Wireless Wonders

No news, just comment about mobile phones and services, from a veteran practitioner...3G, GPRS, WAP, Bluetooth, WiFi, etc...

Monday, May 23, 2005

Combating data uncertainties...idea #59/100

I have been looking at various push-email solutions for mobiles. I have almost given up trying to figure out who offers Blackberry Connect on which device, because it seems an impossible task, at least in the UK.

I came across a push service for Pocket PC called Pocket Express. It is a hosted services that collects mail from an email account using POP3 and pushes it to the device. However, figuring out how much this is going to cost in GPRS data transfers is a painful process.

This is the number one problem with any mobile service that is not hosted by an operator and consequently lacking in event-based (per email) or fixed (flat rate) pricing. I think that it is totally inadequate for service providers to continue with the standard line of "consult your operator for data charges".

Providers should at the very least attempt some basic calculations based on typical usage patterns and various tariff structures. Otherwise, surely many customers are going to walk away. Operators should make this process easy by providing tariff calculators on their website - prominently displayed and easily accessible.

In fact, my idea is that operators should provide a web-service interface to their pricing databases so that various service providers could automatically display various tariff guides on their websites for different usage patterns.

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