Orange new tarriffs yawn fest

The mobile internet has slowly been bubbling to the surface in the UK for quite some time and it’s been interesting to see how the mobile networks deal with it.

Orange has ignored the Internet, and in fact did everything in their power to make sure that their mobile users had a hard time getting on to it. So it was with interest that I read their latest release on tariffs, and it seems like they’re still trying to bury the internet as a bad dream.

The first indication that they don’t understand the Internet or their users is the title of the press release. “Get the most out of your phone with great value multimedia tariffs from orange.”

Since when has anyone called an internet tariff a “multimedia tariff?” What does multimedia exactly mean in this context?

Let’s delve a little further. The release continues. “In a move to help customers get the most out of their mobile phones, Orange is offering a range of new price plans to make multimedia services such as email, Orange Maps and the mobile internet more accessible and even better value for money.”

Ah so multimedia is Orange Maps, and something called the mobile internet. Is that the internet that’s smaller than the normal internet, or is this a completely new internet?

We continue with the release.

“There has been huge growth in mobile internet usage with more and more customers realising the great services that are available on their phone, such as access to social networking sites, with Orange seeing on average nearly 1,900,000 unique users using these per month.”

So what Orange are saying here is, that it has waited until 1.9Million of its users are regularly using the “mobile internet”, before it starts to introduce tariffs that are “more accessible and even better value.”

The release then goes on to say Orange is introducing “re-vitalised packages”, with a range of “multimedia services” now included. Re-vitalised packages, sounds like they’ve been dead for years and they’ve given them the kiss of life. Well the dead bit is true.

This is really is a very poor excuse of a tariff. And it’s a poor excuse of a tariff by a business that has so obviously lost it’s way in the market. Orange used to understand it’s customers, but for the last 5 years it seems to have been ignoring both them and the prevailing wind.
As Ewan of Mobile Industry Review points out in his extremely entertaining rant My Kingdom for an iPhone rival

“Where’s the independent thought? Where’s the central belief in what’s needed, what’s next, what’s cool and what’s best? Where’s the market-moving, agenda-setting, table-banging, THIS-IS-NEXT confidence?”

Orange had all of that in spades. Now all it’s got is Orange Wednesdays, and if it wasn’t for that they’d have been pushing up the daisies years ago.