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The word "How?" springs to mind at this point.
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So, in the UK at least, it's relatively expensive to call from one mobile network to another. This has always caused me some angst.
How about a company is created that removes the inter-network section of the communication, thus making the call way cheaper. For the purposes of illustration, below
are some indicative prices:
- Network "O" charges 5p per minute for O to O calls
- Network "V" charges 5p per minute for V to V calls
- Network "O" charges 40p per minute for O to V calls
Someone on network O wants to speak to someone on network V. Instead of calling them directly, they call an O contact number within the intermediary company. This company then requests the network that they're trying to call and the number that they're wanting to reach.
The company has a whole bank of O sim-cards and a bank of V sim-cards. I'm not a techie, but here's the idea:
The call from the O person is routed to an O sim-card in the intermediary. The voice is transferred by wire to a V sim-card (again within the intermediary) which in turn makes a call to the target V phone.
The end result is that there are two intra-network calls going on (at 5p per minute each) as opposed to one inter-network call (at 40p per minute). The intermediary company takes 5p per minute for the service, charging the O user 10p per minute plus their own call rate (5p for themselves and 5p to pay for the V call). The O call is automatically billed to the O user.
I'm not sure how the middle bit would work, but I can't see it being technically impossible. Would be interested to hear people's thoughts on this...
||It costs me nothing to talk to AT&T customers in the
United States. With a similar setup on a Verizon
phone, for example, it would be quite interesting.
Maybe you could text the service to initiate the call.
||usually, telecommunication companies can limit the use made of their services, so either O or V could stop the intermediary. As most prices in the telecommunications area are taken from thin air (for example, ~200byte text messages costing more than a 1 minute voice call) there are a lot of services imaginable that would leverage the current price structure, yet most could be legally stopped (In Germany the federal telecommunications agency forbade usage of their regular telephone lines fo modems in the 80s, charging high premiums for 'data lines' that were exactly the same...)
||Bear in mind the original post was written in 2004.
Nowadays, new payg structures go more like this:
O to O: 25p/min
O to V: 25p/min
V to O: 25p/min
V to V: 25p/min
pick up calls: 25p/min
put more money on: 25p/min
carry phone while wearing grey shoes: 25p/min
It's Tuesday 25p/min
credit crunch, don't you know: 25p/min
annoyed that everything costs 25p/min: 25p/min
||Of course, I exaggerate
||Yeah, no-one charges for Tuesdays anymore.
||//It costs me nothing to talk to AT&T customers in the United States.//
||You have to also note that the OP was made 5 years ago when roaming and "out-of-network calls" is how the phone companies made their money.