So last week I was in Germany with Chris Schreiner for some WML research, evaluating mobile portals (E-Plus, O2, T-Mobile and Vodafone as well as MSN and web,de). One thing that surprised me was how expensive it cost to use the portals with a pre-paid SIM card. All in all we got through close to 1,000 Euros of credit for about 36 hours of research. The biggest surprise came with downloading content. We witnessed users purchase a game and begin to download it, only for the download to be interrupted half way through as the user had run out of credit. This strikes me as not being at all conducive in encouraging pre-paid users (which account for over half of mobile subscribers in Germany) to use these mobile portals on a regular basis. Chris will be publishing a report of our full finding s from Germany in April. Christopher Dodge has also been undertaking portal research, this time in the US. The portals evaluated in this study were AOL, AT&T, MSN, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. Christopher will be publishing a report on this in April.