Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile launches an ‘a la carte’ mobile internet model in Hungary
During spring 2014 Rewheel/Digital Fuel Monitor, in a report commissioned (link
) by the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority warned stakeholders about the uncertain future of open mobile internet access in Europe due to the imminent arrival of the zero-rated ‘a la carte’ mobile internet access model. By the autumn the 'a la carte' model has arrived in Europe and is going main stream.
In this public research note we present the latest net neutrality violations in Hungary, examine the adverse structural impacts that such ‘a la carte’ models pose to mobile internet access and conclude by highlighting the need for erecting a ‘Chinese spectrum wall’ between internet access over licensed mobile spectrum and discriminatory proprietary telco services (‘Specialized Services’).
- In T-Mobile’s ‘a la carte’ mobile internet model consumers pay a separate fee for accessing different parts of the open internet and T-Mobile’s own TV and film services. The usage of the ‘a la carte’ thematic packages is not counted against the normal mobile internet usage allowance; it is zero-rated
- During the Q2-Q3 2014 the model of zero-rated telco music, video and cloud applications has gone main stream in Europe – DFMonitor has registered close to one hundred of such ‘a la carte’ applications, mainly unlimited video and cloud connectivity (a comprehensive list of all zero-rated apps in EU28 and OECD countries will be published in the upcoming November premium release of DFMonitor)
- Zero-rating bandwidth intensive apps like mobile TV is a hard discrimination similar to blocking
- By over restricting the volume caps of mobile internet access while zero-rating traffic heavy own applications such as mobile TV and movie streaming mobile operators are diverting licensed public spectrum capacity away from open internet access
- Specialized services should be primarily provisioned over new dedicated frequency bands
- Telcos could offer high grade connectivity for ‘mission critical’ applications such as e-health and self driving cars with other robust technical solutions which are not application/content discriminatory and do not undermine the open internet
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