Balance-sheet-driven pricing and technology is suffocating mobile innovation

Mobile companies’ need for increased average revenue per user (ARPU) is likely to retard adoption of 3G technology, according to a new report from PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Microsoft.

Of course, the drive to increase ARPU is driven by carriers’ post-bubble balance sheets and not by the unproven value of 3G for consumers.

PWC and MS say that consumers in Britain are already concerned about the high cost of mobile calls, and the carriers’ pricing plans will double the cost for those who make the move to 3G. And that doesn’t include the GBP400 for the phones themselves.

This is the latest in the continuing struggle of mobile network operators’ to duplicate (and exploit) the growth of the Internet while eliminating the openness, choice, end-to-end philosophy, and low cost that made the Internet successful.

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