Minister calls for all island mobile tariffs

Barry Gardiner calls for more coherence in mobile phone charging on an all island basis:

“We are seeking the mobile operators to enter into joint arrangements on a cross-border basis to offer customers all-island tariffs. While we acknowledge that a number of operators offer all-island tariff options it is disappointing that where these are available they are limited to contract customers only. We want to see all-island rates extended to ‘pay-as-you-go’ mobile users, who represent around 70% of the mobile customer base, and who deserve better.”

  • Davros

    It would be advantageous for there to be harmonisation right across the EU.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Quite right Davros, but must you insist on protecting your partitionist flank even on such an uncontroversial issue?

    Fact is we can’t do anything about a cross-Europe harmonisation but we can do it across this island. Of course it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know why we don’t have it already.

    Couldn’t you just agree that this is a good idea that we can implement rather than losing sight of the issue to a far larger context over which we have no control?

    Are you in favour of this proposal or are you going to let your emotions get the better of you now that common sense is ganging up against partition yet again?

  • Ziznivy

    Davros is quite right. It seems ludicrious that you can receive the O2 network right across Europe and yet have to pay extra whenever you’re already paying the same company. Whether cross border or on an EU basis it’s simply a way of putting the arm in.

  • smcgiff

    Davros is right in that this should be campaigned for.

    Billy is right in that baby steps should be taken and we should not allow our constitutional bias getting in the way of stopping the telecoms from lining their pockets.

    Today an all Ireland network
    Tomorrow or at the same time, throughout the UK and the ROI.
    Er, next week, the EU.

  • Davros

    Fact is we can’t do anything about a cross-Europe harmonisation

    Yes we can. We have MEPS who can press for this.
    That sounds suspiciously like the revisionist nonsense that republicans are offering to justify the Violence of the troubles … “there was no alternative”. We have MEPs, let the buggers earn their keep.

    must you insist on protecting your partitionist flank even on such an uncontroversial issue?

    No need to be offensive old chap. I’ll wager there are people who will object. I am offering a way to get the same result which by-passes any parochial difficulties, something which has been a position I have taken consistently in respect of the EU. And I will return the criticism by pointing out that it is you who should think on your own Irish-Isolationist position and instead of focussing on the increasingly irrelevent partition you should look outwards at the bigger European picture.

    God Bless.

  • Fraggle

    I posted a link on this yesterday on a difference thread.

    It amused me that IJP said that it should be a UK + Ireland thing and Davros says that it should be an EU-wide thing.

    EU-wide netweork would be superb and work should be done to bring it about. I would love to be able to make calls (for the normal charge) while on a french beach or an austrian piste. However, this is not a pressing need for me. I can get along without this for a few years.

    All-ireland tariffs would be extremely useful and prevent the problems experienced in border regions where the network coverage can put you inadvertantly in the wrong region. This can cost people a lot of money and needs sorted out.

    It would be a boon for those of us who work and live on different sides of the border too.

  • Davros

    It amused me that IJP said that it should be a UK + Ireland thing and Davros says that it should be an EU-wide thing.

    Why ? It’s not as if IJP and I are like Gerry and Mitchel , supposedly singing from the same hymn sheet.

  • maca

    It should be EU wide.
    Nothing stopping us working independently for a island wide system though.

  • DerryTerry

    Davros, funny you should mention Mitchel as he has been campaigning for an All Ireland tariff for quite a while now. As someone living in a border region its a bloody disgrace that i can be charged roaming charges at international rates without going anywhere.

    Just as an example there are parts of Creggan where O2 Ireland is stronger than O2 UK, and half of Innishowen where it is the reverse. So in the north I’m charged for being in the south, in the south I get the rate for being in the north and when i leave derry to go to Inishowen I’m leaving the north in a northerly direction to go to the south.

    Now I think about it its more than mobile charges we need to sort out.

  • DerryTerry

    Davros, funny you should mention Mitchel as he has been campaigning for an All Ireland tariff for quite a while now. As someone living in a border region its a bloody disgrace that i can be charged roaming charges at international rates without going anywhere.

    Just as an example there are parts of Creggan where O2 Ireland is stronger than O2 UK, and half of Innishowen where it is the reverse. So in the north I’m charged for being in the south, in the south I get the rate for being in the north and when i leave derry to go to Inishowen I’m leaving the north in a northerly direction to go to the south.

    Now I think about it its more than mobile charges we need to sort out.

  • Davros

    DT-I’m don’t have a mobile , So I’m alright Jack!

    Maca: Nothing stopping us working independently for a island wide system though.

    Of course and I haven’t suggested otherwise, despite insinuation:)

  • Millie

    Excuse my ignorance but when calling a landline do people living on or near the border have to make an international call if they’re calling from the north to the south and vice versa?

  • Fraggle

    Millie, it depends on service provider. I’m with NTL for my landline (in the north) and they only charge me national rate for calls to the south rather than international. I think BT charge international rate so I’ll not go back to them unless I heard otherwise.

  • Fraggle

    just to clarify, I live in Belfast at the moment, not on the border.

  • Millie

    Thanks for that Fraggle, and as for BT that’s scandalous but not surprising, the border’s an (in)convenient money spinner there to be taken advantage of. That’s mad though, you could have friends and family just down the road or round the corner and you have to dial an international number to reach them!

  • PS

    The worst is when a northern mobile phone can’t get reception and goes onto southern reception. If somebody rings a northern phone while it has southern reception it costs at least £2 to the person receiving the call and even more for the person making the call even if the call only lasts a few seconds. Unbelieveably frustrating when it happens.

  • IJP

    Funny how an all-Ireland tarif system makes coherent sense yet some people will do anything to avoid discussing the (much more logical) proposition of a wholesale all-UK/Ireland or all-EU telecoms system!

    Can anyone explain support for an all-Ireland tarif system yet objection to simply having an all-UK/Ireland telecoms system (along the lines of US/Canada)? The technology behind the telecoms system is the same and there are plenty of numbers available under +44, so it really wouldn’t take long at all.

    On Davros‘ point, I have nothing against an all-EU system in principle, I just doubt it’s feasible in practice. The technology varies, there is no obvious international dialling code available, numbers would all be about 300 digits. However, the idea of common intra-EU tarifs and regulation of ‘local’ calls that happen to be made across borders would be a practical thing to do.

  • IJP

    The worst is when a northern mobile phone can’t get reception and goes onto southern reception.

    Spot on.

    And instantly solved by an all-UK/Ireland telecoms system! As would reception in the middle of the Irish Sea, etc etc.

    Having said that, the same thing can happen between other EU countries, hence Davros also clearly has a point.