Mobile Telecommunication for a Flat Earth

The first things that I need to get across are 1)  I am a technophile, more to the point I love gadgets, I have a very real need for new things to play with on a regular basis.  2)  My mobile phone network of choice is Orange, not for any special reason, it’s just that that’s the one I landed on.  3)  My contract is due for renewal in July and I’m in the market for an upgrade.

While trying not to deviate from the righteous path of rant into the dark fields of viral marketing Nokia’s new N97 has me Greasy excited.

It would need to really, considering the last Nokia product I owned was a Gen 1 N95 which was so flaky I nearly ate it.  While in the bath. I eventually had a hissy fit with it in Blockbuster car park, took the battery out and refused to put it back in.  It was at this point I vowed I would never own another Nokia product.

But seriously God-damn that’s one awesome looking gadget!

So any way, I’m thinking woot!  awesome new toy just around the corner, let’s have a look at it  on the Orange website.  Hmm, not on the phones coming soon page, strange you’d think they’d have made more of a fuss about such an important product.  So I checked The Feed (Faux corporate blog), one entry, answered with possibly the most insulting, patronising answer a marketing drone could muster. Not the type of coverage you’d expect for a device being hailed as the next big step in mobile technology.

Finally, feeling defeated I turned to google for my answers.  The answer I found has left me disappointed, and will probably lead to my changing my service provider.  Among its many features the N97 has integrated 3G Skype support, meaning it would allow owners to talk for an unlimited amount of time for free, anywhere in the world.  This is no doubt making many mobile service operators tremble as should it catch on it would ultimately negate international call charges.

Using orange as an example, to call Australia using an Orange mobile phone costs a whopping 49 pence per minute!  Any where in the rest of the world other than the US, Australia or Europe costs almost a pound a minute.   At the moment therefore calling abroad from a mobile would only ever be a final option.  Using a Voice over Internet Protocol such as Skype however places all locations under one price-band.  zero pence per minute.  That’s only short term as well.  Should this trend continue, as VoIP phones become more main stream we will eventually see all call charges for become a thing of the past.

This doesn’t really relate to me at the moment.  There is no-one I really need to call livng overseas who I really need to talk to, VoIP isn’t yet so popular that I can abandon regular calling.  That isn’t and should never be the point though.  My point is that a company who I Choose to patronise is refusing to provide me with a product I want, and am willing to pay for because it cannot dictate to me the way the product will be used.

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4 thoughts on “Mobile Telecommunication for a Flat Earth

  1. I hate to tell you feller, that’s not DRM. That’s just refusing to sell a product.
    Also VoIP has been around for ages, and can in fact be set up on your old N95 so I doubt that the inclusion of VoIP is part of their decision not to stock the phone.
    The whole mobile phone concept seems to be gradually changing over to an internet enabled device paradigm anyway, so the phone companies may lose income in call charges but seem to be getting more savvy at proving internet access.
    Anyway, why would you want onother Symbian when Android is out?

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  2. Ralph

    Okay, fair point about the DRM thing I was getting over excited. The inclusion of VoIP is however the documented reason why Orange and O2 are refusing to carry the N97 taken from this article on mobile today (http://www.mobiletoday.co.uk/Nokias_skype_proposal_starts_row.html).
    As for Android vs Simian you’d have a point if any mobile manufacturer other than HTC actually implemented Android.
    The Palm Pre and its Linux based OS is currently making waves in the US however its release date over here still seems to be in the dreamtime.

    The UK mobile phone market is currently severely limited and the N97 looks to polarize the high end between itself and the iPhone. Neither of which are supported by my network.

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