∞ Carriers want Apple to help pay for network upgrade

Judging from the advertisements we see, you would think wireless phone carriers are happy to have all the customers they can get. However, as new services become popular and wireless networks age, carriers are beginning to feel the strain.

[ad#Google Adsense 300×250 in story]It seems that every carrier wants to be included in the newest phone on the market, but as the services associated with these new gadgets continue to consume more bandwidth, they are looking to companies like Apple to pay up.

France Telecom, Telecom Italia and Vodafone Group want a new deal that would see companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, Skype and possible others to pay fees to use their networks. The proposed fees would be linked to usage, according to Bloomberg.

While the carriers are all for sharing the cost of upgrading the network with the service providers, it doesn’t appear they want to discuss sharing subscriber profits with them.

It doesn’t seem to make much sense for carriers to expect companies like Apple and Google to pay for an upgrade of outdated network infrastructure.

  • Dot

    If Apple had their own network, I’d be happy to pay them.

  • Michael Adams

    All they would be doing is encouraging Apple to to either establish it’s own wireless service/carrier or for Apple to buy one or more of the existing carriers/providers. Otherwise, “Pay for your own infrastructure!”

    • Dot


    • Not likely. They won’t go into infrastructure. The profit margins aren’t big enough, maintaining a pain. And they wouldn’t be able to guarantee a homogenous experience in the US. What’d they do in the 100+ other countries that have the iPhone? Become a global phone carrier?

  • Anonymous

    Not surprising. They seem to think they are entitled to ever-increasing profits while their infrastructure costs have been going down, they’ve gotten subsidies from governments and they extort massive amounts of money for services that cost them essentially nothing (SMS). What next? We have to give them our first born to get good service?

  • Wait what?

    They’re going to take money from the customers for mobile voice/data usage, which they use to invest in infrastructure and they want money from the companies that enable customers to use this infrastructure, so those companies will then makes us pay them for enabling us to pay for mobile voice/data.

    There’s a redundancy in there somewhere, I think.

  • Vapor

    Typical european mindset in having someone else pay your way.

    • Explain to me why this is a European mindset? This is a capitalistic, greed-driven mindset.

  • fricfrac

    @Dot Yeh, in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, its way out of their competency and would take years to set up. As for the carriers, not one of them is remotely interested in giving you the facts relating to usage and capacity but will happily take all your money first. In the EU, they are also protected from prosecution for their failings – seems like they want it all, without the costs. I would rather Apple went with WiMAX coverage in all cities and leave the 3g scraps to the carriers for non urban access.

  • It doesn’t hurt to ask, I think, is the theory behind this.

  • CW Smith

    Why don’t they take all the extra money they make from the 15-20 seconds of (unskippable) instructions every time we call someone and get their voicemail? Fer cryin’ in the grog, it’s 2010. I know how to leave a friggin’ message. And who the h*ll sends a numeric page?

    According to David Pogue, T-Mobile alone made $600 million in 2008 from the additional airtime racked up listening to these totally unnecessary instructions. [url=http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/30/the-mandatory-15-second-voicemail-instructions/]David Pogue’s article in the NY Times[/url]

    Here are the valuable instructions T-mobile makes a caller listen to: “Record your message after the tone. To send a numeric page, press five. When you are finished recording, hang up, or for delivery options, press pound.”

    And here are Verizon’s: “At the tone, please record your message. When you have finished recording, you may hang up, or press 1 for more options. To leave a callback number, press 5.”

    And that’s just one company. Imagine how much is being pocketed by AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, US Cellular, and all the others. I’m sure it adds up to well more than a billion dollars a year. That money would go a long way toward upgrading networks, and they wouldn’t have to go begging Apple (or RIM or Google) to pay for the upgrades they should have been making all along.

    • I think there are two answers to this, that are somehow connected: 1. Greed. 2. People are stupid.

  • CW Smith

    Okay, my link to David Pogue’s article didn’t work as intended. Here’s the full URL: