Cloud Shaft

As I am sure you are all aware I am a little underwhelmed by the current cloud obsession.

The other week I got a reminder how much and why I think its a bit oversold.

Put simply, if you live in a part of the world where you can travel all day and not change wireless provider then maybe things makes sense, or if your providers have agreed a sensible fee structure.

If you live in a part of the world where a couple of hours drive in any direction will put you in a new country, with a new wireless provider, with generally obscene abusive fee schemes then, well the cloud starts to hurt financially. If you live near a bunch of predatory roaming grabbers (Bouygues I’m thinking of you – hijacking my phone whenever I go within 50kms of the French border, even when my home signal is fine) its abruptly not very sensible.

If you look at the times I used 8 quid in 2 minutes, thats more than some lawyers cost!

In fact I used my 40 quid in a couple of tiny slots, of well under 1 hour in total. And I was just checking my email, a quick glance at Google maps etc. I wasn’t streaming music or films or anything data intensive.

The fact is data roaming in Europe is painfully expensive, so much so it makes the whole thing close to unusable for normal people.

If you are wondering why the blog update rate took a nose dive in April there is your answer, and its going to be like that till the End of May earliest. 40 quid to download a bunch of spam is a lesson learnt!

Have you been burnt by data roaming?



9 Responses to “Cloud Shaft”

  1. RobertBruce Says:

    If only there was some over-arching trade organisation in Europe, a kind of European Union, if you will, that would make borders invisible to commerce…

  2. Simon Says:

    Thats a great idea Rob
    but I imagine if some visionaries created such an organisation, it would end up getting stuck on thorny issues of our time, like the correct size and shape of bananas, and just squander a stack of cash whilst delivering very little of value to the citizens.
    or am I being too cynical?

  3. Bob Phillips Says:

    Simon, I am amazed that you fall for that Tory gutter press bilge and regurgitate the banana claptrap mantra.

  4. dougaj4 Says:

    I was just about to suggest that what is needed is for the European countries to form some sort of association so they could have better economic cooperation, but I see someone has already come up with that idea.

    Still, even if they did that I suppose the Swiss would probably opt out anyway, so it wouldn’t help you much.

    (But seriously, I’m surprised you can’t get plans that allow a fixed fee structure all over Europe. It can’t be that hard, surely)

  5. Ed Ferrero Says:

    Here’s an easy way to have one phone plan all over Europe.

    May not be very cheap.

  6. dan l Says:

    Their days are numbered. I mean the answer isn’t out there yet, but with all of the power a smart phone gives you, you have to assume that eventually carriers will become about as relevant as your water company.

    I can’t find the article now and I’m in a rush: but if you go back a a couple of years, google has a patent out on software for a user to select carrier based on available rate.

  7. Simon Says:

    Hi Bob – Nice to see you too!
    I thought bananas was the de-facto EU joke, whether its true or not is irrelevant. I could have done cumberland sausages I guess. Either way, my point as I am sure you are aware is that IMO the EU has different priorities to me, and seems to be progressing towards them at a glacial rate, an expensive bureacratic glacier of course.
    Roaming carriers hijacking your signal is a major issues for countries with land borders, not so much if you have a big sea buffer. I cant get from Lausanne to Geneva without being poached by a French carrier. Bandits.

  8. Excel Database Development Says:

    Very interested article. I did not realize that there was not a phone carrier currently servicing all of europe. Looks like a great market for someone….

  9. Harlan Grove Says:

    If western Europe had just let the Russians take over a few years back you wouldn’t be in this mess.

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