It has taken some time, but ‘the bullit is through the church’ (Dutch expression ‘De kogel is door de kerk’, meaning that a decision has been made). The topic of my research will be mobile phone and mobile data costs. I want to thank all people that have commented on my last blog (published in several places), and through personal contacts.
I want to make this research serious, but the scale of the research will also depend on finances. To get this research done, I asked for funding at a new European investigative journalism fund. The fund just started and there already is a big demand for it, so let’s see if I get it.
I aim to do the research by blogging, and with all the help of indigo journalists all over Europe. But you can help too! Please write comments, or send me your knowledge, ideas, or rumours about what is going on in the mobile industry, the politics concerning this etc.
The research results will constantly be published online, but a concluding article will be published in the European lifestyle magazine Indigo that is published in seven languages. Other media can also publish articles based on the blogs.
It is an interesting time for this research. On one hand, we already have free options to call with Skype and VIOP services. And we have wifi access, and options for unlimited data within our own country for prices sometimes as low as 10 euro a month.
On the other hand, we have high mobile phone roaming costs and the European Union just deciding to force mobile companies to lower their prices again. And we have a market not functioning, since almost all companies use the EU prices, where the EU only gives the maximum.
For data roaming, it is even worse. The EU limits her efforts to a warning for costomers who are abroad and pay over 40 euro (VAT excluded). If they do not accept more costs, the data roaming is stopped after 50 euro of data roaming costs.
The third element that I want to investigate is the connections between the mobile phone companies and the surrounding industries. Ever noted that an apple i-Phone has all the techniques in it for skyping (wifi connection, enough processing power), but it is not allowed by Apple? Or the company Truphone that offers VOIP service to call internationally, and T-mobile trying to block access to their numbers? Anyone having details on this type of actions, please let me know.
For now, I am interested in your help. It would be the most beautiful if I can get contacts just by blogging about it. If not, I will start contacting people myself.
I am searching for:
- people that work for Skype or a VOIP company
- people working for Apple I-phone, or one of the mobile phone companies that have an agreement with them
- people that are working for lobby organisations from the phone companies in Brussels or in the national countries?
- people working for the EU Commission, EU Council or national governments, or European Parliament that have to do with the phone lobby and policies.
- people that work for a mobile phone company that can explain me the real costs of mobile phone and data traffic
- people that have insight in the technical understanding of roaming.
If you are not any of them, do you know someone working there? Or do you have any other tips/suggestions?
If you are working with one of the mobile phone companies and are willing to help me discover where to search for the right information easily, I would be very happy if you can let me know. My skype is joerioudshoorn, my mobile phone number is +31645472961 and my email firstname.lastname@example.org
I can keep your source safe, but I sure need to be able to use your information. We together will find out how we can blog about this without risking your job