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adam917 (Offline)
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Question 30-01-2010, 21:38

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Originally Posted by snidely View Post
Stu - I don't understand the above statement. Please enlighten this dense person.
I am not overseas that much - maybe 4-6 weeks a year. I keep my T-Mobile service because (1) their UMA "free" roaming capability (2) The unlimited BBerry email for 67 cents/day while out of country. I make sure I don't dl data.
However, there have been posts on HowardForums where BB users get data by deleting the default APN so that everything is routed thru RIM's servers. They claim they haven't been charged for data by doing that. (I think I have explained this accurately.) I will make a test when in Columbia the middle of Feb. Much of the time I will have wifi access, I believe.

...mike

In the last 10 years, long distance in the U.S. really has ceased to exist. Virtually all calls within the U.S. are "local". In the last few years calls between most first world countries are almost free. I assume, in the future, calls anywhere will be "free". I believe many (most?) calls are now carried as data packets. We can send volumes of data around the world for "free" - why not voice?
The only "problem" I see is that we in the U.S. and Canada are spoiled by cheap land and cell costs. Unlimited incoming and outgoing voice for $50-$70. Unlimited data for $20-$30 more. Overseas, people have to spend mega dollars/Euros etc. to account for the cost of incoming calls. It seems strange that it costs a caller in London, Madrid, and everywhere else 5 to 10 times more to call a cell phone 1 km away that it does to call my cell in the U.S.
That's why, in the U.S., the number of landlines has drastically fallen the past several years. Individual households are going cellular only.
Well aren't the high rates outside NA to call mobile phones due to their calling party pays system (as opposed to the bill & keep in the US & Canada)? Wouldn't that explain it at least partially? The high rates themselves may explain why SMS caught on long before it did in the US.
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snidely (Offline)
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Default 31-01-2010, 00:53

Many users overseas think they have "unlimited free incoming calls". Many choose to ignore they are hooribly expensive. The cost, though, doesn't show on their cell bill. It shows up on their home or office bills.
Your statement about the early popularity of SMS in Europe is definitely true. Now that SMS is popular in the U.S. - all the carriers have raised rates, significantly. It is a real cash cow for them now. You can send and receive unlimited amounts of data via email and web browsing for about $25. I think most carriers now charge $10-$15 for unlimited SMS where only a minuscule amount of data is involved - even if you are a kid doing 100/day!
I added a 400 SMS pkg to my plan for $5 last month because, now, even businesses are making some use of it. For the 3 or 4 a month I was getting, 20 cents each was fine. Now i'm getting a couple a day and even sending a few each month. Airlines have been using it for awhile to let you know the latest info about delays etc.
More and more business types are using their cell as the primary means of communication here. You couldn't do that in the rest of the world where it costs 15 cents/min to call a cell number.
...mike


Make use of T-M's UMA/wifi free calling from any place in the world with access to wifi. I use an LG G6, wife an S7)
A/o Oct 20, 2013 no need for intl prepaid as T-Mobile U.S. includes voice roaming at 20/min (in and out)., unlimited text (in and out), and unlimited data in 140+ countries.

My Plan -[6 lines] U.S. T-Mobile unlimited minutes (incoming and outgoing), unlimited text, fast data on each line. that $145/mo. total! . (In U.S. no surcharge for calling a cell.) If a line exceeds 2G of data in a month, pay $10 more for that line. [That only happens a couple times/year.
   
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andy (Offline)
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Default 31-01-2010, 02:56

Quote:
Originally Posted by snidely View Post
... Unlimited incoming and outgoing voice for $50-$70. Unlimited data for $20-$30 more. Overseas, people have to spend mega dollars/Euros etc. to account for the cost of incoming calls. It seems strange that it costs a caller in London, Madrid, and everywhere else 5 to 10 times more to call a cell phone 1 km away that it does to call my cell in the U.S.
Is it so much more expensive here?

We don't pay for incoming calls

... unless roaming in another country. If we are roaming, we have cheaper rates in Europe than most Americans get.

I could have bought 800 minutes and 1600 texts and free internet for 11.67 a month, if not bothering with a new phone. I didn't, as I was offered something cheaper for a year. Do you use much more than that for your $70 to $100? If so, double those minutes and texts for another 10 a month. Data is included free on most SIM-only contracts from about 20 a month

Or on prepaid, from 8p a minute for mobile to mobile. Is that 5 to 10 times a typical prepaid rate on US SIMs, especially when you count both ends paying?

The cheapest mobile broadband deal I can see in the UK at the moment would cost a VAT-registered business 1 a month. Ok, it's not unlimited, but 500 MB a month.

By all means slag off the costs of mobile use here, but at least rely on facts

Quote:
Originally Posted by snidely View Post
Many users overseas think they have "unlimited free incoming calls". Many choose to ignore they are hooribly expensive. The cost, though, doesn't show on their cell bill. It shows up on their home or office bills.
Someone can get a free SIM card with 5 included credit, and use it for incoming calls forever, for no cost whatsoever.

The bill for outgoing calls from my landline for the past 3 months is under 2. I can leave a mobile at home which calls mine free, and other mobile networks at 8p/min; zero credit used in 2 months

One mobile network offers a landline number option on business mobile contracts. Using call forwarding to well-chosen other SIM cards, and certain callback providers, it would be possible to use this to make free calls from about 120 countries. Ok, that combined possibility is rare if not unique at the moment. But for anyone, roaming SIMs based on territories not far from here, for which you've been forecasting imminent closure for ages, can offer people roaming calls from about 20 pence a minute.

Perhaps it's time for you to stop going on about how backward telecoms are in the rest of the world, please. I don't see any need for you to use an AT&T $65 a month roaming data package here.

Last edited by andy; 31-01-2010 at 03:23..
   
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adam917 (Offline)
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Default 31-01-2010, 04:06

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Originally Posted by andy View Post
Is it so much more expensive here?

We don't pay for incoming calls

... unless roaming in another country. If we are roaming, we have cheaper rates in Europe than most Americans get.

I could have bought 800 minutes and 1600 texts and free internet for 11.67 a month, if not bothering with a new phone. I didn't, as I was offered something cheaper for a year. Do you use much more than that for your $70 to $100? If so, double those minutes and texts for another 10 a month. Data is included free on most SIM-only contracts from about 20 a month

Or on prepaid, from 8p a minute for mobile to mobile. Is that 5 to 10 times a typical prepaid rate on US SIMs, especially when you count both ends paying?

The cheapest mobile broadband deal I can see in the UK at the moment would cost a VAT-registered business 1 a month. Ok, it's not unlimited, but 500 MB a month.

By all means slag off the costs of mobile use here, but at least rely on facts



Someone can get a free SIM card with 5 included credit, and use it for incoming calls forever, for no cost whatsoever.

The bill for outgoing calls from my landline for the past 3 months is under 2. I can leave a mobile at home which calls mine free, and other mobile networks at 8p/min; zero credit used in 2 months

One mobile network offers a landline number option on business mobile contracts. Using call forwarding to well-chosen other SIM cards, and certain callback providers, it would be possible to use this to make free calls from about 120 countries. Ok, that combined possibility is rare if not unique at the moment. But for anyone, roaming SIMs based on territories not far from here, for which you've been forecasting imminent closure for ages, can offer people roaming calls from about 20 pence a minute.

Perhaps it's time for you to stop going on about how backward telecoms are in the rest of the world, please. I don't see any need for you to use an AT&T $65 a month roaming data package here.
Right on the money. The sucky thing here is most users are forced to get a package for messaging if they want to use it at all because you pay for incoming messages. For this reason, some very light or high ratio incoming : outgoing SMS, users may be better off here with a roaming SIM as those almost never charge for incoming SMS.

I think in the US what's going to happen is eventually the operators are going to get everyone on the unlimited bandwagon for all services (voice, messaging, & data), then up prices once again so they are eventually getting more money from each person (higher ARPU). Though given what Verizon is talking about what with metered billing for LTE data, perhaps that may not be the case. If users are going to eventually just have a data bill that covers all types of use but isn't itself unlimited or having a very high cap like above 100 GB, then they may pay widely varying rates if they use more MB/GB/TB per month than other months. Most Internet users don't have a concept of how much bandwidth they use every day/week/month and even if they did, it likely varies over time.
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snidely (Offline)
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Default 31-01-2010, 04:32

Andy -
I do agree I don't need to use a $65/mo roaming package I don't travel enough or use that much data. I just mentioned it here because it might be of use to heavy travelers.
Maybe you can enlighten me. Assume a moderately heavy user runs 3000 minutes a month. (Heavy business users here often run over 5000. Assume that half are incoming, half are outgoing. Am I correct that someone - the user's home, office (his office if he forwards his land business line to his cell when out) - is paying for that call. What would the total cost be of 1500 minutes placed to that cell?
"Unlimited" data plans here run about $20-%30/mo. Virtually all carriers put a "soft cap" on that unlimited - 5GB/mo. After that they "throttle back" the speed you get. I think T-Mobile gives you 10GB before a throttle back. Those of us w. BBerry service have the same limits on data, I belive. The data, I believe, is routed thru RIM's servers.
So enlighten me. Give me the cost of a BBerry user, making 1500 min. outgoing, paying for 1500 min. incoming, and 2GB of data on top of his BB email.
If I read you correctly, data might be cheaper there. Oh - how about SMS? I know incoming is free there. We "pay" both in and out - but unlimited pakgs. are about $15. Those w.o. an SMS plan pay 15-20 cents each in and out.

I raised the unlimited data plan here - because I thought the techies here could figure out a way to make voice calls via the data connection. If that is possible, it definitely would pay a whole lot of people to get that plan.

Voice rates here have plummeted in the past 2 years. If you were on one of the 2 high priced carriers (att and verizon), a heavy voice user was paying well over $200/mo. About a year ago, they both came out w. unlimited plans for $100. T-Mobile dropped that to $50 for long time users. Then a couple months ago, T-M gave that $50 rate to everyone. This past month, the big 2 dropped unlimited voice to $70/mo. (That's the retail rate. Businesses get various discounts.)

...mike


Make use of T-M's UMA/wifi free calling from any place in the world with access to wifi. I use an LG G6, wife an S7)
A/o Oct 20, 2013 no need for intl prepaid as T-Mobile U.S. includes voice roaming at 20/min (in and out)., unlimited text (in and out), and unlimited data in 140+ countries.

My Plan -[6 lines] U.S. T-Mobile unlimited minutes (incoming and outgoing), unlimited text, fast data on each line. that $145/mo. total! . (In U.S. no surcharge for calling a cell.) If a line exceeds 2G of data in a month, pay $10 more for that line. [That only happens a couple times/year.
   
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Stu (Offline)
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Default 08-02-2010, 03:53

I'm jumping into this message late so my clarifications may be a day late and a dollar short. The unlimited data packages for the iPhone and Blackberry apply to most countries, not just the UK. I've said many times before that prepaids in the UK were one of the UK's few bargains.

I pack a contract U.S. Blackberry with an unlimited international plan and an unlocked Nokia E66 fully equipped with VOIP software, Jokuspot, a hacked copy of the Skype for 3 designed to run on non-3 phones, a credit card dialing app outlined elsewhere, and a few other tricks. My Blackberry has an web app to trigger call backs, an SMS program, various entertainment apps, push e-mail, a BES account, and some programs to work with my notebook. Unless I'm going to the UK or the UAE, I usually arrive in the E66 with a roaming SIM in my E66.

Sometimes it is not that easy to get prepaid data in a country. I know the Canadian market pretty well and haven't gound great solutions. Wind Canada and Dave may change this, but I'll an AWS 1700mhz card for that to work. Canada is still hooked on three year contracts and wants contracts for data (for a period of years) even if you have a contract cell phone.

In some countries, you need to go through a fair amount of red tape or hide behind a front person to get a prepaid data card (or voice), e.g. Russia, Japan, India, and Egypt. A prepaid SIM card in the Bahamas will cost US$100 for the SIM card and then they will rob you on the data.

If you travel abroad a fair amount, you can go through effectively unlimited data whereever you visit. You are not supposed to jailbreak and turn your iPhone into a wifi hotspot or use a program like June Fabric's PDANet or Tether, but if you check many forums, people do everywhere without a problem. Because the iPhone is a data pig, ATT had to exclude a few of the highest priced roaming countries (e.g. Saudi Arabia), but I believe even Russia is included.

In many countries, you'll pay $30 a day for hotel wifi. One day where you don't by the wifi pays the Blackberry or iPhone international subscription. This summer, I'm touring South Africa and won't have wifi for many days. I have an MTN prepaid SIM and could get a gig of data for apx $30 that I could legally use on my laptop, but will probably be able to get buy with my above plan.

I presume my comment about a callback device doesn't require much discussion. I have an Asterisks box and worked out a way to do my own callbacks using a simple web app. This has provided very cheap callback calls. Additionally, I popped for the Skype to Asterisks connector meaning in countries with the Skype for 3 plans, I have have unlimited calls to/from my Asterisks box.

I use Google Voice for unlimited texting to the US and use Fishtext for my foreign texting. Google Voice seems to have no problem receiving text from abroad and will soon be changing Fishtext to spoof my Google Voice number instead of my underlying US Mobile.

My wife is out of the country all the time and her company pays for her Blackberry plan. My plan is more of an extravagance but I can't cancel it because I'm grandfathered.

Shape Services has managed to get Skype working on a Blackberry over data. It will be released to 3g very shortly. iCall works over 3g on an iPhone and lets you make free calls to the UK and very cheap calls to other places. Acrobis just released a SIP client that works over 3g and has push notification of inbound calls over 3g. If you are willing to put up with VOIP calls sometimes imperfect call quality, you are getting effectively unlimited worldwide calls plus e-mail, tons of on device data entertainment, and much more for this fee.

My joke about Vlad is that he has tweaked his VOIP over 3g far more than I have. I've got it working ok, but it is not perfect.

Stu

PS: Andy, if I lived in the UK I could probably survive with a 3 SIM with Skype and 5 quid on it for years.

Last edited by Stu; 08-02-2010 at 04:06..
   
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