Telefonica Germany Blocks Data Roaming On Ships

One thing that I think borders on modern (digital) piracy are the charges for data roaming on board of (some) ships. Cellular on-board networks are often connected via satellite and typically, 1 MB of data transfer, which is barely enough to load the front page of a web site these days, is charged in steps 1 euro per 50 kb. In other words, a single web page costs 20 euros to download. No sane being on this planet would ever want to do that so I assume that 99.9% of the revenues generated that way are from people who’s mobile automatically registered to the on-board network when it looses contact to the land based network for a while.

Some home network operators use a landing page with a confirmation button to make sure devices do not transmit data without the user’s consent in roaming networks in which the data traffic is not included in the monthly budget. The problem with this approach is that data charges for connection attempts that are rejected and the data sent for the landing page itself has to be paid by the home network operators out of their own pockets. I have no idea what their wholesale prices are for such networks but it’s probably not cheap. So I can fully understand that Telefonica O2 Germany is now completely blocking data roaming on such networks as reported by Golem here. The right step in my opinion!

And just before I close, connecting to the Internet via satellite must not necessarily be super expensive. So from my point of view, the satellite connection is just an excuse for totally unwarranted charges.