Mobile broadband pricing 'too complex'

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Mobile broadband pricing 'too complex'

Pricing structures for mobile broadband in Europe are too complex, and are driving some customers away from the technology, according to new research.

Consultancy firm BroadGroup Tariff Services identified growing interest in flat-rate data packages with 'fair-use' policies for mobile broadband access.

But the survey found that inclusive per-megabyte pricing is the most commonly used tariff structure, and that over 95 per cent of operators offer a 1GB and higher inclusive product.

Some 16 per cent of operators still offer a time-based product such as minutes, hours or days in addition to per-megabyte inclusive products.

But the tariff tables reveal a multiplicity of taxes, excess charging tiers, roaming definitions, and pricing and billing increments.

"If it is accepted that customer perception of data is changing, and pricing needs to be accessible, the complexity associated with mobile broadband pricing must also change," said Margrit Sessions, a spokeswoman for BroadGroup Tariff Services.

The survey showed that pricing and per-megabyte inclusive packages across European tariffs and service providers tend to be similar, averaging €16.03 for 100MB inclusive volume.

Although prices in certain volume categories can show dramatic divergences, average prices showed a reasonable level of consistency.

"Operators are starting to introduce simpler pricing and bundling with Wi-Fi and other services. The current structures are not sustainable if congruence in pricing is to be achieved," concluded Sessions.

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