There were a couple of blog posts following up on my question regarding the apathy of Irish mobile users. In particular, there were pro-Meteor comments from David O’Neill who switched himself recently and, almost as a proof of my assertions, some mis-conceptions from Niall Sheridan (or this guy as he referred to me).
Niall made two points:
Cheap is relative. As with all mobile services it depends on who you’re calling. If you primarily ring Vodafone subscribers I guarantee that it won’t be that cheap.
Well let’s look at the facts. Taking the comparison of changes I made in my post for the similar evening time pre-pay plans, it is cheaper to ring all three networks from Meteor; i.e. it is more expensive to call from O2 to O2 or to call from Vodafone to Vodafone than it is to call from Meteor to O2 or Vodafone. In all cases at all times. Mind you, this is just one billing package but, from what I have seen, it is the trend.
Meteor’s current network is only as good as it is because portions of it aren’t Meteors’ at all – they’re O2’s and Vodafone’s. I’d love to know what level of coverage they would have if Both O2 and Vodafone stopped the service.
Another mis-conception. Firstly, Meteor does not use any part of Vodafone’s network. And, to my knowledge, never has. In September 2004 it did sign a coverage deal with O2 in parts of counties Kerry, Donegal, Mayo, Cavan, Sligo, Leitrim, Limerick, Galway, Cork, Roscommon, Longford & Clare. That’s in parts of twelve of the twenty-six counties. And it’s a temporary arrangement while Meteor continue to expand their coverage.
So what? All this does is ensure that Meteor’s own customers get full coverage around Ireland. What do I care if it means I use O2’s network in some remote parts of Ireland? I don’t care – especially as it means Meteor’s customers get to use O2’s network at prices that are cheaper than O2’s own customers.
Niall also went on to share a story of woe he had with Meteor regarding service withdrawl for non-payment and how long it took them to re-activate his account after he paid them. Well we all have tales of woe. I have a few of my own for O2. But as we all know, these are usually the exception and not the rule. I have rang Meteor customer care (for free – O2 and Vodafone charge you to do that) a few times and have found them comparable or better than my better conversations with O2.
Niall finishes with “[s]ure Meteor have some nice offers, like free voicemail and line rental…”. I would ask the average Irish mobile user whether they believe that this should be the norm or the exception?