Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Beware the £10 music track download

Cellular-news reports today:

Consumers may be facing data charges of up to £10 to download a single song, according to new research from mBlox on European data pricing. The research conducted in five countries illustrates that data pricing varies so considerably between operators that it is virtually impossible for consumers to understand the charges that apply.

Although some operators may charge as little as 75p to download a track, the small print outlining 'fair usage' within the Terms and Conditions effectively means that operators could charge much higher costs.

  • £10 - The most expensive cost to download an average music track of 2 MB on a Pay As You Go (PAYG) tariff in the UK

  • On a Pay As You Go tariff, it can cost as much as £5 per MB of data in the UK, or €5 in France

  • Germany is an exception, with several major service providers offering data trafficking at a reasonable €0.24 per MB

  • In France, access to a single megabyte of content can result in charges of anywhere between 1 and €5

  • Downloading a short video, a few minutes long at 3 - 4MB will cost between £1 on the cheapest tariff and £9 - £20 on the most expensive tariffs in the UK

  • "2009 could be a pivotal year for rich mobile content, but for this to happen, consumers need a transparent pricing mechanism to purchase rich content. Content providers need to be sure that their consumers are treated fairly," said Andrew Bud, executive chairman, mBlox. "Ultimately we believe the price consumers see should be the price they pay. The current system of data pricing is severely restricting the growth of the mobile content market as consumers fear facing frightening bills."

    Use our easy broadband usage calculator to estimate your data allowance requirement before purchasing your mobile broadband deal.

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