Well, now there’s a new version for all you Mac users out there!
The Pantless Knights are at it again with a sequel to our “Mac or PC Rap.”
It’s official! I am a Hero!
They got some facts wrong though. I’m not Swedish but: Danish / German / Belgian, and I did not pay for a TV licence. But hey, I’m still a hero right?
If you look up Internet on Wikipedia, it is described as:
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) to serve billions of users worldwide.
However, as we’re getting ready for 2010, the internet is getting less and less global thanks to our “beloved” media institutions.
Services like Hulu don’t work outside the US. Why? If I can’t watch the stuff legally, on Hulu, or buy the shows on iTunes, I go about getting the same show somewhere else. It’s not that I wouldn’t pay, it’s just that no-one wants my money. How is this possible?
From a technical point of view, it would cost Hulu (or it’s ISP) a bit more to have traffic go out of the US through transit, but hey, I would be willing to pay a bit more for it. I thought Hulu was ad supported anyway? So where’s the problem? The license owner (the TV network) would make more money that way. They aren’t seeing a single cent if I were to get that show elsewhere.
What about the BBC iPlayer? Why isn’t that accessible globally? I can watch BBC on cable TV, or via Satellite for free too, just like people within the UK. Ok, I don’t pay any TV license, but then again, I don’t pay that in the UK either. So no real reason there either.
And then there’s my favorite app: Spotify.
In an age, where I can get any music track within minutes, why do you still have a different catalog in every country? It’s ridiculous. I’m paying £9,99 per month, to get access to unlimited music. But then I find out, that I have to switch my account between UK and France, to get all the music I would like. That’s the only reason, I still open iTunes from time to time. It could be so much better!
It would even save Spotify storage, as you seem to be keeping the same track from different CD’s with different track IDs.
The US roll-out, I can understand. It’s all a matter of scaling the backend, but you could at least allow Premium signups in those countries. Again, you don’t seem to want to make money?
And don’t start blaming it on the music / TV / film industry. We all KNOW it’s their fault, but you are owned by them! So point out to them, that censorship is something that we can bypass. Heck, I’ve got IP blocks, and there’s VPN services for the rest, in nearly all European countries and the US, so I can get around the limits. But at the end of the day, you’re the loosing party! (I should build a product with this!)
So this is where we’ve come by 2010. The internet is getting limited on a per country basis, and net neutrality is the fancy word that the industry doesn’t like.
So I’m begging you guys: Please make more money, by making your services global. Isn’t that what the internet is all about?
As most of you know, I’m online most of the time one way or another.
Before I left for London, I used to use my laptop or WiFi on my E61. That resulted in me getting my laptop out in Airports, Cafés and nearly any other place. Some would call it an addiction
Having left for London more than a year ago, I finally had the possibility of getting more or less unlimited internet on my phone, without having to sell my soul. That was a huge game changer. I could now check my E-mails, track support tickets – do anything really!, anywhere without having to get out my laptop. Great!
Then there were those weeks I had to head back to Belgium for family festivities etc.. I quickly realized that my 3 UK contract gave me way better rates for data in Belgium than my Belgian Proximus Pay&Go card. It wasn’t really cheap, it was just the lesser of two evils.
But now there’s a solution!
Mobile Vikings, a Belgian “next gen” MVNO finally saw what’s missing in Belgium. In the age of Twitter and hyper-connectivity, people want to be connected at all times. Either with their E71, BlackCherry or iPod Touch with phone capabilities. Pushed E-mails, Twitter streams and of course XMPP are just a few of the things people will start to use more. Just look at any other country where there’s contracts for mobile internet that are affordable.
Anyways, I immediately ordered my free SIM and ported my number. The SIM arrived 3 days after having ordered it, in a very nicely designed envelope (kudos to Mobile Vikings for that!). The accompanying letter told me to send a text from my old SIM in order to initiate the number porting process. That took about 2 hours, and I was ready to go! Topped up €15 and got my 1000 texts and 1GB of data. Worked like a charm.
Seeing as I was driving round the country quite a bit the next few days, I decided to put the Network to a test. Unlike the UK, Belgium has a mobile network that’s worth a fuck, so I was pretty optimistic. From experience, I never had any low coverage with Proximus. Never. Always good signal, and 99% even 3G (Three could learn something from them)!
Mobile Vikings use the BASE Network. First disappointment was that BASE has no 3G, but only EDGE. Having done a bit of research, it looks like BASE wants to enable the 3G network in the next few weeks, so keep your fingers crossed for that. Having said that, I was quite surprised how fast the EDGE network is. I could play Spotify tracks with only short buffering times (2-3 seconds) without any major issues. That’s really the beauty of Belgium. No one uses the data network, because it’s so damn expensive, hence it’s extremely fast! So I can’t wait until BASE fires up their 3G Network. That should be amazing.
Having spent 5 days with Mobile Vikings, I have to say, the network isn’t as bad as I expected it to be. I had issues getting signal in the Cinema (Proximus worked fine), and in some parts of Mol. But for the rest, it’s all good.
€2,50 per MB consumed,
starting from the first byte of each megabyte started.
That translates for me into: I use 1 byte, I pay 2,50€ for it, and my signal drops then, so I just paid 2,50€ for a byte. Right?! One thing I would urge every operator: charge per byte. Yes, indicate the price per MB, but the charging should occur per byte.
It’s nice to see that a group of people are getting Belgium prepped for the 21st century! So definitely get your Mobile Vikings SIM card today and join us! Just head over to: mobilevikings.com
PS: It is a great name for a Mobile Network!