Business: Cell Phone Network
Pay as You Use   (0)  [vote for, against]
The idea is to provide a “Pay As You Use” cell phone service

Buy different phones and services from different carriers with group plans. Re-sell them to customers as “Pay As You Use”. The minute rate will be lower than the prepaid service and there is freedom to choose any service and any phone. Sometimes these are crucial factors while buying a cell phone.
-- concept, Jun 09 2003

My understanding was that Virgin has just announced a "pay as you go" scheme http://www.virginmo...k.fa-xx-xx-xx_costs
but I don't know how it stacks up to other services in terms of "cheaper". [DrCurry, Oct 04 2004]

Nokia 7650 http://www.converge...ages/nokia-7650.gif
Contract, Schmontract - this arouses the sambwich [sambwiches, Oct 04 2004]

I don't know. Do you have info about someone doing this?
-- concept, Jun 09 2003

Are we doing all annotations in the form of a question now?
-- krelnik, Jun 09 2003

No. This just sounds like an "I want it cheaper" whine to me.
-- DrCurry, Jun 09 2003

Can you clarify the idea a bit please?

There are currently three types of billing structure available in the UK.

There is 'Pay-as-you go', whereby a user buys a handset and uses a prepaid credit system with 'top-ups' via scratch cards and direct debits.

There is a 'pay monthly' system where a contract is entered into that the user pays a direct sum to the network operator in exchange for a certain amount of 'free minutes' / text messages plus any further calls at whatever rate.

Thirdly, the introduction of WAP services (wireless application protocol) over GPRS (general packet radios service) has facilitated the ability to pay for data on a 'per byte' basis - so you do pay for what you use. (Its about £3 per kb at the moment I think).

I'm not even going to go into Hutchison 3G's new pricing.

As far as re-selling bandwidth - Virgin are a MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) whereby they lease 'spare' capacity from another operator that has built its own physical infrastructure.

So - how does your idea fit in with all that bumfluff?
-- Jinbish, Jun 09 2003

I would just buy phones from different carriers and resell them but with a plan of my own. I will do the monthly bill based on what the customer actually used in terms of minutes say at 10c / min. Since I get it under a group plan, I can share the minutes across all the customers I have and still pay a block rate to the actual carrier. Say I decide on using Sprint. I buy 5 phones at USD 35 / month. I resell it to 5 different customers under pay as you use. If each my customer uses 350 minutes/month on an average, I am covered at cost. I will have a fixed service fees like $5. If I get this under a group plan, I can get the 5 phones at a much lesser cost/month. If my customers don't use enough minutes for over a period of time, the service charge will go up to cover for it.
-- concept, Jun 09 2003

So you'd essentially be a bandwidth broker?
-- snarfyguy, Jun 09 2003

What's wrong with (an) "I want (it) cheap(er) w(h)ine". Just asking ... Love, the cat!
-- thecat, Jun 09 2003

"I want it cheaper" isn't an idea for an invention.
-- snarfyguy, Jun 09 2003

I would imagine the phone plans from the carriers you buy would have some clauses preventing you from reselling their services. You'd have to negotiate a special deal, one that I'm sure would be designed to remove any advantages you think you'd gain.
-- waugsqueke, Jun 09 2003

Already exists as a poor relation option for people with bad credit and/or who hate contracts with the same companies who take advantage of saidsame persons with credit problems or those who refuse to get into one-sided, restrictive contracts by anti-consumer, anti-community businesses.
-- thecat, Jun 10 2003

Got an example?
-- snarfyguy, Jun 10 2003

Yeah, those corporate poopyheads at T*l*s
-- thecat, Jun 10 2003

I'm sorry, what is "T*l*s?"
-- snarfyguy, Jun 10 2003

*e*u*. I don't want to "unfairly" name names. I also don't want to be an obsure poopyhead myself so ;) *e*u* ;). You do the "math". *e*u* (It limits my lieability)
-- thecat, Jun 10 2003

Are you talking about "Telus"? It's a Canadian company and probably why snarf and many others here have no idea what you're talking about. (Hell, I'm Canadian and I never heard of it until two months ago when I paid a visit home.)
-- waugsqueke, Jun 10 2003

[waugs...] 1) Perhaps (yes), theoretically (yes), hypothetically (yes), etc, etc, etc, (yes, yes, yes) I "might" be (hell yes). 2) Where are you from, where are you now (it looks like Vancouver or something from the Halfbakery Map Thing I came across a couple of times - I noted two others in Western Canada - you and ?) 3)Bet your glad you never had heard of it, if you got the Evenings/Weekends on a Pay As You Go Plan.

Oh, and just in case someone thinks T*l*s + *e*u* = ( 'something I think you called')Telus then I have to remind you that is "pure conjecture" and therefore "mere speculation". As always, with love and kissy-kisses, the cat.
-- thecat, Jun 10 2003

Not from and never been to western Canada. I'm from Nova Scotia, and I live in the US. Telus wasn't around when I lived there - were they called Cantel by any chance? (What is the problem with you saying "Telus"? They are not going to sue you for saying they suck.)
-- waugsqueke, Jun 10 2003

I'd be more sure, Zanzibar, if I wasn't so busy trying to bale water. ;) Actually, I am positive I have both oars. Asking that question makes me wonder if you have even one. Just asking!
-- thecat, Jun 10 2003

[waugs...] Big mean corporations who hate their customers love to sue. I thought everyone knew that. Of course, there is no reason to sue sweet little me since all this is theoretical, hypothetical and all that and I seem to recall that we have not even "established the fact" that this 'Telus' even exists or if it does that it is in fact what we are talking about.
-- thecat, Jun 10 2003

-- thecat, Jun 11 2003

So, would you stand on the street with a basket of phones? Sort of a payphone substitute? I imagine the folks who would use this would only want to make a quick call - and you would have to keep an eye on them or they would walk off with your phone. You could make a little doohickey whereby the cellphone was attached by a cable to your belt, allowing the customer to carry it only a certain distance away. Also, you would need to get some of that spray they use to sterilize public phones with, since the cellphones would get nasty otherwise.
-- bungston, Jun 11 2003

I like the basket of phones idea, elegant yet rustic. Quite neighborly and community-minded sounding.

The spray could smell like violets or peppermint and the phone privileges would be on the honor system of course and as a backup you could carry a tasteful looking stun gun.
-- thecat, Jun 12 2003

I don't care how much it costs, but the sexy new sambwich-phone is arriving between the hours of 9 and 12 this very morning. Daftly expensive contract, but how can you complain when the phone is this cool (link)?

p.s. Croissant for the idea. I've often wondered why you can't just pay as you use - even more so after having to arrange a phone for my soon-to-be-departing-on-a-grand-tour-of-europe-brother-who-has-no-idea-how-phones-work-or-how-to-top-up-his-credit.

Phew. Hyphens are tough.
-- sambwiches, Jun 12 2003

Apparently, there's no incentive for telco's to offer "pay as you go" programs. I guess they make more money with the contract model.
-- snarfyguy, Jun 13 2003

I think the seemingly interchangeable "Pay As You Go" / Prepaid ideology is whacked. Pay As You Go is absolutely the wrong name for conventional Prepaid plans.

The only way that mobile services would truly be called "Pay As You Go" is if (1) you got an Advice of Charge message before Each transaction and the funds were automatically debited from your checking account/credit card, or (2) this process would happen immediately after your transaction took place.

Paying AHEAD for a separate account held within a mobile providers network is NOT what I would truly call "Pay As You Go". You've aleady bought the chunk of funds, mobile ops simply debit this account!!
-- butro78, Mar 31 2004

random, halfbakery