When IT Meets Politics

Jan 4 2014   2:08PM GMT

Will the impending US Mobile price war expedite the switch from fixed to mobile?

Philip Virgo Profile: Philip Virgo


Clever Vodafone to sell its stake in Verizon just before the US mobile price war started.

When I chaired the Conservative Technology Forum round table in December to help plan a policy study on a Digital Infrastructures for the 21st Century I was surprised to learn that US mobile phone charges are three times those common in the UK. When, about the same time, I was able to e-mail but not text the smart phone of a US businessman visiting London, because of the terms and conditions of his mobile service, I began to wonder if I am a little harsh on the success of Ofcom as a regulator and rose-tinted about what we can learn from the US.

Will US mobile charges now collapse to parity with prices across the rest of the world?

If so, what will the knock on effect be? 

Will it help expedite the switch from fixed to mobile across the US

If so, will traffic soar and profits (whose profits) rise?

Will US operators decide to invest in other parts of the world – and will the rest of the world trust them in a post Snowden world?

Or will the US mobile (and Internet) industries go the way of their car industry as consumers, led by their children, opt for simpler, cheaper, easier to use products and services and thier industry dinosaurs fail to respond?

And what will the impact be on the UK?

We are potentially the worlds’ most competitive and trusted location for on-line services, but we are also in danger of overkill – as policy makers and regulators seek to protect the past from future by planning for the unpredictable.

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