Monday, 21 July 2014
Is that legal?
I was with some friends in a restaurant, and to be honest I forget who it was that asked now, as most of my friends are more tech-savvy than that. I said "The O2 data here is crap, I'll switch this to vodafone", and this caused some surprise and cries of "is that legal?"
This was one of those rare occasions where the automated switching did not cope as there was just enough O2 signal to hang on. If I had lost coverage all together the SIM would have switched profile to an EU identity and connected to the strongest operator (in that location it was Vodafone). But the O2 was hanging in there with really almost unusable data. Switching to Vodafone worked a treat.
When I left the restaurant and got a good O2 signal the SIM switched back.
The roaming profile costs more. We have the pricing sorted at last, and we should be shipping the SIMs tomorrow, finally. The O2 profile on O2 in the UK is still only 2p/min, 2p/text, 2p/MB, and we charge only £2/month (+VAT). The EU profile anywhere in Europe, including UK operators, is 10p/min, 5p/text, 10p/MB (+VAT). It is not as cheap, and applies both ways, and is on top of any on-going call charges for any SIP provider used, but it is pretty nice being connected wherever you are. To be honest, 10p/min is not that bad really when you consider what mobiles cost a few years ago. I only wish we could get the data rates down more - though we should be getting proper fixed IP and L2TP on that some time. Even what we have now for data is unfiltered.
But I was, none the less, shocked at someone thinking I was making some sort of illegal hack. The idea of changing to another mobile operator in the UK is so ingrained as being "impossible" that it caused that reaction. No wonder David Cameron was calling for intra-UK mobile roaming recently.
In fact, I am tempted to send him one of our SIMs to play with. Maybe he'll calm down, as actually forcing roaming is not necessarily a good idea (who would bother to invest in totally not-spots knowing all other operators benefit?).
So, yes, quite legal for my mobile, on a Bracknell phone number (which you can call and text), to be on any of the UK operators and working perfectly, and I can still see it on the busy-lamp light on my desk phone and seamlessly jump the call to and from that desk phone as I like as well as recording the call.
I watched some of the first couple of series of 24, and the excellent spoof set in the 90's! You would think that the prime minister would have some slightly better comms kit, just maybe.
The technology works well - and it is surprising so many companies (and even politicians) are so far behind the times.