International consumers ‘cash cows’ for mobile phone operators
London. US business travellers and holidaymakers to Europe will become ‘cash cows’ for European mobile phone operators as the European Commission reduces the cost of roaming and wholesale rate of mobile data this week, reveals Tep (http://www.tepwireless.com), the worldwide connectivity specialists.
As the European Commission continues to hit mobile phone operators profits by bringing down the cost of roaming and data charges, mobile phone operators plan to target travellers to Europe who aren’t protected by EU legislation as a key way to boost falling revenues.
From next July, European mobile phone operators cannot charge more than 28p per minute calls. Operators will also have to cap mobile data at 90p per megabyte.
“The industry already has plans in place to work with US operators to maxmise profit from international visitors and it looks set to get worse,” said Tom Mendoza, CEO of Tep.
Cell phone operators can charge US travelers to the Europe £11.70 per MB roaming charges, making them a tidy 1800 percent profit on each MB, which costs them only 61p. Mobile phones companies now make $31 billion (£19 billion) annual profit from roaming charges or between 15 and 20 per cent of their revenue.
Tep has discovered that the average smartphone consumption of 10MB a day over the course of a ten day business trip in Europe will cost $1, 820 on their mobile phone operator’s network.
But this figure rises dramatically when business travellers try to stay in touch with colleagues and do essential work on the internet from their smart phones. Daily consumption rockets to 40MB a day, costing $760 a day.
In comparison, Tep’s rented smart phones and pocket wifi device, which gives cheap access to the fastest and most reliable 3G networks across 16 European countries, costs a fraction of the price. Business travellers can rent a pocket wifi or smart phone for just $7.95 per day or $79.95 for ten days. The pocket wifi can be use to connect smartphones, laptops and Ipads to the internet anywhere.
“Smartphones have changed the way businesses work. Business travellers have no alternative to use their smart phones to keep in touch with clients and business partners. But at a time of great economic uncertainty, they shouldn’t be being charged more than the cost of their flight to do so,” said Tep Managing Director Tom Mendoza.
“Yet Tep is starting a revolution in the way business travellers connect to the internet on the move. So called phone experts advise using unreliable and expensive hot spots or putting in place data curbs, which makes the phones ‘stupid’ and undermines their full capabilities.
“Tep, however, allows business travellers to use their smart phones wherever they like at affordable prices, putting the “smart” back into smart phone and saving them money that their business can ill afford to spend in this difficult economic climate,” Mendoza said.
“Smart phones are popular because they provide benefits to business travellers. Unlike the big mobile phone operators, Tep’s mobile wifi encourages and celebrates this,” he said.
“Business travellers can save up to 90 per cent on hotel internet charges alone by using the mobile Wifi and they can stay connected to their laptop, smartphone or tablet. It’s personal and it fits in your pocket,” Mendoza said.
“Charging local prices, the devices are rented via Tep’s website and can be delivered direct to the customers home or hotel, or picked up at the airport. Customers return the rented phone by post, using a prepaid envelope, and all personal data is erased from the device.
“Renting pocket Wifi device will be become as commonplace as booking a hire car or a flight. It’s simple, convenient and can save hundreds if not thousands of pounds.
“With the number of broadband enabled mobile phone hitting the one billion mark this year, and with 70 percent of all consumer devices connected to the internet by 2014, Tep is providing a service that will allow consumers to get the most out of these devices, rather than being prevented from using them by profit-hungry operators,” Mendoza said.
TEP Smartphone can now be used in 16 European Countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
The TEP pocket WIFI service can be rented with two options: 1) A multi-European service that works across all of the countries, but which has a spending cap of 100/MB per day. 2) Access to unlimited internet in individual countries in Spain, UK, Italy, France and Germany.
TEP Partners include:
• British Airways: currently offering the Executive club members a unique discount.
• Visit Britain: selling the product via their online shop
• SIXT rent a car – http://www.sixtblog.co.uk/category/mobile-technology/
• The Agency Group – offer the service to all bands they bring to Europe