Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Alps are flat

Attention to the 300k or so Skype users (my estimate) in Switzerland. You have a new friend, and it's called Swisscom. The company today launched a flat-rate data package for mobile, priced at CHF79, or about EUR51 per month. For this you get 1GB of data inclusive, with a CHF0.50 per MB charge for overage. I think that's still pretty extortionate for mobile data generally, but, as I work it out, a Skype call requires 40kbps up and down, so this 1GB tariff might equate to something like 1,700 Skype minutes, at EUR0.03 per second. Sweet indeed, if we ignore the fact that you have to hold an exorbitantly priced data card and pay a monthly charge of EUR6.50 for a data-only subscription. You also have to be extremely talkative to get through 1,700 minutes. Frankly, I don't see hordes of people rushing to take up this tariff just for the sake of price arbitrage on Skype, but it illustrates the voice pricing compression we may see as data goes flat rate.

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