Wireless Wonders

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

Saturday, June 03, 2006

User-defined data tariffs (idea #93)

To promote greater use of mobile access to the web, operators could offer user-friendly charging schemes that allow a user cheaper access to their favourite websites. Using content-based charging techniques, it is possible to detect the traffic being requested from the mobile and to apply a specific charging rate to that traffic type. For example, access to mail.google.com could be detected and charged differently to access to www.bbc.co.uk. It is easy to offer a user-interface to a content charging system to allow self selection of cheap-rate domains. On the other hand, operators could offer a basket of popular domains that can be selected in a kind of pick-and-mix fashion as a bundle of cheap-rate domains. It seems a good idea to offer search domains, like Google, as low-rate - or even free - as they inevitably lead to web traffic consumption.

Sooner or later, operators are going to understand that to drive content consumption and data traffic, they need to make it very easy for the users, giving them as many incentives as possible. Whilst this is obvious, there is precious little evidence that this has been taken onboard by many operators. Many WAP portals are incredibly difficult to use and seem to run counter to the golden rule of minimising clicks to find anything useful, never mind offering a highly personalised "Amazon-like" experience.

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