Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Shoveling the grave of pay-per-minute mobile

Bite announced it will be possible to call Skype addresses from any Bite mobile phone by sending an SMS and getting the call connected (as a kind of call back). The connection will cost LVL 0.06 and the call LVL 0.40 for 10 minutes. However, once more mobile phones are WiFi or internet capable, and someone figures out how to put Skype on these (Symbian) phones, the era of no-charge calling on a fixed fee mobile broadband connection will start.

Its been a busy day, so I am letting Darius Montvila, a Bite deputy honcho, tell the story:

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very interesting offer. Would be great to have update on it's progress.

Bleveland said...

A very nice offer indeed. There is however at least one necessary improvement that must be made as far as I am concerned. At this moment Bite requires that the Skype user that you want to reach through the bite network has no restrictions on incomings call. I as a Skype user wouldn't be too happy about that since I (and I am not alone) weekly receive several requests from totally unknown people for sharing my details. I receive them in a message since I actually restrict my incoming calls to my Skype friends. Some of "the unknown" I approved and so far it has been only about beggars or women looking for a western husband. Before I restricted my incoming calls they would simply phone me. I found it rather annoying and would therefore suggest that Bite fixes this. Either by presenting a general "Bite - ID" that the Skype users can add to their friend lists or even better by forwarding the phone number of the caller to the Skype user client.

Last but not least a little off-topic: things are moving forward even outside Latvia. For those of you understanding some Swedish check out this one:
Wireless broad band offer Tre Sweden


In plain English: Swedish HSDPA provider "Tre" (3) launches a wireless DSL equivalent. Prices are also equal; roughly just 15 LVL (!) per month for rates up to 3.6 Mbps and a bit over 100 LVL for the modem (USB or PC-card). No restrictions what-so-ever, just unlimited data 24/7. Tre has earlier offered wireless broadband through HSDPA with a pricing model similar to the one that Bite applies for the same service (50 LVL+ or so).
Just a few months ago the Swedish technical newspaper "Ny Teknik" published an article about HSDPA coverage and that didn't look to good. Outside it was fine, but inside buildings it was rather poor. That will be the next challenge. With a poor HSDPA coverage most of the users will end up with just ordinary UMTS (384 kbps DL / 64 kbps UL). That should on the other hand not be more than just a matter of time until it is solved.