Ofcom Mobile Sector Assessment Interactive Executive Summary

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1.13

 There are also groups of people who are excluded from mobile services for other reasons. For example, older people, and disabled people, each have disproportionately low levels of mobile ownership. Those without access to credit or a bank account may not be able to obtain the most favourable prices or packages. As mobile becomes a more important way to communicate, these issues become more significant.

Comments

Phil Graham on 31 August 2008 at 9:39pm

Mobile phone network providers penalise customers who don't pay by direct debit. I don't pay by direct debit because I am on benefits, I get charged £4 per month which on a 18th contract is an extra £72 + £18 for paper billing which is an extra £90.

A Hayes on 2 September 2008 at 9:27am

Devices and services are becoming much more sophisticated and services provide rich environments but as a result can exclude those who aren't already confident and familiar in similar environments e.g. on a PC.

Such services also attract a premium charge and therefore exclude those unable/unwilling to pay the additional costs. Such services on Pay As You Go may be limited or even not available at all.

There is a risk that services will be dominated by the needs and demands of the technically literate, the IT-savvy, who are able to afford the premium services, at the expense of other users. This is fine if it drives improvements and enhancements to services but not if it leaves a whole group of people excluded due to a lack of confidence in using technology. However, it is hard to see how we can realistically bridge that gap if it hasn't already been bridged by education or employment already.

Francisco on 6 October 2008 at 2:33pm

My partner is blind. She has to rely on a program called Talks (which is only available on a selected number of Nokia handsets). Surely, it is anti-competitive (or discriminatory depending on your point of view) not have software available for more than one make of phone.

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About this Site

On this experimental site we encourage you to leave informal comments alongside the Executive Summary of Ofcom's Mobile Sector Assessment consultation, published on 28 August 2008.

Alternatively, you can download the full consultation document, and/or respond formally to the consultation (closing date 6 November 2008). You can also follow the debate over the next few months on the team's blog, Mobile citizens, mobile consumers.