http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004C15NNW (my amazon author’s page)
A Collection of Essays in support of the Syncverse:
This last section of the book comes straight from my blog and addresses some of my key points and relevant arguments for the Syncverse that I posted there.
1. The Great Data Ride
In November 2010 I upgraded my cellular device to the new Windows Phone 7, the one thing that I was most excited about was that I got my phone and then was heading off to India to conduct some training. Normally a week overseas with a mobile device is a scary prospect. Data charges can be as high at 15 dollars per MB. What that means is that with a smart phone and 10-15 megabytes of mail every single day, means the least charge you would have is 150 dollars per day or more. That doesn’t count surfing the web or using any of the other features (translators etc.) that make your life easier but consume data like race horses chew up the track. So the coolest new feature of Windows Phone 7, it shuts off your data connection when you are roaming. It runs antithetical to the goals of the Syncverse but it does keep more money in my pocket.
I mentioned early on in this book that the Syncverse fails if in fact there is no support for sharing and moving data on various devices around the world cheaply and effectively. It becomes a vicious cycle at some point. You are paying data charges to cover the cost of various data lines laid by phone companies more than 30 years ago in some cases. Or, the cost of launching a satellite into space so that they can beam a microwave off of it and provide you with data on your device.
The thing is it can’t really be that expensive. The economics just don’t work. If it costs 10,000,000 or even 100,000,000 dollars to launch a satellite into space it still doesn’t make any sense.
1. The amount of data flowing across the network
2. 1 billion cellular devices in the world
3. Somewhere between 50 cents and a dollar average per person in monthly data fees
4. That gives phone companies some amount of money in excess of the 100,000,000 they spend to put that satellite into space
5. The cost of supporting the phones and people using them (routers etc.) are normally baked into your actual phone contract and not your data charges
The reality is, and it is quite sad, it probably doesn’t cost them $15 to move any single megabyte of data. In fact it probably costs them less than a penny. Data does not have a weight or physical mass that requires physical devices to actually move it (shipping, airlines etc.). So the real proposition here is what does the data really cost?
· Data transfer cost ($1 per transaction)
· Line Maintenance Cost ($100 per hour)
· Transient data storage costs ($2 per hour)
· Operations Cost ($40 per hour)
· Facilities Cost ($80 per hour
· Customer Service and Support costs ($20 per hour)
Looking at these six cost factors it is still hard to consider this a $15 a megabyte issue. Assuming a cost of each of the above per hour would figure a net hourly cost of between $220 and $250 for the total operation of the system. Assuming that you have to maintain a large number of these facilities (say 100000 or more per phone company) you can see the costs climbing pretty quickly to around 220,000 to 250, 000 thousand dollars per hour.
Which really isn’t the cost that is being passed to you (that would be closer to 1.2 to 1.3 trillion dollars per hour assuming 1,000,000 @ $15 per megabyte per user worldwide) based on the average user requiring 10 megabytes per actual connection.
This assumption of cost versus income is of course somewhat false as I created a number of the numbers myself. Many of the estimated costs for the telecommunications company are probably low and I suspect there are glitches in my formula that would increase the overall cost of the solution for the telecommunications company. What I am pretty sure is that in fact it would not create a need or cost basis that was anywhere near the income.
So why is that?
· Not many people using roaming data when out of their home country today
· No one has screamed yet.
The first thing is the easiest it is time to scream. Telecoms are making a large amount of money doing something (moving data) that would benefit everyone. Getting more people to use the system would require a reduction in the overall cost of the solution. So we start with screaming and when the price is a little lower we add the concept of more users, greater overall volume to drive the price down even further.
 1,000,000 users x 10 megabytes of data per user *150 (10*15) =