PC Pro has an article about a report by Plum Consulting commissioned by a number of ”content providers”, including the BBC, Skype, and Yahoo. The report is primarily about net neutrality, and it argues in favor of net neutrality in a very sensible way.
But report also contains data on the costs of producing mobile data connections, which of course is the key underlying issue when it comes to setting sensible price caps for data roaming in Europe.
PC Pro writes:
The report concedes that the cost of adding capacity on mobile networks ”are significantly higher than they are for fixed networks” because ”the radio-access network is shared by users”.
However, it claims forthcoming 4G technologies will significantly reduce those costs. ”Forward-looking estimates which take account of the transition to LTE [Long Term Evolution], additional spectrum and traffic subscriber growth… puts the cost to the mobile network operators at under €1 per GB,” Plum Consulting claims.
As the report states, that cost is ”well below existing smartphone data tariffs of around €10 per GB”.
Again, we have the magic number of less than 1 euro per gigabyte of mobile data transfers. It is on this number that I have based my proposal for a wholesale cap of 10 euro per GB for data roaming (and a retail cap of maybe 20 euro per GB).
It is nice to have yet another confirmation that the numbers I have been quoting are in the right ballpark. Now all that remains is to get a political consensus about it in the European Parliament.
I’m working on that.