Tuesday, 30 June 2009

UK MBB tariff moves indicate a slowing market

I've been away for a few days. During that time, a stack of MBB tariff moves have been announced (or are rumoured) by the UK MNOs.
  • Vodafone introduces a 6 month contract at £15/month for 3GB. £29 upfront for the modem.
  • Orange has launched a new range of enterprise tariffs and a selection of new laptops.
  • 3 cut the price of some of their tariffs. Yet more evidence that growth is slowing down.
  • Not quite a tariff move this, but from late July O2 mobile broadband customers will be able to access BT Openzone's 3,000 hotspots as well as the 7,500 of The Cloud to which they previously had access. Article here.

The move from O2 isn't exactly a tariff announcement but it is a good move. O2 continues to work well to off-set the limitations of its HSPA network. The combination of attractive fixed/mobile BB bundles and WiFi should limit the user reliance on the macro network.

As for the other announcements, I'd applaud anything that offers greater segmentation opportunities, such as a 6 month plan. Also, the business segment has been frankly criminally neglected and needs addressing, although I don't really think Orange's announcement on that score is that earth-shattering. But, some of these moves are starting to look a little like desperation. Could it be that growth in the MBB segment is starting to slow and they're making up for it by slashing prices?

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