Rural and remote areas will continue to struggle to keep up with urban telecommunications despite the progress that has been made with initiatives such as the Mobile Black Spot Program (MBSP) and the NBN fixed wireless and satellite. A more radical approach is needed as we consider updating the Universal Service Obligation, public safety network options and mobile roaming. Instead of more expensive small gains at the margin, or counter productive roaming arrangements, we should take a large step forward by having the Commonwealth, States and MNOs work together.
To read more, click Economuse 2017-2-03-safety net
The two major problems with the National Broadband Network business model are the pricing structure and the future level of prices.
In November 2016, the nbn conducted its third secret consultation on CVCs; a controversial aspect of its pricing structure. It is still fiddling with a hopeless construct. The pricing structure is too complex, does not lead to affordable retail prices and will not lead to the transformational outcomes expected from this broadband project.
Worse, the nbn clings to the hope that it can turn a profit on a very expensive project which was priced initially to smooth migration from legacy copper networks. This will mean increasing wholesale revenues per line (ARPU) over time; which has not been the case historically for broadband ARPU.
For more on the latest consultation, read economuse-2016-11-30
Is it possible – or wise – to have unlimited data over wireless? It seems that it is.
In this column, Australia is compared with Finland where one telco recently reported more data was carried over its mobile network than over its fixed networks. That must be a first for any operator with both fixed and mobile networks. In Finland and some other European countries unlimited mobile data is offered. This is not the case in Australia – yet.
For more, click economuse-2016-10-02
This is my ninth annual review of the retail broadband market in Australia. There are some striking changes since last year and this year we compare our market with New Zealand.
The big change this year is the hike in NBN charges. Last year, the cheapest NBN 25/5 plan was TPG with $50 (for 5 GB pm) and this year the cheapest is TPG at $70 (and unlimited data). While Bigpond’s ADSL2+ pricing did not change in the last year, its NBN 25/5 plans all went up by $10. They went up by $20 for Optus (with unlimited data).
To see the 2 page column go to economuse-2016-09-19
This week saw the second anniversary of the launch of the iPhone 6 – many buyers of that phone are coming off their two year contracts now. Before they go on to another postpaid contract to acquire the iPhone 7 on sale tomorrow, they should consider their options carefully. In my view, buying the phone yourself and adding a SIM card is the best way to go for the canny buyer.
Read the column at economuse-2016-09-15