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16GB/3G data/$685 iPhone for Germany in November (Page 2)
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CharlesS
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Sep 9, 2007, 06:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
Saying that they charge differently because they have different business models is a tautology. It's absolutely true, and it explains nothing, and there is absolutely no inherent reason why it shouldn't be different.
That's true, but there's also no inherent reason why they have to be the same.

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analogika
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Sep 9, 2007, 07:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
That's true, but there's also no inherent reason why they have to be the same.
You mean apart from the fact that they're both phone services, and as such have pretty much every relevant business aspect in common from the end-user perspective (who's ostensibly the one in control, as he holds the wallet)?
     
TETENAL
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Sep 9, 2007, 08:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
Saying that they charge differently because they have different business models is a tautology. It's absolutely true, and it explains nothing, and there is absolutely no inherent reason why it shouldn't be different.
I can sort of understand the reasoning. In the USA all calls are to landline sort of. The mobile numbers have area prefixes for cities. So the caller only pays for a regular landline call. The called person pays for the service of forwarding that local call to his mobile phone.

So this American speciality came because some genius thought it was a good idea to have an area prefix for a mobile phone. In Germany mobile phones don't have area prefixes, they have a prefix of one of the mobile phone providers (which makes more sense actually since a mobile phone can be anywhere after all). So the caller is calling "to mobile", then he pays all of the bill (except when the called person is in a foreign country, then it falls back to the American system of splitting the bill).
     
jokell82
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Sep 9, 2007, 08:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by TETENAL View Post
I can sort of understand the reasoning. In the USA all calls are to landline sort of. The mobile numbers have area prefixes for cities. So the caller only pays for a regular landline call. The called person pays for the service of forwarding that local call to his mobile phone.

So this American speciality came because some genius thought it was a good idea to have an area prefix for a mobile phone. In Germany mobile phones don't have area prefixes, they have a prefix of one of the mobile phone providers (which makes more sense actually since a mobile phone can be anywhere after all). So the caller is calling "to mobile", then he pays all of the bill (except when the called person is in a foreign country, then it falls back to the American system of splitting the bill).
Well they'd have to have some sort of 3 digit prefix in order to work with our existing phone system. That would limit each prefix to under 10 million subscribers (and with banned numbers, including 555- numbers, the actual count would be much lower). Considering Verizon has over 60 million subscribers, they'd have to have *at least* 6 different prefixes for just their service.

It makes more sense to just use the area codes.

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TETENAL
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Sep 9, 2007, 08:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by jokell82 View Post
Well they'd have to have some sort of 3 digit prefix in order to work with our existing phone system. That would limit each prefix to under 10 million subscribers.
I'm not sure I follow. Do phone numbers have to be of any fixed length?
     
CharlesS
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Sep 9, 2007, 09:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
You mean apart from the fact that they're both phone services, and as such have pretty much every relevant business aspect in common from the end-user perspective (who's ostensibly the one in control, as he holds the wallet)?
Vonage is also a phone service, and also shares most business aspects with landline telephones. And it offers unlimited phone service, both incoming and outgoing, local and long-distance. Should it have to change to the landline plan and charge long distance fees simply so it can work exactly the same way? Or should landlines and cell phones be forced to switch to Vonage's business model?

Different services work differently because they have differences in infrastructure. Cell phone towers are way easier to overload than other phone services, causing everyone to get "Network Busy" errors if too many people are using their cell phones at once. Therefore, cell phones are going to have more limits on how many minutes a person can use on the system per month. I expect that as the technology improves (for example, when legacy technologies like GSM get completely replaced by newer technologies such as UMTS that have improved capacity), the number of minutes per month on the cell phone plans will likely increase as well. I would hope that the minutes never become unlimited, though, because then you know what will happen - some lobbyists for big businesses will go talk some lawmakers into removing the ban on telemarketing to cell phones since they would no longer cost people any money. I'd much prefer that the number of minutes allotted gradually increase until they reach some number high enough that you'd have little practical chance of going over it, but you'd still technically be paying for telemarketing calls, keeping them nice and illegal.
( Last edited by CharlesS; Sep 10, 2007 at 07:25 AM. )

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icruise
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Sep 9, 2007, 09:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
I expect that as the technology improves (for example, when legacy technologies like GSM get completely replaced by newer technologies such as UMTS that have improved capacity), the number of minutes per month on the cell phone plans will likely increase as well.
You seem to be laboring under the assumption that the number of minutes we are given in our monthly packages has some direct connection to the actual costs involved in running and maintaining a cellular network. I'm not convinced that's the case. Yes, there's a connection there somewhere, but my guess is that the number of minutes offered by cell phone companies has a lot more to do with what people are willing to pay than the actual costs of running the networks. I wonder if anyone has done a comparison of the number of minutes and cost of cellular plans over a number of years to see if there's any relationship between improvements in technology or networks and the costs/minutes involved on the customer's side.
     
jokell82
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Sep 9, 2007, 09:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by TETENAL View Post
I'm not sure I follow. Do phone numbers have to be of any fixed length?
Yes. In the US, it's 10 digits (not including the "1" country code).

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
It's probably also a lot more expensive for the telcos to bombard every square meter of the surface of the earth that has land on it with a wireless signal than it is just to run wires to places.
Woah woah woah. You think it's more expensive to put up a single tower to cover a 10 mile radius than it is to hard wire every single building in that same area??? Seriously???

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CharlesS
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Sep 10, 2007, 02:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by icruise View Post
You seem to be laboring under the assumption that the number of minutes we are given in our monthly packages has some direct connection to the actual costs involved in running and maintaining a cellular network. I'm not convinced that's the case. Yes, there's a connection there somewhere, but my guess is that the number of minutes offered by cell phone companies has a lot more to do with what people are willing to pay than the actual costs of running the networks. I wonder if anyone has done a comparison of the number of minutes and cost of cellular plans over a number of years to see if there's any relationship between improvements in technology or networks and the costs/minutes involved on the customer's side.
Well, the thing is that if it's feasible for the carriers to offer more minutes, then at some point, one carrier* will do it in order to compete with the other ones. Then the other ones will have to up their minutes to stay competitive.

*other than T-Mobile, of course, which the other telcos don't seem to consider a serious threat due to its focus on urban areas making it somewhat of a niche player.
( Last edited by CharlesS; Sep 10, 2007 at 07:24 AM. )

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Simon
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Sep 10, 2007, 03:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by jokell82 View Post
It makes more sense to just use the area codes.
Carrier codes are the same thing as area codes: three digits. But since cell phones can be anywhere, it makes more sense to give it a code that doesn't tie it to a certain area. AT&T could use 20 carrier codes for their cell phones (I guess you agree that 200 million subscribers should be enough for them) and it still would make more sense than giving me any area code where I happened to buy the card. Like that 415 area code I used all the time in NC just because I happened to buy the phone while I was in the SF Bay Area.

The European system of using carrier codes for cell phones rather than tying cell phones to landline area codes makes much more sense.
     
analogika
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Sep 10, 2007, 03:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
It's probably also a lot more expensive for the telcos to bombard every square meter of the surface of the earth that has land on it with a wireless signal than it is just to run wires to places.


No.

Like, WAAAAY "no".

The major difference is that the billions of dollars' worth of hard-wired infrastructure was created back when telco was a state-run affair, so it was tax money, not private business investment.
     
CharlesS
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Sep 10, 2007, 07:24 AM
 
Yeah, you're probably right.

I erased it - please discuss the rest of the post as that was peripheral anyway.

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TETENAL
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Sep 10, 2007, 09:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by jokell82 View Post
Yes. In the US, it's 10 digits (not including the "1" country code).
My (rhetorical) question was: does it have to be that way? After the prefix assigned to a mobile phone carrier there could follow an arbitrary number of numbers behind that. Make it 9 (total of 12 numbers for mobile phone numbers) and each carrier has room for 1 billion numbers for example.
     
jokell82
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Sep 10, 2007, 09:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Carrier codes are the same thing as area codes: three digits. But since cell phones can be anywhere, it makes more sense to give it a code that doesn't tie it to a certain area. AT&T could use 20 carrier codes for their cell phones (I guess you agree that 200 million subscribers should be enough for them) and it still would make more sense than giving me any area code where I happened to buy the card. Like that 415 area code I used all the time in NC just because I happened to buy the phone while I was in the SF Bay Area.

The European system of using carrier codes for cell phones rather than tying cell phones to landline area codes makes much more sense.
It has nothing to do with where you purchased the phone, but where your billing address is. So if you bought a phone on vacation in the SF Bay area, you would've still received a NC area code if you used the proper billing address to sign up.

Area codes make just as much since as "carrier codes" - only instead of *always* dialing a carrier code I can skip it for local cell phone users.

Originally Posted by TETENAL View Post
My (rhetorical) question was: does it have to be that way? After the prefix assigned to a mobile phone carrier there could follow an arbitrary number of numbers behind that. Make it 9 (total of 12 numbers for mobile phone numbers) and each carrier has room for 1 billion numbers for example.
Yes it does, without a complete overhaul of the US telephone system.

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chadpengar
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Sep 14, 2007, 03:36 PM
 
In the US, there is not an additional charge to call a mobile phone. Ie, if you pay at all (not being a local number for example), you pay the same amount to call that phone whether it is a landline or a call phone. In Europe for example you usually have metered calls?? and you pay more to call a mobile than a landline. Here, your mobile minutes are for calls RECEIVED or INITIATED, as someone has to pay for the airtime.

One reason may be technical. Most places I have seen in Europe give a different "city code" for mobile phones, so that they know when you call a mobile phone. Mobile phones in the US are generally assigned in the same area codes as landlines so the calling party/system may not know that it is a mobile being called. And generally phone service for local calls is unmetered so you do not pay per-minute to call anyone locally from your landline (and with things like vonage or packet8 you do not pay per minute to call anywhere in the US and a few other places).

Because most phone plans give you a billion minutes anyway, and often have free or extra minutes on weekends and evenings, it is not an issue. I know I never get near my 1000 minutes and I am sharing that with the wife and some other family members on a family plan (who admittedly don't use the cell much).
     
analogika
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Sep 14, 2007, 05:54 PM
 
We have different prefix codes for mobile networks, yes, but many cellphone carriers offer "homezone" features, where if you're within a certain area (a couple of square kilometers), you're reachable via a landline phone number with the regular area prefix.

Else, the voicemail answers, just as an Answerphone would if you weren't home.
     
pheonixash
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Sep 20, 2007, 01:09 AM
 
Well the flyer turned out to be bogus, but it is T-Mobile for Germany!

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Sep 28, 2007, 01:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by chadpengar View Post
Because most phone plans give you a billion minutes anyway, and often have free or extra minutes on weekends and evenings, it is not an issue. I know I never get near my 1000 minutes and I am sharing that with the wife and some other family members on a family plan (who admittedly don't use the cell much).
The downside seems to be that you have to get a plan with minutes and there's a high monthly fee attached. The fixed monthly fee for my phone contract is 0€, I don't pay for receiving calls and I get a homezone number with a local area prefix that others can call cheaply. My monthly mobile phone bill is consistently under 5 €.
Fixed monthly costs of 60 € per month for an iPhone are out of the question for me. I'd rather get an iPod touch (free after 6 months if you think about it) and keep my current phone. Takes up less space in my pocket too.
     
analogika
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Sep 28, 2007, 04:36 PM
 
As it stands now, if they work out a similar contract deal here as in the U.S. and the U.K. (we'll see - Germany has the most insane pricing schemes for mobile telecom in the whole of Europe), I'd actually *save* enough monthly to re-coup the iPhone over the course of just under a year...
     
TETENAL
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Sep 29, 2007, 05:01 PM
 
I guess it all depends on whether you can make use of a data flat on your phone. If you can then the US prices might be all right. But if you can't then the monthly prices are insanely expensive. In my case it would increase my mobile phone bill by more than factor 10. That's not going to happen for me. Maybe worth it for business, but to be a mass market product the data flat needs to come down to under 15 € I think.
     
Thraxes
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Sep 29, 2007, 09:36 PM
 
Well looking at the spec sheet on t-mobile.de there doesn't seem to be any 3G support, just EDGE

Add to that the big question mark hovering over the homebrew iPhone apps scene, I think I will pass on this generation iPhone and just stick to my regular iPod and get a Nokia E61i instead... sorry Apple - my money is going to Finland.
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analogika
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Sep 30, 2007, 05:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by Thraxes View Post
Well looking at the spec sheet on t-mobile.de there doesn't seem to be any 3G support, just EDGE

Add to that the big question mark hovering over the homebrew iPhone apps scene, I think I will pass on this generation iPhone and just stick to my regular iPod and get a Nokia E61i instead... sorry Apple - my money is going to Finland.
The T-Mobile contracts will also include free access to ALL T-online WLAN hotspots, making UMTS less of a necessity in urban areas. On cross-country tours and in rural areas, UMTS is useless anyway, so EDGE is the way to go there.

And do yourself just a brief favor and figure out when your local GRAVIS store has a demo model there, and take a look at it in person.

It really is *that* good, I'm afraid.
     
mechwarrior2005
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Sep 30, 2007, 03:32 PM
 
Just found this site that is nothing but a comment thread with people that don't enjoy their ipods and whine to the world about it.
i hate my iPod


"This is good. I hate ipods too. People who buy ipods only buy them to look cool. N3rD 4 L1f3."

Well, how neat...
     
Thraxes
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Oct 1, 2007, 10:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
The T-Mobile contracts will also include free access to ALL T-online WLAN hotspots, making UMTS less of a necessity in urban areas.
...
It really is *that* good, I'm afraid.
Hmmm... OK, if the T-Online hotspots are all freely accessible, the missing UMTS becomes a non-issue - especially here in the Rhein Main area.

But I really really want to see what happens to the 3rd party apps. Games are not my main interest here (have a Nintendo-DS for that) but stuff like a terminal so I can SSH to my servers, VNC or even RDC for the Windows boxen, IM client for ICQ & Jabber, SIP client for VOIP and so on. Usefull stuff in other words, not just fun and games, and all available on Symbian and Windows mobile.

So while I believe you when you say the UI of the iPhone is really neat and leaps and bounds above Symbian and WinMob, functionality of what a smart-phone SHOULD be able to do falls way short if 3rd party development gets "cat and moused" with every firmware update. I will tolerate ho-hum usability if the functionality is superior - hey, I use Linux quite a lot

But it will be Jan. 2008 by the time I will be getting a new phone - lots can happen until then - who knows, an official SDK perhaps??
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analogika
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Oct 1, 2007, 03:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thraxes View Post
So while I believe you when you say the UI of the iPhone is really neat and leaps and bounds above Symbian and WinMob, functionality of what a smart-phone SHOULD be able to do falls way short if 3rd party development gets "cat and moused" with every firmware update. I will tolerate ho-hum usability if the functionality is superior - hey, I use Linux quite a lot
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