Yesterday, I signed up for Fido's unlimited Canada and US GPRS mobile data service for $CAN 50/month. I have to say that after less than a day that it rocks. While we were shopping on Main, I Google'd shop names and checked out tons of sites on my brand new 7610! Fun (even though it feels like 9600 baud)! Flat rate, mass market, mobile data available anywhere is the future worldwide. It's only going to get cheaper and faster and more fun AND practical!
I decided to look across the pond at the competition, and their Unlimited Internet data plans. $29.99 a month, plus $0.2/m calling and 300 free SMS (each valued at $0.05). Nothing at all like their European tariffs, of course, which makes me wonder how much longer will European consumers put up with this madness.
Let's keep the facts simple: fixed data is so much cheaper (even if the US has it cheaper, mobile data in Europe is still exorbitantly priced), that mobile data can only be pinned this high for fear of missing shareholder targets. 3G licensing costs might be to blame in some countries, but it just doesn't add up (not even throwing in new infrastructure rollouts).
Looking back at 10 years of ISP business practices, you just know it won't last long.
Before ranting on about other stuff, I must say I feel tempted to run some numbers and figure out just how much of a "mobile boom" we're experiencing, and what percentage are data services raking in. After all, most of that information is in operators' annual reports - it's just a matter of putting together public information and using a calculator.