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"choose your zones" wireless service

Your calling area is ...areas you actually call!
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I'm starting to realize I've outgrown my mobile phone plan, a bit. I can only really call from my local area (DC), lest I get pounded by crazy roaming charges.

Now, my other two options are "regional" plans, that go up the whole east coast, or national plans. However, the national plan is complete overkill and not as flexible, whereas the regional plans do not cover areas in which I'd be using the phone, namely northeast Tennessee.

It struck me the other day -- why doesn't someone offer a wireless plan where you "choose your zones"? Many/most wireless providers pretty much have national coverage already -- this plan would allow the customer to choose 5 or 10 "zones" (perhaps more or less, depending on how "granular" the provider's local areas are) where they would be using the phone the most; Everywhere else would be roaming. Rather than having a "regional" plan, I could have a plan that, say, covers DC Metro, Northeast Tennessee, New York Metro, and Atlanta?

This area could actually be /smaller/ than a whole regional plan thus, in theory, saving the company money -- and at the same time, it'd be flexible enough for customers who have slightly-variant needs

cswiii, Nov 26 2001

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       Some phone companies let you choose individual numbers to get discounts on, and one that I know of lets you specify what time you want cheap-rate calls at, but this idea of specifying local areas is new to me, and could be a good one, especially for people who commute a long way to work.
pottedstu, Nov 26 2001
  

       waugsqueke: I would think that, even if the areas are non-contiguous geographically, five smaller calling areas would be cheaper to maintain for the provider, than having to provide service in Hartford, Boston, NYC, greater NY, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore, DC, Richmond, Norfolk, Research Triangle Park, Costal Carolinas, Greenville, Charleston, Atlanta, and so on, with all of the piddly spaces in between, seeing as their digital network already exists, nationwide. Hell, it might even be cheaper for them to give me Tennessee rather than NC, SC, and GA, as they do have a point of presence in TN, while at the same time, they'd not have to cover me in any of those other aformentioned areas.   

       Rods Tiger: We may or may not be talking about the same thing. See, I could buy mobile service in Tennessee, despite not living there. Furthermore, my provider /does/ have network service down there, and my mobile phone works just great. If I had national service, it would be covered, but instead I am roaming. I don't think it's an issue of cross-connectivity.
cswiii, Nov 26 2001
  

       This actually seems to be irrelevant, now, as so many cellphone providers <In the US, anyway> are now offering X minutes per month for $Y, and 'free' long distance.
StarChaser, Mar 02 2002
  
      
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