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Mobile companies rip-off customers in the North and South of Ireland


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Old 29-04-2011, 19:29
TUC
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Since moving to Northern Ireland I've had two frustrating cross-border experiences with my mobile.

1) Staying on the north coast of Northern Ireland for the weekend and finding that the only mobile signals available were from the Republic of Ireland so, although I was within Northern Ireland, the only way I could keep in contact with my daughter (whom we'd left at home herself for the weekend for the first time) was for us and her to incur roaming charges.

2) Visiting Dublin the other day and forgetting to turn wi-fi off on my phone meaning that, although I did not use it at all, by the time I remembered just two hours later I had incurred almost £5 in data charges.

Looking on-line on the subject of cross-border mobile charges I can see that it has been a contentious issue for other people too. The only all-Ireland tariffs seem to be a limited number of business tariffs that are still much more expensive than UK tariffs.

Clearly the costs do not magically increase for the mobile companies on a cross-border call. It is precisely the same transmitter network they will be using. They fail to recognise the unusual position of Northern Ireland in being the one part of the UK that has a land border with another country and one that people travel and communicate across as a part of day to day life.

What is really needed are call packages that cover both the UK and Ireland at a reasonable price. Is that really so difficult to deliver?
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Old 29-04-2011, 20:20
prking
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The two countries are seperate with different regulatory regimes, licensing, ownership of transmitters, operating companies etc. I don't think it's as simple as you suggest, it would require cross border cooperation at regulatory and possibly government level.

It would be desirable to have some sort of roaming agreement but ignoring the real reasons, in favour of accusations of a rip-off, is not the way to achieve it.
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Old 29-04-2011, 20:46
moox
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The two countries are seperate with different regulatory regimes, licensing, ownership of transmitters, operating companies etc. I don't think it's as simple as you suggest, it would require cross border cooperation at regulatory and possibly government level.

It would be desirable to have some sort of roaming agreement but ignoring the real reasons, in favour of accusations of a rip-off, is not the way to achieve it.
I don't think it is as hard as you suggest.

The networks in countries like the US/Canada offer "border zone" tariffs to those who live in areas close to the border, who may be roaming onto a foreign network or work/live in the opposite country.

3 used to offer its "like home" addon, where you'd pay exactly what you pay (or get as part of your plan) in the UK, on 3's foreign networks. Didn't need regulatory co-ordination between Ireland, Sweden, Austria, Hong Kong, and the UK, did it?

Vodafone has its "Passport" addon where you get vastly reduced roaming fees on networks owned by Vodafone or are partners of Vodafone.

Vodafone and O2 operate networks in the UK and Ireland, it surely wouldn't be too difficult to offer something to those who need it?
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Old 29-04-2011, 22:54
Daveoc64
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Clearly the costs do not magically increase for the mobile companies on a cross-border call. It is precisely the same transmitter network they will be using.
Of course the costs go up. The networks aren't the same.

If you are a customer of a UK network and you use the Irish network, then the cost will be higher.
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Old 29-04-2011, 22:57
Daveoc64
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The networks in countries like the US/Canada offer "border zone" tariffs to those who live in areas close to the border, who may be roaming onto a foreign network or work/live in the opposite country.
I'm not aware of a major network in the US that does this.
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Old 29-04-2011, 23:17
TUC
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Of course the costs go up. The networks aren't the same.

If you are a customer of a UK network and you use the Irish network, then the cost will be higher.
The networks belong to mainly the same set of companies. Any separation of the same company's networks north and south of the border will purely be on a technical level. It does not inherently cost the 3 network-or other companies-more to transmit a call from Newry to Dundalk (14 miles cross-border) than it does a call from Belfast to Derry (71 miles all within Northern Ireland)
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Old 29-04-2011, 23:36
That Bloke
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Vodafone has its "Passport" addon where you get vastly reduced roaming fees on networks owned by Vodafone or are partners of Vodafone.

Vodafone and O2 operate networks in the UK and Ireland, it surely wouldn't be too difficult to offer something to those who need it?
Surely you've just answered your own question there? Something like passport for use in the UK and Republic of Ireland would be, well, Passport.
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Old 29-04-2011, 23:38
lost boy
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...

3 used to offer its "like home" addon, where you'd pay exactly what you pay (or get as part of your plan) in the UK, on 3's foreign networks. Didn't need regulatory co-ordination between Ireland, Sweden, Austria, Hong Kong, and the UK, did it?

...
Three Ireland still does 3 Like Home, apparently; http://www.three.ie/products_service...e-roaming.html

O2 UK does an Ireland bolt on too, which on first look seems better for PAYG users; http://www.o2international.co.uk/cal...andbolton.aspx
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Old 30-04-2011, 07:30
moox
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I'm not aware of a major network in the US that does this.
I was thinking more of Bell Canada (who offers it in a few places along the border, such as the Windsor-Detroit area). I'd assumed the US networks would do the same.

Surely you've just answered your own question there? Something like passport for use in the UK and Republic of Ireland would be, well, Passport.
No, as passport doesn't eliminate roaming charges, it only reduces them (and even then data is £ripoff and phone calls have a 75p connection charge). Fine if you're going abroad and use your phone sparingly, but IMO the only country with a land border is not "abroad". There are also those who live on the border and may have to deal with the phone trying to roam a lot.
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Old 30-04-2011, 08:23
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Anyone know how this is tackled in other European countries for customers who live near borders?
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Old 30-04-2011, 10:04
prking
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The networks belong to mainly the same set of companies. Any separation of the same company's networks north and south of the border will purely be on a technical level. It does not inherently cost the 3 network-or other companies-more to transmit a call from Newry to Dundalk (14 miles cross-border) than it does a call from Belfast to Derry (71 miles all within Northern Ireland)
You're making the same false assumptions you made earlier. For example, you assume because they have similar names they are the same company.

It would be advantageous to consumers due there to be All Ireland plans, but the situation is more complex than you realise.
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Old 30-04-2011, 12:20
That Bloke
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I was thinking more of Bell Canada (who offers it in a few places along the border, such as the Windsor-Detroit area). I'd assumed the US networks would do the same.



No, as passport doesn't eliminate roaming charges, it only reduces them (and even then data is £ripoff and phone calls have a 75p connection charge). Fine if you're going abroad and use your phone sparingly, but IMO the only country with a land border is not "abroad". There are also those who live on the border and may have to deal with the phone trying to roam a lot.
I'm not sure how you see somewhere as having a land border as not being abroad because by that logic there are very few countries in the world!

I agree that it would be great for consumers if they offered a tariff like you suggest but the reality is that it's likely that one of the operators would have already done it if the could simply because it would mean that they'd virtually clean up the Northern Ireland market in one go. It may well be worth writing to them though.

However, the fact remains that they WILL have additional (and perhaps significantly so) higher costs in placing cross border calls. Even if it's a Vodafone UK to Vodafone Ireland call they are completely separate companies and will be charging each other accordingly.
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Old 30-04-2011, 13:45
TUC
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You're making the same false assumptions you made earlier. For example, you assume because they have similar names they are the same company.

It would be advantageous to consumers due there to be All Ireland plans, but the situation is more complex than you realise.
They may well be separate subsidiary companies in each country but they almost certainly belong to the same parent company. Even if they don't, there are plenty of other examples of companies agreeing joint arrangements where the will is there.

I just have a feeling that it it was a country with a land border with England for which English customers were being inconvienienced they would have somehow magically solved any cross-border/cross-company issues.
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Old 30-04-2011, 13:55
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Anyone know how this is tackled in other European countries for customers who live near borders?
It's not.

The cost to the networks is the same whether you're at the border or deep in the centre of a country.
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:53
irishweeman
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There is an all Ireland tariff available.

Costs approx 36 ex vat

Allows full roaming between uk and roi. Voice data and data from uk to roi and from roi to uk.

Fantastic tariff
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:07
SkipTracer
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There is an all Ireland tariff available.

Costs approx 36 ex vat

Allows full roaming between uk and roi. Voice data and data from uk to roi and from roi to uk.

Fantastic tariff
I believe the 3 network is a lot cheaper than that with their AT Home tariff.
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Old 06-10-2013, 13:14
Sirius
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I believe the 3 network is a lot cheaper than that with their AT Home tariff.
While Three at home/Three like home allow you to call "home" there are still charges if you are calling/texting a phone " abroad". So if you are with 3 UK and in Dublin calling a Dublin number you will be charged. So it isn't a genuine "all Ireland" tariff.
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Old 06-10-2013, 14:25
Thine Wonk
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There is an all Ireland tariff available.

Costs approx 36 ex vat

Allows full roaming between uk and roi. Voice data and data from uk to roi and from roi to uk.

Fantastic tariff
This thread is from 2011, so I doubt the OP is still looking. Seems a bit odd to bump such an old thread.
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