The FT has reported that proposed changes in the way mobile phone companies charge for their services could result in users paying to receive calls. The suggestion was made following an interview with Viviane Reding, EU telecoms commissioner, who is exploring ways to reduce costs for Europeans who send texts or use the mobile internet services whilst abroad.
The network operators are, unsurprisingly, alarmed at the proposed changes, which also include plans to cut the profitability in the wholesale charges networks charge for connecting each other to their networks.
It seems to me that there is not as much money to be made in mobile phone industry as we consumers might think – how many free minutes, messages and downloads do you get from your supplier and how much do you pay over your agreed contract minimum price? Personally, I try to avoid going over the minimum charge if at all possible.
Also, I don’t tend to send messages overseas unless it’s for work, and I don’t even use internet on my mobile at home, never mind abroad, because it’s hopeless (the networks need every penny they can get from us to plough into making mobile broadband quick and, ironically, affordable).
But, rest assured that if I do choose to make a call or send a message or download a music track to play at high, tinny volume to annoy people on the bus, I will be aware that there is a cost associated with it, and that will be my choice. Forcing operators to consider a model where they have to charge me to RECEIVE calls will merely result in me turning off my phone, ending my contract and going back to the dark ages in protest.