

    • by Animats (122034)

      And I imagine Mr. Sibal thinks that voice should be just as unreliable and as low priority as data services.

      Cell phone to cell phone calls from Sprint to other carriers can have as much as a full second of round-trip delay. This is so long that the echo suppressors don't detect it as echo, which is really annoying.

    • by Z34107 (925136)

      You're right. VoIP is impossible, and clearly not how cell calls are routed right now.

    • by unixisc (2429386)
      Is Kapil Sibal already the most (in)famous Indian honcho on /.? Most here have read more about him than any other member of the government he's in - including his boss, the prime minister.
  • by roc97007 (608802) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @11:49AM (#41506407) Journal

    ...I'm digging that acoustic modem out of the closet. Whee! Free data. It may be too slow for pr0n, but fast enough for texting and email.

    • by wiggles (30088) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @12:14PM (#41506557)

      I think the idea is that bits are bits, and the voice should all be VOIP over your data connection, and you're charged just for the data which includes the voice.

      I've long been thinking that content and delivery need to be separated in the Cable TV industry, and voice and data should be consolidated under the Cellular system as well as POTS.

      The cable company or phone company or Google should provide a pipe to our house that we pay maintenance for, and TV channels, websites, VOIP, should all be purchased from separate companies.

      If everything is digital, we should be charged strictly for the bits that flow in and out of our house, not separately for different classifications of data.

      • by roc97007 (608802)

        > I think the idea is that bits are bits, and the voice should all be VOIP over your data connection, and you're charged just for the data which includes the voice.

        I didn't get that from the article, but ok. I'm sure that voice is VOIP after it hits the cell tower, but unless phones are redesigned, it's not that kind of data from the phone. On the other hand, it's been decades since I did communication engineering; it might be different now.

        > I've long been thinking that content and delivery need to

        • by MrZilla (682337)

          I didn't get that from the article, but ok. I'm sure that voice is VoIP after it hits the cell tower, but unless phones are redesigned, it's not that kind of data from the phone. On the other hand, it's been decades since I did communication engineering; it might be different now.

          No, you are correct. VoLTE (Voice over LTE) for the 4G networks is a pure VoIP type setup, but for UMTS and GSM systems, it works a bit differently. Of course, the actual data will still be carried in either IP packets or ATM cells, but the setup of the call is different.

          For UMTS systems (which I am most familiar with), all calls are divided into either the Packet Switched (PS) domain, or the Circuit Switched (CS) domain.

          The PS domain is normally "best effort", and is used for all data calls (including any

      • I've long been thinking that content and delivery need to be separated in the Cable TV industry

        That would require ISPs to actually implement multicast. Digital cable TV and cable Internet work on a fiber-to-the-neighborhood model, and cable TV has an advantage because dozens of people in a neighborhood are likely to be watching the same thing.

        we should be charged strictly for the bits that flow in and out of our house, not separately for different classifications of data.

        Are unicast and multicast "different classifications"? Are circuit-switched connections (minimum guaranteed throughput and maximum guaranteed latency) and packet-switched connections (best effort) "different classifications"?

    • by jamesh (87723)

      The Australian ISDN network used to charge high rates for voice calls, but even higher rates for data, so a market was created for ISDN modems that signaled to Telstra that the data calls they were making were actually voice.

      I believe Telstra's stand on this was "Don't do it. We may choose to use lossy compression on voice calls.", but I never heard of it actually happening.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @11:52AM (#41506423) Journal
    According the the law, the phone companies can not charge for airtime of incoming calls. Most people use prepaid phones, with just enough money to keep the phone active. But they would not dial out any calls. Many very poor people use these phones. Street vegetable vendors, unofficial jitney taxis, servant maids, low paid gate security fellas. ...

    And they have developed some social customs regarding "missed call etiquette". Typically it is understood that you never accept a call from certain classes of people, drivers, maids, delivery boys etc. They call, let it ring once, and they hang up. You return the call. Sometimes I have answered these calls and they would go, "Sir, why did you answer the call? I was giving you a missed call, sir". Usually I give them a few rupees to make amends.

    Very typical conversation is:

    "Mom, going to the dance class".

    "OK, dear, do give me a missed call as soon as you get there"

    • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @11:55AM (#41506443) Journal
      BTW typical airtime charges for prepaid phones: 1 Rupee per minute for out going calls. Incoming calls are free. Incoming texts are free. Outgoing texts are 0.5 Rs per text. Data charges are typically 100 Rs for 2 GB. Consider 1 Rupee to be 2 cents in USA. International calls were 6 Rs per minute. But this trip they had a promotion and I got USA for 2 Rs per minute.
      • They also have 3G USB dongles for netbooks and tablets. I was using my sister's account. Worked everywhere, without problems. Was able to use maps.google.co.in to find directions amazing even the local auto-rickshaw drivers. Never found out the plans and price of that service. It is considered a status symbol to own post-paid phones and get a monthly bill instead of using prepaid phones. This 3G USB dongle serviced by a company called Tata Photon was used by my sis. She would not tell me how much charges I
      • That is too costly, you need to change the plan :P. Most good plans are 1paisa/2second or 30 paisa/minute. And in practice, the 1paisa/2 second call are much cheaper, unless you are a girl or have to talk to your girl friend. So, the status call, like I am waiting outside the MacD, costs only 10 seconds or 5 paisa. 100 paisa = 1 rupee, 53 rupee = 1 USD. 1 USD = 5300 paisa = 10600 seconds = 3 hour talk time. And if you have to talk to your girl friend, you can always take free unlimited call plan on the frie
    • According the the law, the phone companies can not charge for airtime of incoming calls. Most people use prepaid phones, with just enough money to keep the phone active. But they would not dial out any calls. Many very poor people use these phones. Street vegetable vendors, unofficial jitney taxis, servant maids, low paid gate security fellas. ...

      And they have developed some social customs regarding "missed call etiquette". Typically it is understood that you never accept a call from certain classes of people, drivers, maids, delivery boys etc. They call, let it ring once, and they hang up.

      Deja vu all over again. I remember when that was the pay phone deal - call, let it ring 3 times and your ride knew to come get you; when you hung up you got your quarter back as well.

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      This was actually pretty common here in North America back in the 1930's, people would make collect calls using a particular name, and the other person would simply refuse to accept the call. But since it was an agreed name they knew the other person arrived safely. Since the party line stuff is pretty much dead and we don't have KL/AL/BL numbers anymore, and the standard of living is high compared to 80 years ago, this doesn't happen much anymore.

  • It's ALL data... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @11:52AM (#41506425)
    What drives me bananas about these plans is in the end it's all data anyway. Whether you're updating Facebook or chatting with Granny, in the end it's just bits streaming to and from your phone. In the old analog cell phone days a case could be made for a user using up a circuit-switched channel for their voice call, but today with packet switching it seems irrelevant.
    • What drives me bananas about these plans is in the end it's all data anyway.

      Could it be said that the telco provides a service atop that data connection, then, in the form of a voice service?

    • by arielCo (995647)

      In GSM, two fixed time slots, one in an uplink frequency and one for downlink, are assigned to your phone as a part of call setup. In [W]CDMA, your phone requests a 'channel' out of a code space limited by the noise floor. There may also be fixed time slots in the trunks leading to the switch and out to your Granny's side. In both systems this resource won't be released until you hang up so effectively it's circuit switching. VoIP would be a lot more flexible, but you when the resource is momentarily cong

    • by rtaylor (70602)

      Not all data is equal. Some is time sensitive (voice) and some isn't (facebook). It seems reasonable to pay extra for routing priority of time sensitive data.

      • by evilviper (135110)

        Not all data is equal. Some is time sensitive (voice) and some isn't (facebook). It seems reasonable to pay extra for routing priority of time sensitive data.

        Perhaps, but paying $30 for 300 minutes/month, and then crazy 25c/minute for anything over that, is ridiculously high.

        And besides that, WiFi APs are everywhere these days, and smart phones can connect to them easily enough, and use them for all the data transfers instead of the cellular network... Why isn't voice handled the same way? Going VoIP when

    • Re:It's ALL data... (Score:5, Informative)

      by MrZilla (682337) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @12:54PM (#41506837) Homepage

      But it's not, exactly. Unless you are using LTE, voice calls are still set up as if they were circuit switched, including allocating resources throughout the network. Only data calls are handled as pure packet switched best effort calls.

      But the biggest reason for separating voice call costs is probably that if you are calling someone who uses a different operator, your operator needs to pay for the use of that network (weather mobile or land line). At least around here, calling someone who is using the same operator is usually free, but calling someone using another operator will cost you a per minute charge.

      • Nice sig line. I'd say I thought of it first, but your uid says otherwise :)

        • by MrZilla (682337)

          Always nice to see someone else who keeps in touch with assembly :)

          And I have used this sig since at least 2005, and possible longer, but my memory is getting a bit fuzzy...

    • There's a huge difference in the way voice calls are handled by a cell phone network compared to data.

      However, the end result of this will be that everyone is required to use VOIP, and gets charged as data anyway.
  • Right now AT&T have a per device fee to access the network, and then a fee that essentially buys a chunk of data. The per device fee basically bought 500 minutes 10 year, and know buys unlimited voice and text. The data fees are steep, $10-40 a gigbyte. Verizon has essentially the same setup.The old landlines would do this as well, charge for each connected device, and then charge for service. If the mobile follows the same trend, I suspect it will not be long until it just becomes data.

    Of course

  • This is exactly what we should demand of all communication services. Turn them into common carriers and make it the law.

  • Voice IS data. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gehrehmee (16338) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @12:02PM (#41506479) Homepage

    Voice is data. It happens to not be very much data, based on how we compress it. Charge it for what it is.

    There is the little catch that we want it to be low latency, and in that sense it may well be worth charging a bit of a premium for it.

    • A rather silly over-simplification.
      Of course, voice is carried as data. However, it requires more than low latency - it requires that the latency be sustained as low. And it requires low error rates.

      The reasons are buried deep in human behaviors.
      Delays easily realizable in IP networks with error correction are perceptible to the listener. Then, however, they're not ignored (as they are in a video stream being re-aggregated for playing) but are heard by the listener as hesitation.
      The Q&A: "do you want to

      • Considering the bandwidth voice data requires it is usually trivial to guarantee the needed quality especially in a system that has to be able to provide a reasonable service to a much wider bandwidth used by data connection nowadays.

        The overcharging of voice data has no real justification and that is why phone companies around the world are so hostile towards VOIP.
        • by khallow (566160)

          Considering the bandwidth voice data requires it is usually trivial to guarantee the needed quality especially in a system that has to be able to provide a reasonable service to a much wider bandwidth used by data connection nowadays.

          The overcharging of voice data has no real justification and that is why phone companies around the world are so hostile towards VOIP.

          Well, there's a great business opportunity then. Stop gabbing and start eating the telecoms' lunches.

      • by KiloByte (825081)

        How is that different from about any other interactive thing you might be doing over the network?

        • Just about any other mode of interaction over a digital network doesn't treat a split second of hesitation as a sign of being unsure of what to say.
          • by KiloByte (825081)

            Uhm, you're nitpicking on one of minor and made-up symptoms. What's meaningful here are the requirements: low-latency and steadiness. Whether tab-completion in bash pauses to show there's nothing to complete to -- but that was really a bout of lag, or whether you ate that rocket in a game due to a sudden lag spike, the result is same: you suffer consequences far worse than having a download last that split of second longer.

    • It might also make them update the codecs used for voice on cell phpnes and landlines. We've had the technology to drastically improve the quality of voice calls for years now.

    • by fm6 (162816)

      Voice is data.

      I pretty much agree with you, with a semi-important exception: most landlines are still analog [lazylaces.com]. Of course, the connection becomes digital as soon as reaches the central office, though I'm old enough to remember when most connections analog all the way through.

      Doesn't refute the point you're making. Just a small nitpick.

  • I think fast food restaurants should stop charging for food and only charge for the soda pop, since that's where the profit center is!

  • This initial statement in this post, "In the US, telecom carriers are trying their best to hold on to depleting voice revenues", is blatantly false. BOTH AT&T Wireless and Verizon have already moved to plans where voice minutes are unlimited and only data is metered. Unfortunately, though, those plans pretty much suck because the data rates are so high.

  • by tobiah (308208) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @01:41PM (#41507187)

    I canceled service with ATT and use my iPhone as a SIP VOIP phone wherever there is Wifi. It's working ok for me, don't really need to be connected all the time, but if I do I'll get a prepaid data plan. Smartphone(iPhone 3G)+SIP client(Groundwire)+SIP service(Callcentric)+Google Voice(free local phone number and visual voicemail) is a rather good, almost free phone/data plan.
    I use an OBISoft device to hook another Google voice number through the phone lines in my house, so normal home phones (comfortable and inexpensive) work as VOIP phones.
    All I pay for is an internet connection at home and a small bit for SIP service. Ultimately I expect that to become unnecessary as well.

    • by bhagwad (1426855)

      You can also use IPKall to get a free US number that forwards all calls to your SIP address.

  • by fm6 (162816)

    If data is a utility, it's a utility like gas or electricity. Now, yes, you pay for these by the unit. But you also pay a monthly fee ust for the connection. I pay $6/month connection fee for my natural gas, even in the summer when I could survive with it turned off. But of course it's not practical to turn gas on and off. Not a big deal.

    I could certainly live with a data "utility" that charged me based on how much data I consumed — provided the fees were reasonable.

    Now, the big reason this isn't hap

  • Never underestimate the bandwidth of a truck full of back-up tapes moving on a highway at 60 mph.
  • Indian and African cell phone service is pretty good, better than the US in many places. The US is 15 years BEHIND most of the rest of the world in terms of utility, speeds, service and offerings. And the reason for that is the FCC allows them to be backwards so they can overcharge. If the US gave away free voice, which quite a few carriers do anyway, they'd simply rape you on the data 'plan' they force you to get.

  • Not sure we'll see what the minister is asking for on the mobile side of things because of the infrastructure involved but for fixed lines things are already very converged with providers here rolling most voice into the Internet package and it's cheap compared to what you pay in the UK and US.

    For 30 Euros a month you get whatever bandwidth DSL or FTTH (which is being deployed at least in metro areas) can provide (up to 100M with fiber, 28M with copper - I was getting (tested, validated) 20M in Paris on cop

  • They're just arguing for a data-only network where VOIP provides all Voice related services, and SMS is done via a SIP/Jabber-like protocol...yep, that's where cellular is going - that's really what 4G is suppose to be (only the carriers in the US have relabled 3.5G to 4G so they could claim coverage for something that doesn't exist yet - it'll all about the marketing).

    And, when they finally do that - when cellular is finally data-only+VOIP - then, and only then, will I actually pay for a data plan.

    Go

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