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Thought: 100 KB blocks for GPRS billing - that's not fair at all!
Posted by PPCW.Net Editori - on Monday, 08.03.04 - 18:10:59 CET under 09 - Thoughts - Viewed 7478x
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Contributed by Dr. Wolfgang Irber, PPCW.Net Reader and Business Professional

I'm starting to get very annoyed by this. At home, I'm getting a GPRS bill based on 10 KB blocks, but while traveling, many roaming operators write the bill based on 100 KB blocks. According to my experience, that's a very smart way to use GPRS as an efficient cash cow.

While on the go, I need to stay connected to my E-Mails, so using GPRS is simply a must for me. And GPRS is great; I love it. I'm so glad it is available since it made life so much easier for me. But when on GPRS roaming, I noticed that more and more operators are switching to 100 KB blocks for billing.

Well, you may think, why does it matter, the overall prize is still the same? But the 10 KB or 100 KB billing matters a lot!

100 KB is about my daily amount I'm sending or receiving abroad, of course distributed throughout the day. 100 KB means quite a few E-Mails, about ten in my case. For instance, a quick E-Mail check is about 3-5 KB, sending or receiving a few short mails may be around 20-30 KB.

But then, the GPRS session is still active, a phone call comes in and my GPRS session drops. For a next E-Mail check, another 100 KB block is opened, but then the GPRS session may drop again: because I'm moving, because of poor coverage or whatever reason. There are lots! Dropping GPRS sessions is not a rare thing. In summary, I never make it in using the 100 KB I get the bill for.

Final Conclusion

From an operator's point of view this makes perfect sense. They get money for nothing. Being abroad in 100 KB billing networks, I'm usually paying three to four times the amount I would pay with 10 KB blocks. I'm actually waiting for day when they are going to bill 1MB blocks. What a great revenue option they currently miss!

Do you understand why I have the impression that GPRS billing based on 100 KB blocks is not really customer friendly? Slowly I feel tempted to enter an Internet cafe again. It's just not fair! Why is the customer constantly punished for using GPRS? Is it not meant to be used? Almost all of my friends already got burned by a heavy GPRS bill for very little use and promised never ever to use GPRS again.

Maybe, I simply don't understand the underlying strategy. Please, can somebody explain it to me?

Cheers ~ Wolfgang