back to article The mobile operators' Three Ring Trick

A classic magician’s tricks is to flash three solid steel rings then hand them to a punter to examine before spinning and linking them as though metal passes through metal. Mobile phone networks might wish to turn to magic to help with Subscriber Acquisition Cost. Margins are being squeezed by regulation - a problem they treat …

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Alien

Azure Phorming Blue Genes

Adding a fourth Ring, Source, would Feed all Three ....... with AI Singularity which Eliminate Conflicts/Bugs/Trojans/Needless Competition and MetaDataMorphs IT into InterNetworking Server ProVision in CodeXXXX.

Quantum Host Operating Systems in G.ho.st. Let IT Be Magical Mystery Turing ...... Caverns ReXXXXPlored with Plunders Immaculate Key of See.?!

In the Beginning, was there Always ImaGinaNation.

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Happy

Three ring trick?

"SpinVox, Zyb, Blue Book or Gypsii" - admit it, you just made those up.

I'm disappointed, I thought this article was going to be about that trick where you call someone for a couple of rings without them picking up, because you're a tight bastard. I guess that's not so widespread these days, now everyone's happy to shell out £30 a month for a crapload of minutes they never use, so long as they get a "free" new handset every 18 months with a music player and camera that they never use.

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Pirate

In your dreams

"As consumers realise coverage is much of a muchness"

We're not even there yet. Rural users in North Shropshire know that Orange coverage sucks and Vodafone rules, with O2 coming in between. It's not geographical limitations, it's simply that one has more masts.

We also note that Vodafone charge more than Orange.

So I'm seeing "pay more, get better coverage". YMMV.

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Anonymous Coward

What really screws me off

Is the doubling of the length of calls to answerphone services.

They all do it. Everyone knows what an answerphone is, but they insist on adding their "When you have finished recordning, you can hangup, or press 1 for more options."

This adds 5 seconds to every diverted call. It's criminal in my opinion.

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Coat

Sounds like a lot of sense

But what about just one ring to rule them all? - sorry couldn't resist.

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Flame

"you call someone ... without them picking up,"

Are you sure that still saves money?

A number of operators (hello BT) now have a "call setup" charge as well as a per second (per minute) charge. I'd assumed that changed so that unanswered calls become chargeable calls. Anyone know different?

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Thumb Down

Deeply flawed article

1) Governments don't charge for spectrum. They hold auctions. Very free market. Nobody forced the networks to bid.

2) UMTS take up is not coverage related. When they were bidding for spectrum the networks had grand plans for UMTS services (video calls being one of them) and wanted to avoid being mere data pipes. But seeing as customers didn't want any of the new services they had to do something to increase use. UMTS price expectations were set by the smaller operators (ie. 3 in the UK). Once the flatrate genie was out of the bottle...

3) Dongle owners don't arse around on sadness networks on their phones. There has been sustained demand from heavy corporate users since UMTS became available. There is still significant differentiation on availability of HSDPA and HSUPA allowing for a premium but only to the corporate sector.

4) What about convergence? Touted in the late 1990s, most networks ignored in for most of this decade. Only to resdiscover the importance of brand loyalty and across products and simplifying the customer experience.

Is this the level of consultancy the telcos get? No wonder they keep getting it wrong!

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Stop

Heh, good luck with that.

They're all going to end up as flat rate data conduits and no amount of cock waving is going to change that.

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Anonymous Coward

hahaha

welcome to the wireline world mobe-tards. You are nothing more than bit shifters and you will have to make do with slimmer and slimmer margins, just like we have.

muuuuuhahahahahahha!

PS - what is described in this article is just a cut down version of the 7 P's of marketing

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Diamond Trails and Ruby Gems.

I wonder what Catherine's crystal ball has shown her of the Future ...... http://www.catkeynes.com/aboutme.html. :-)

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3G and HSDPA

I bought a 3 dongle and £15 of credit that would give me 3GB traffic.

I found that when it worked it was pretty handy. However having found places it worked it does not always work there. Consequently I have not used it much. No where near the 3GB that I bought. So when I came to use it after a month I discovered that my credit had expired.

These people expect me to give them £15 every month even if I never use their service.

I would say that at lease two of their rings are broken meaning that the 3rd ring is broken by default.

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Black Helicopters

I've got another 3 rings for you..

I have seen on 4 different phones and 3 operators over time the same happen again and again:

Phone rings once, then cuts over to voicemail. No user action required, full signal and normally excellent reception when making a call.

Result: twice the revenue!

Revenue 1: voice box call to user

Revenue 2: user calling voicemail.

To be applied to users who mainly make short phonecalls.

Enhancements to revenue: use voice help menus that are really explicitly going into all the wonderful and staggering features that you will get when you press, 1, 2 or 3, and no f*cking way of shortening them as having the nerve to press any key -you guessed it- results in them starting from scratch. All that effort has but one real reason: getting you past the magical 1 minute charge barrier so that whatever you do you get stung for two minutes.

Phone companies may have invented the rip off, but mobile phone companies sure have soldiered on with developing it into an art form..

OK, I'll lie down now..

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Stop

Ahem

"Governments don't charge for spectrum. They hold auctions. Very free market. Nobody forced the networks to bid."

No, but if they didn't bid they could well have doomed their businesses to long-term failure. They had no choice but to bid, in an auction process designed to squeeze as much cash out of them (ie us) as possible.

It raised £30bn or something didn't it? I can remember when £30bn was a lot of money to a government...

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@AC

You always have a choice at an auction.

In fact both the UK and German auctions indicated that the networks were deliberately forcing the price up to drive out the competition. It worked well in Germany: Mobilcom and Quam effectilvey quit the business within a year of the auction. And less so in the UK with 3. This is typical for a free market which tends towards oligopoly if not properly regulated.

As for the state revenues: the actual costs of the licences were subsequently booked as losses offsetting the enormous cash flows so it sounded worse than it was.

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Anonymous Coward

Auctions

Before the UK 3G auctions the predicted value was £500m. They went for £22bn. Governments don't understand the territory - you can't say it was planned.

They were holding the telcos to ransom. They had to buy the spectrum or go out of business. Bouygues in France were the smart ones - not bidding when the French government got greedy after seeing what had happened in the UK.

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