Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Faster than a stationary bullet.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



Mobile Network ID Number

To avoid expensive cross-network calls
  [vote for,

When you call a number on your own network or a landline, it is pretty cheap and sometimes even free. However, if you call a different network, BOTH companies charge you extra for being a 'traitor' because thats the sort of attitude they have, the gits! In the UK we have 4 networks. I believe it is the same story across Europe at least?

What I propose is that from a moblie number you should be able to tell which network that number is on so that you can avoid lengthly conversations or even the entire call - and the accompanying shocking bills! Or looking at it the other way, you could natter on for ages without worrying too much.

For example: 07984 codes would become 079841 or 079842 or 079843 etc. depending on the network. Alternativly, networks could be allocated the existing numbers e.g. Vodaphone all 07100 07200 derivatives BT all 07400 07500, Orange all 07600 07700, One2One all 07800 07900.

OK, this idea obviously needs thinking about and discussing, preferably with someone who knows how phone numbers work etc. (Although I do know all mobiles must be 07XXX now)

So go ahead:

ferret, May 11 2002


       Phoenix: No offence about your deleted comment, it has been acknowledged and the idea updated as appropriate!
ferret, May 11 2002

       I've never heard of cross-network charges in the US.  Flat-rate charges, per minute, nationwide, are pretty much the norm and have been for several years. It's been a long time since I've seen a high phone bill.
bristolz, May 11 2002

       On some O2 (formerly BT Cellnet) contracts, the difference can be as great as 2p per minute to a mobile on the same network, and 35p per minute to a mobile on a different network (evening calls on "O2 leisure" tariff). I believe the smallest British network, One-2-One, doesn't differentiate though.
pottedstu, May 11 2002

       bristolz - yes I think the USA has the best phone system in the world, some of your land calls are even free arnt they?!   

       Britian really needs to sort it out, if we are to lead the world (apart from USA) in Internet and other such technologies (as Blair always bangs on about) free or cheap phone calls are the way forward. Plus broadband is too damn expensive.   

       That aside, if there was only one mobile network we wouldn't have to worry, all calls would cost the same. I'm all for natural monolpies (phone, water, rail etc.) Damn consumer capitalism!
ferret, May 11 2002

       I don't think any are 'free' in that you pay a monthly fee to be a part of the network, but I do think that most local calls in the US are without any sort of per-call fee.   

       The infrastructures required to carry out the kinds of access you want (broadband, etc) are very expensive to build so I think it unreasonable to expect access, or use, for free.
bristolz, May 11 2002

       bristolz - no, i don't expect broadband for FREE, just at a reduced price. The government could subsidise it if necessary. Fibre-optice lines cost very little really.   

       What I was talking about being free was as you said, local calls. I get free local calls but only to other Telewest (cable company) customers. Guess what? I don't know any!! Useless!
ferret, May 12 2002

       As competition between cellular carriers intensifies in the US, it has become common to see relatively inexpensive packages that include thousands of minutes of airtime per month and free nationwide long distance. I think that the telcos are starting to notice that lots of people use cell phones instead of land lines for long distance calls now, because lately I've seen MCI and other telcos offering phone service with "free" long distance ("Free" with the qualifications mentioned by Bristolz).
mwburden, May 12 2002

       RodsT - Well, that cleared a lot of things up for me thanks! However, i'm sure that even text messages are charged cross-network. Rather, it is 10p (and never more) but then cheaper if to your own network. 10p is quite a lot if you think about it - all it is a is a split second use of the airwaves! A landline phonecall used to be 10p in a call box!   

       UnaB - Well, that is pretty expensive really. I pay £25 a month unlimited access on cable. I think that is a bit too much myself, should be about £15.
ferret, May 12 2002

       Anyway, until they sort it out and stop overcharging us, the original idea is pretty good isn't it!? c;-)
ferret, May 12 2002

       I think 'rant' is a bit strong - it's a sensible idea for reorganising a hotch-potch system with over 50 prefix codes just for mobiles in the UK. Just having the network providers arranged into blocks would make a huge difference; the cost of calling another network is just so high.
drew, May 12 2002

       This is a major problem - until recently I was calling a colleague on her mobile for pretty long conversations, believing it was a same network call (identical code to my mobile), but she had ported her number (to save money). This money saving was amply demonstrated when my bill arrived - not so much 'saved' as shifted to my account.   

       Perhaps the phone could have a look-up function, to discover which network a number is actually subscribed to - this could probably be done by SMS.
drew, May 13 2002

       My phone bill shows what type of number I called. It discriminates between 'Greater London' (or other landlines), 'Orange mobile phone', 'Local non-geographic rate', and 'Other mobile operator'. When I see these, I note them. I have yet to convince my boyfriend to change to Orange, and he can't convince me to change to T-mobile. Yes, T-mobile charges the same for all mobile calls, but it does so at an across-the-board higher rate. (So I might be closer to convincing him)
So, possible solutions: 1. phone bills display what network the number sits on. 2. before connecting to mobile number, automated message (option could be disabled) tells you "O2" or "Vodaphone" or other single word, not a long message. You can choose to avoid calling and rite abrvi8d txt msg nsted 2 say wot u needD 2.
sappho, May 13 2002

       Rods: That probably just means they're really insecure, and easy to chip and get free phone calls out of.
pottedstu, May 13 2002

       rant!? thanks unabub! ;-0   

       rods - number porters would just not be allowed to do it! they would have to change numbers if they wanted to change networks. the old number could divert to the new one for say 3 months, with a warning that it was doing so. after that, it would just be cut off. lets face it, if someone dosnt ring you for 3 months the obviously dont like you anyway ;-)   

       i think a make-shift solution for now will be to just ask people their network and then put a little 'o' or 'v' or 't' or 'o2' after the phone book entry (for uk networks)
ferret, May 16 2002

       You guys don't want to know what I have to pay for decent access. You do? Ok, I'll tell ya.   

       No DSL option here. The phone lines are too old and crusty. I could use Dialup, but because the apartment lines are so poor, I would only connect at 28.8 or so. So to get cable-modem, my only real access option is to use Time Warner's digital "road-runner' service. And of course I can't use that without paying for all sorts of premium cable nonsense that I don't want or care for. Total bill? $112 / month. Ouch.
RayfordSteele, May 16 2002

       This will make you laugh/go and murder a network employee. Once my girlfriend had a mobile bill for £350. for one month. i promise that is true. luckily before we got together so i didnt pay........
ferret, May 17 2002

       Rayford... paying $112/month for RoadRunner? Move to Tampa Bay. It costs only $45/month, no other "extras" you have to pay for. that includes tax.   

       I was in UK recently. The cell phone rates are astonishing. A friend pays 2p/min weekend, 25p/min weekday. Crazy! But hey, I got hooked onto SMS. The USA is in the middle ages in this respect, SMS being rolled out very slowly. Finally its 10c/min if you don't pay a monthly charge, but the shitty system says u pay for receiving AND sending. Its just the same as your calls. Why pay for receiving when you didn't ask to be called? Maybe make the 1st/2nd minutes free. Didn't one of the carriers do this?   

       Oh yes! Voicestream is T-mobile. So i can use the same phone in Florida and the UK. and other places too.
kenyan_boy, Aug 16 2002


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle