JOI ITO -- One week after he got a mobile phone bill for $3500, Joi Ito is ratcheting back his moblogging. "Sorry about the sparse blogging the last few days," he says, after he foolishly used a Nokia 6600 Bluetooth/GRPS connection for Internet operations with a Powerbook while roaming. That (inadvertent business customer) usage pattern explains why both Vodafone and O2 enjoy profit margins above 25%.
Joi was so happy to "land in a random city, flip open my PowerBook, click, connect and was immediately online via bluetooth, gprs and T-Mobile roaming. Internet everywhere. It was sooo cool."
Right up to when you get the bill. I have to keep my two Pomeranians away from my letter box on days when my O2 bill is due to hit the floor. In Brian Greene's words, it arrives with a big thud. Last month, the thud represented more than €260 of charges, more than €200 in mobile data charges. That's my contribution to the Irish economy, O2 shareholders and more than €50 to the Irish Exchequer for the convenience of mobile data services. Because I cannot afford that rate, I'm pushing for Wi-Fi nodes and confining my Communicator to burst of messages in three-hour increments. Doing that will shave at least €50 from my monthly bill.
Joi Ito -- "GPRS Roaming Works. Technically" with at least 30 comments and another half dozen at WSJ Mention of my $3500 T-mobile bill."
Wall Street Journal Digits -- "No Pipe Dream"
Irish Typepad -- "Cornered by GPRS"