> Fortunately, the phone package that I'm on means that I don't pay for
> *ANY* calls to landlines in the UK, both locally and nationally, but I
> do have to pay for calls to mobiles
Generally things work the opposite way in the US: for the most part,
mobile to mobile calls (as long as the mobnile sare on the same
carrier) are free and unlimited depending on the calling you are on.
Calls to or from a landline landline are charged against the minute
"bucket" of the plan you've subscribed unless the call is made during
a night or weekend.
Those in Europe don't understand this concept very well, but that's
mainly due to the differences in culture developed by our differing
economies. In the US, people are accustomed to (and find it easier
to) expect a predictable monthly charge that they pay up front and are
thusly guaranteed that as long as they stay within the parameters of
their calling plan, will not be charged anything else. This is an
extension of the unlimited-local-calling concept in the US: users of
landline phones can call anyone they choose in a local calling area
for as long as they wish, without incurring any metered usage rates.
Recently, this unlimited concept has extended to include any call
within the US, on certain phone rate plans. So naturally, they expect
similar pricing structures with mobile phones.
My mobile plan, for instance, costs $35 a month and I am alloted 300
minutes (the "bucket") for making or receiving calls during peak hours
(during business days). During evenings or weekends, I can talk to
whomever I like, anywhere in the US, for as long as I choose, and the
calls do not count against that bucket of minutes. Calls to other
mobiles on the Sprint network also do not count against the bucket.
Considering I can rack up "off peak" and "mobile only" calls that
exceed 1,000 minutes every month, this plan is highly reasonable and
far less expensive than any pay-as-you-go plan, as is common in the
Of course, most US plans penalize you severely if you do happen to
exceed your alotted minute "bucket." Though they are also working to
make this easier for people (for example, I have an arragement with
Sprint where if I happen to make more than 300 minutes worth of calls
to landline phones during the daytime, exceeding the "bucket," my
carrier will automatically "bump" my plan to the next highest bucket,
400 minutes, for an additional $5, and then revert me to the lower
300-minute "bucket" when the new billing cycle takes effect).
The calling-party-pays metered usage concept was tried in the US a few
years back, but it was never successful. People were just as happy to
NOT call a cellular phone that would charge them a premium to connect
to. As a result, the mobile carriers that tried it never generated
any revenue, and went out of business or switched to subscriber-paid
"bucket" plans in short order.
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