Time to compare the prices in the broadband industry

The other day, my father revealed that during his recent February cold, he had used Netflix to watch two whole seasons of House of Cards. This is something he does not recommend because he has difficulty adjusting to anything new in his life. He then continued to tell me that this Netflix gluttony had burned up nearly half of his usually generous mobile broadband monthly ration.

Personally, I think it’s good that there is some form of restriction on my dad’s Netflix use, but my wife came up with the best comment.  She compared a month’s rationing of mobile broadband with coffee rationing during the war. 70 years earlier, coffee rationing got a whole generation to risk their necks for a little coffee on sale at the local grocery store.

I have, of course, blogged earlier about the operators’ “new” surf rationing (swedish only) and that their customers do not understand the consequences. I still get comments and questions about it.

As recently as yesterday, my former neighbor’s chin dropped when he realized that Netflix burns more than 1 GB (gigabyte) per hour and that since he has 100 GB per month, he would not be able to finish his Netflix family t.v. viewing. The coverage and speed was there, but Sweden’s best and most expensive mobile broadband service was simply not enough.

Today, six months after my last post, we continue on. It’s time for everyone out there to become concious customers; it’s time to talk price comparisons.

My request to all mobile broadband users is to exploit the operators’ (mostly) excellent coverage and vote with your feet.  The operator with the most GB for the money gets the most customers starting today! There is big money (and gigabytes) to earn.

The most expensive subscription is 130 times more than the cheapest

Sweden’s most expensive subscription is 130 times more expensive in SEK/GB compared to the cheapest. In the milk business, this would be like a packaged organic skim milk for 10 SEK at ICA costing us 1,330 SEK at Konsum. Just as the milk is the same, it is the same internet that the operators sell access to.

Even relatively equivalent subscriptions with the same price have this problem. Tre, Tele2, Telenor and Telia’s “large” all cost around 399 SEK (Tele2 is slightly cheaper). However, with Tre you get 100 GB, with Tele2 you get 60 GB, with Telenor 12 GB and with Telia only 10 GB. So for the same money, you get 10 times as much milk with Tre as with Telia.

If you turn it around and think you are burning approximately 10 GB of data per month, then you can earn 2,760 SEK per year by choosing Tele2 before Telia, and on top of that you get 50% more GB for the money.

How much do the operators’ subscriptions cost per gigabyte?

Since my message to the operators did not hit home last time, I have something new: I want to see comparison prices on your websites.

Tell us how much your subscription costs per GB. Make it clear for the users what you charge for and start to compete. A working competative market benefits all, customers as well as suppliers. Through selling incomprehensible services that no one understands, the whole business loses, causing the customers to choose other alternatives.

Until this is implemented, we have used mobilabredband.info to compile a list of the costs of different operators’ subscriptions (without contract) per GB. Here you can see what really should be on the operators’ websites.

Operator Data  (GB) Price Comparison price (SEK/GB)
Tre 100* 149:- 1,49:-
Tre 100 399:- 3,99:-
Tele2 60 369:- 6,15:-
Tre 50 299:- 5,98:-
Tele2 40 269:- 6,73:-
Tre 20 199:- 9,95:-
Tele2 15 169:- 11,27:-
Net1 15 499:- 33,27:-
Telenor 12 399:- 33,25:-
Telia 10 399:- 39,90:-
Net1 10 399:- 39,90:-
Telia 8 349:- 43,63:-
Telenor 8 299:- 37,38:-
Net1 5 299:- 59,80:-
Telia 4 199:- 49,75:-
Telenor 4 199:- 49,75:-
Tre 3 99:- 33,00:-
Telia 2 99:- 49,50:-
Net1 2 199:- 99,50:-
Net1 0,5 99:- 198,00:-

*Tre’s night surfing subscription with limited surfing speed during the daytime and full surfing speed at night.

In six months I hope I can write a blog post about how good everything has become, how clear the operators’ websites are, and that hopefully all users are pleased as punch. Keep your fingers crossed!

P.S. In a comment on my last post, I received a tip that Telia in Denmark sells 500 GB for around 470 SEK. This is under 1 SEK/GB. How can this be possible? I will send a cake to the Swedish operator who is first at beating the Danes and offers a subscription that is cheaper than that per GB!

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About the blogger

Rickard Dahlstrand Rickard Dahlstrand Project Manager for Bredbandskollen Rickard is in charge of the Broadband Check, which is used to test the speed of various broadband connections. He has previously developed similar measurement systems for testing TCP/IP networks for various companies and worked as a networking technology instructor.