Why the larger Mobile Service Providers in Canada Should Have an Inexpensive Data Plan. - Part 2
Part 1 available HERE
In part 1, Gavin Steiner, President of Interprom Inc. commented about many of their potential clients being excited about accessing the corporate data from a mobile device but quickly realize that the costs are too prohibitive. It's not the one time cost of the mobile devices or corporate infrastructure setup but the high cost of the continued data service from all our Canadian carriers. For the carriers to truly be successful with their promotion of the current Smartphone device offerings, they need to lower their data plan costs.
Another benefit that carriers can take advantage of is the fact that a good majority of the mobile users listen to music. Currently carriers benefit only when a user downloads a music file. Once the file has been downloaded you can listen to the music without any further costs or the need of the data service. Carriers earn a small amount based on the time utlized to download the file. If the song is downloaded from the carriers online site, they earn a little more from the sale of the song itself.
Imagine if the same user decides not to spent $2/song or whatever to download a song but to actually listen to an online radio station instead. This means maybe 15 minutes to even hours of mobile music enjoyment. During this time, the listener can also:
1 - Browse the web
2 - Access email
3 - Access a VPN to download corporate data
4 - Finish a few documents using Word Mobile for uploading
These scenerios are only possible if/when an affordable data plan is made available in Canada. All the hardware infrastructure and software is currently available to the masses and being utilized in the States. Only reason Canadians are still in the dark about how telecommuting can truly be a mobile activity is due to the high costs of mobile data usage.
Mobile data access is no longer a laptop access only. Pocket PCs and Smartphones have mobile versions of Microsoft Office applications. We even now have devices classified as a UMPC or Ultra Mobile PC which runs standard desktop Windows. A quick connection to a cell phone makes a UMPC function just like a laptop with a PC-Data card. The UMPC is far lighter compared to any laptop PC and also has the "Instant ON feature of the Pocket PCs. No more 2 - 3 minutes of waiting for the Windows operating system to load on a laptop.
Now you have a true light weight mobile office that can run many hours longer since the UMPC and the cellphone each have their own separate power source. The power hungry PC-Data card draws power directly from the laptop only drastically reducing the online time possible.
I can sum up in one word why the cost of data services are too expensive in Canada. "CONSERVATIVE" Just like our Toronto Maple Leaf hockey team has not won a Stanley cup in 35 years. The current owners are happy generating the level of revenue they have been for decades and are not willing to see the complete picture. Imagine all the added potential revenues from advertising sales and merchandising that increase exponentially due to the Toronto Maple Leafs making it to the playoffs and actually winning the Stanley Cup?
For this to happen the owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs must invest major dollars to put a winning team on the ice. The New York Yankees are a good example how mega dollars are spent and it shows on the playing field. Basketball has the LA Lakers.
This can be said also for the mobile carriers. The major carriers must reduce their data plan costs. This means a slight loss in revenue initially but certainly an overall increase exponentially due to the increase in:
- First time mobile service users
- First time mobile data users
- Returning mobile data users
- Longer data usage plus access to other online services which ultimately means added revenue for the sponsoring carriers. Example: FACEBOOK
Lets move away from the 20th century mentality that "we should not change what has been working well up to now". Lets forge forward into the 21st century with a bold passion and sense of adventure which allows bigger and better opportunities for everyone living in Canada. For Canadians to truly embrace this mobile office concept, we need a low cost mobile data plan period. It's all about cost and not the technology or hardware infracturture change. It's about changing our perception on how the revenue is generated. Not about how much we generate cause we will certainly generate more revenue for all users of mobile data services when a low cost service is made available. It's up to the mobile carriers to step up to the plate and show us that they are willing to change how they think about mobile data by cutting user costs.
Thomas Purves had posted an excellent blog HERE that explains how expensive data charges are in Canada. Thomas has a great chart that shows the different costs from around the world compared to what we are charged in Canada. Canada is totally off base with the rest of the industrial countries and the rates have to come down.