O2 Germany ditches voice, SMS charges

Telefonica Germany claims a new range of mobile tariffs announced at the Mobile World Congress will revolutionize the market, by focusing solely on data revenues instead of voice and SMS.
The operator’s local O2 business plans to launch its Blue pricing model on March 1, offering four distinct data packages with prices ranging from €19.99 for an entry level package, to almost €50 per month for LTE access speeds. All four tariffs offer free voice and SMS communications on all German networks, a strategy René Schuster, chief executive of Telefonica Germany, says will transform the country’s mobile market.
“We are the first German network operator that is gearing its entire rate portfolio towards the data needs of its customers,” Schuster says.
Ovum telco strategy analyst Steven Hartley believes the new tariffs are a good move for O2 Germany. He notes the carrier has to be disruptive in its pricing models in order to gain market share, and estimates the total cost of ownership of the most expensive tariff to be around €1,000 less than domestic market leader Vodafone over a two year period.
Hartley also backs O2 Germany’s plan to offer multiple SIMs with the new tariffs as a winner, predicting the ability to share data allowances over multiple devices “will become an increasingly important model for mobile broadband in the future.”