back to article Dixons Carphone clings to EE, Three in Phones 4U bullet dodge

Electrical retail Goliath Dixons Carphone has announced deals with mobile networks EE and Three to head off the scenario that killed Phones4u. Phones4U folded when it failed to negotiate contracts to sell mobile network airtime. Dixons Carphone has now announced a multi-year contract with EE and a new range of custom tariffs …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    No

    'things like cameras and televisions. As such devices become “smart” – by which they mean “connected” – they will need contracts.'

    No. Just no!

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: No

      Don't for get the Warranty that costs 1/3 of the price of the device!

      1. Richard Jones 1
        WTF?

        Re: No

        My 'at home' devices would be perfectly happy to communicate with my router, however I am less happy for my fridge or anything else to communicate with anyone or anything else except me or my wife. It bad enough when I order or purchase anything to top up the fridge, food cupboard or anything else with food without the storage spaces going off piste with their orders.

        As for an extended warranty , another good reason to say No! No! No!

        1. Stuart 22

          Re: No

          My 'at home' devices would be perfectly happy to communicate with my router

          Right on! and my 'awayday' devices happily communicate with my smartphone. So if they need to communicate further they go through the mobile connection or the phone wifi connection and that's under my control. Just think about different contracts for different devices and roaming abroad, the cost of ignoring the free local wifi.

          The network honchos can go and salivate elsewhere. Their reputation hasn't reached banking standards, but they are getting there. Will the next merger will be Barclays-Vodafone? The horror, the horror ...

  2. Vince

    Mobile Contracts for what things?

    "This, of course, makes sense for the Dixons part of Dixons Carphone, which is much more at home selling things like cameras and televisions. As such devices become “smart” – by which they mean “connected” – they will need contracts."

    Will they? I'm not convinced my "Smart Fridge" (if I had one) might need a mobile service contract. Nor my "Smart TV" (if I had one), or anything else along those lines - if they're "in the home" there's a good chance they'll have service via Wi-Fi or Cabled Ethernet (and I can't imagine that's going to change).

    Possible areas it might be useful would be "a Car" or "SatNav" (mine does already, but I don't have to negotiate with someone specifically for that, it's part of the subscription), so even then the interest is limited.

    Perhaps the author can suggest some areas where those "internet of things" things will need a mobile service contract?!

    1. Phil Endecott Silver badge

      Re: Mobile Contracts for what things?

      > I'm not convinced my "Smart Fridge" (if I had one) might need a mobile

      > service contract. Nor my "Smart TV" (if I had one), or anything else along

      > those lines

      I agree. The things I might make an exception for are:

      - Burglar alarm.

      - Heating.

      Two reasons: it might be useful to communicate with them when the broadband has gone down for some reason, and I might prefer to communicate with them via some sort of text message or voice interface, rather than e.g. a web interface.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Mobile Contracts for what things?

        "I might prefer to communicate with them via some sort of text message or voice interface, rather than e.g. a web interface."

        Except the only option built in will be for the device to be controlled by a cloudy server somewhere in the world and you will be allowed to use a phone/tablet app or a web page to make your "requests" to set it to the least worst choices offered by the designers. None of those choices will allow you stop them from monitoring and data raping you.

      2. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: Mobile Contracts for what things?

        You could still communicate with them over Wifi on the LAN without an internet connection. Burglar alarm, I can understand why you would want it to display an alert on your phone while you are out. Heating, why on earth would anyone want to change their heating settings when they aren't around. Yes I know there is the idea that you can turn it on half an hour before you go home, and if you are going to be late, you can change that, provided of course that your delay is of a type that allows you to know exactly how late you are going to be with 30 minutes notice, and also that you are going to be in a position where you can get on your phone and do something about it.

  3. Tom 38 Silver badge
    Pint

    Having run out of people to whom they can sell mobile phones, the mobile industry is very excited at the thought that it can sell contracts to your television, fridge and all your lightbulbs.

    Just awesome :)

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Yeah

      They are wetting themselves with the thought of all those service contracts that will bring 10000% more profit than they make on the devices themselves.

      I can see the TV ad now.

      "With the Dixons (of dock green) Connected System, it calls us when there are problems so we can serve you better (and sell you more interconnected crap)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Just awesome :)

      It's surely worth £12 a month for unlimited turning on and off of my hall light. Count me in.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Just awesome :)

        > worth £12 a month for unlimited turning on and off of my hall light

        Wait a moment, we're talking telco's here, where 'unlimited' has a totally different meaning to what is contained in the OED...

        But you raise an interesting point, there is a minimum price for these contracts, below which it isn't economic to issue SIMs or collect monies due. This price is probably a few quid, so: hall light, heating, burglar alarm, etc. you could very quickly get to £20+ pcm, which presently would wipe out practically any savings make by being able to control these things remotely...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Just awesome :)

          I am pleased somebody got my point. For the IOT the ratio utility/cost is likely to be very small. Part of the growth of mobile phones is because utility/cost is increasing rapidly, though it may be plateauing.

          The late Steve Jobs didn't really seem to get this point, but the introduction of the iPhone 6 and 6+ shows that Cook does; provided the additional cost is not too great, a bigger screen and battery adds more utility while the network cost is constant.

    3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      You may laugh for all you want

      Unfortunately this is the thinking currently in 3GPP meetings, industry junkets and boardrooms and they will try to drive it down our throat with a tank if need be. The fact that most home routers suck so badly because they run slightly rebadged Broadcom Sh*tware instead of proper software is helping quite a lot here too. See, your [ Netgear | Dlink | Belkin ] is so unreliable that there is just no way you can trust it with your M2M connection.

      So if you do not like the idea, you need 3 things:

      1. Bookmark WriteToThem and prepare some envelopes with your MP's mail address.

      2. Some money to donate to OpenWRT.

      3. An enormous cluebat with which to go into the HomeNet working group meeting at the next IETF and beat some sense into them to finally produce a set of standards which will allow M2M equipment to communicate safely and securely with Joe Average lUser's CPE router.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: You may laugh for all you want

        "An enormous cluebat"

        The cluebat will arrive when everyone with any sense says to the salesman "It wants what!!!?" and walks out. Sadly there are probably enough customers without sense to make the cluebat somewhat less than enormous.

  4. getHandle

    Did Goliath need a capital G?

    I thought that was part of the name of the joint venture!

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Did Goliath need a capital G?

      Yes, it's a proper noun.

  5. badExec

    not just fridges and tellys

    The networks are also chasing infrastructure connections. PLC's and other automation devices are ripe for linking together now that 'industrial' communications are very much IP based rather than fieldbus tech of old such as Modbus and Profibus.

    Cant see how Carphone Warehouse would be able to crack into that equipment supply chain though. They might get the odd machine builder or system integrator that goes to the highstreet for a SIM to go into their new automation system but thats a drop in the ocean when considering the literally millions of meters, streetlamps, traffic lights, road signs, advertising hoardings and other non domestic connections that Vodaphone's Global Data Service Platfom guys are gunning for...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: not just fridges and tellys

      "Cant see how Carphone Warehouse would be able to crack into that equipment supply chain though."

      They are assuming that there will be an aftermarket in IoT sims. Obviously the equipment makers will be looking to do deals with the networks for the OEM supplied sim, but CPW must be reasoning that the sims will be user-swappable, and that the market will be the same sort of model as that applying to contract phones (the contract handset model, rather than the contract sim-only model, I suspect).

      As with other posters, I can't see the value for consumers of most of the IoT, nor that the contract model will match contract mobiles, but CPW's logic will be driven by the myth of large numbers. So their strategists will be saying "by 2025 each of the UK's 23m homes will have an average of four IoT devices that could be mobile network connected. If we can get 7% market share then we will be selling over 6m additional contracts, and over a two year contract life that's 3m per year, which is about three times what we sell at the moment".

  6. Nigel Whitfield.

    Oh goody

    How long before we see a £100 HDMI cable that needs a SIM to ensure it can "optimise" picture quality?

    1. earlyjester

      Re: Oh goody

      100? i have one for you here it is 1000 and uses 4G to steam ummm stability direct from umm stuff to make your stuff great stuff, actually it is 10,000 and I think you need two

      1. WolfFan Silver badge

        Re: Oh goody

        You do know that Best Buy really does have a $1000 HDMI cable, don't you? http://www.bestbuy.com/site/audioquest-diamond-3-3-high-speed-hdmi-cable-dark-gray-black/2383276.p?id=1218324437192&skuId=2383276

        Read the reviews. They're priceless.

  7. Dave Bell

    Rural England buggered again.

    I live in rural England.

    Within a mile of a motorway junction and a trunk road.

    I shall have to rely on RFC1149 for my fridge. My wi-fi won't get through a stone wall to my kitchen from the office and the trees have got a few more years of growth on them since the phone companies calculated their coverage maps.

    This Internet of Things stuff is going to have to be IPv6 so I think I shall have to investigate RFC6214.

    Or maybe just walk to the fridge, open the door, and look inside.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Rural England buggered again.

      Or maybe just walk to the fridge, open the door, and look inside.

      YOU CANT DO THAT ............ Dont you know its a digital economy and its "online-only" services, especially from May the The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

      and if you open the fridge door the light comes on and that's a WASTE or electricity!

  8. Chad H.

    >>>> To do this it has launched an MVNO, as yet unbranded, which will launch in the spring

    How could it launch it in the spring if it was already launched?

  9. Daedalus801

    IoT Communications

    I want all my IoT devices in my house to talk to a Hub located in my house, controlled by ME (OK the wife) and only communicate to the outside world what i say it can when i say it can. (in reality that will be Bu**er All)

    Also all devices that are not mobile by design EG fridges, washing machines, boiler, solar panels, ground source heat pump, lighting, cooker, ETC to be connected by a very old fashioned item called wire. Cat 6a should do for now I don't think i need fibre to the fridge (FTF) just yet.

    all communication can then be done through my network and out through the router over ADSL or if that fails through the GSM/LTE gateway attached to the Asterisk server.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: IoT Communications

      "I want all my IoT devices in my house to talk to a Hub located in my house, "

      You think?

      Obligatory XKCD

  10. Roland6 Silver badge

    Another backer of Three's takeover of O2...

    Increasingly it does look like the EU will rubber stamp Three's takeover of O2-UK.

    First, we had Sky announcing a deal with O2/Three, now we have Dixons Carphone/CPW. Plus we shouldn't forget about Telefónica's O2 MNVO GiffGaff - which doesn't seem to be part of the O2 deal as yet.

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