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Message Digest 
Volume 28 : Issue 254 : "text" Format

Messages in this Issue:
  Re: AT&T Relents, Drops Paging Instructions from Voicemail   
  Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment 
  Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment  	
  Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment    
  Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment      
  Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment 
  Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment     
  Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment       
  Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment         
  Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment   
  Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment          
  Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment   
  Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment     
  Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment   
  Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment       
  Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment     
  Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment   
  Re: Dr. James Marsters, TTY deaf service developer 
  Guess What Texting Costs Your Wireless Provider? 


====== 28 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ====== Telecom and VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) Digest for the Internet. All contents here are copyrighted by Patrick Townson and the individual writers/correspondents. Articles may be used in other journals or newsgroups, provided the writer's name and the Digest are included in the fair use quote. By using -any name or email address- included herein for -any- reason other than responding to an article herein, you agree to pay a hundred dollars to the recipients of the email. =========================== Addresses herein are not to be added to any mailing list, nor to be sold or given away without explicit written consent. Chain letters, viruses, porn, spam, and miscellaneous junk are definitely unwelcome. We must fight spam for the same reason we fight crime: not because we are naive enough to believe that we will ever stamp it out, but because we do not want the kind of world that results when no one stands against crime. Geoffrey Welsh =========================== See the bottom of this issue for subscription and archive details and the name of our lawyer, and other stuff of interest. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sun, 13 Sep 2009 04:16:37 -0400 From: tlvp <mPiOsUcB.EtLlLvEp@att.net> To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Re: AT&T Relents, Drops Paging Instructions from Voicemail Message-ID: <op.uz6rxzpwo63xbg@acer250.gateway.2wire.net> On Sat, 12 Sep 2009 19:13:29 -0400, Joseph Singer <joeofseattle@yahoo.com> wrote: > Thu, 10 Sep 2009 22:29:02 -0400 tlvp <mPiOsUcB.EtLlLvEp@att.net> wrote: > >> Monty Solomon wrote: >>> AT&T Relents, Drops Paging Instructions from Voicemail >> >> Now if T-Mobile will back down from their newly instituted fee of >> $1.50/month for mailing out our monthly paper billing statements, >> I'll really start to believe in consumer power :-) . > > You need to keep up :) > >http://tmotoday.com/blogs/william/09/11/2009/t-mobile-backs-down-paper-billing-charge Hey, THANK YOU, Joseph! (But is it fair to imply, with your "keep up" remark, that I should have known on 10 Sep what only got announced on 11 Sep?) No matter: that's great news! Thanks for making me aware of it, and giving my belief in consumer power a much-needed boost :-) . And cheers, -- tlvp -- Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP ------------------------------ Date: 13 Sep 2009 13:35:52 -0000 From: John Levine <johnl@iecc.com> To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment Message-ID: <20090913133552.1796.qmail@simone.iecc.com> >Take what happened to P. Morgan Brown when his wife decided to take a >spur-of-the-moment vacation to Indonesia. Too bad she happened to be in one of the handful of countries that has a mobile network compatible with Verizon's. Also, to run up an $8,000 phone bill even at $1.75/minute or $2.50/SMS would require being on the phone for over 75 hours, or sending over 3000 text messages. If her trip was a week long that's 10 hours/day on the phone. I suppose it might have been data fees but you'd still have to download hours of video to spend that much. Her husband commented: "What a waste of money." No s***, Sherlock. R's, John ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 13 Sep 2009 13:07:49 -0500 From: John Mayson <john@mayson.us> To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment Message-ID: <6645152a0909131107v135f3528xc81d1d2a70616e3d@mail.gmail.com> On Sun, Sep 13, 2009 at 8:35 AM, John Levine <johnl@iecc.com> wrote: > > Also, to run up an $8,000 phone bill even at $1.75/minute or $2.50/SMS > would require being on the phone for over 75 hours, or sending over > 3000 text messages. ¬ If her trip was a week long that's 10 hours/day > on the phone. ¬ I suppose it might have been data fees but you'd stil l > have to download hours of video to spend that much. I was just about to point this one out. Maybe it's because I know more about telephones than the average consumer. But I still think it's common knowledge that cell phone fees outside of the country are astronomical. And as John pointed out, racking up an $8k bill is no easy feat. Don't people travel to exotic locales to get away from it all? John -- John Mayson <john@mayson.us> Austin, Texas, USA ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 13 Sep 2009 17:44:33 -0700 (PDT) From: hancock4@bbs.cpcn.com To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment Message-ID: <b5d0b457-018c-4049-8d7c-ecd891c2c264@v36g2000yqv.googlegroups.com> On Sep 13, 5:53†pm, John Mayson <j...@mayson.us> wrote: > Maybe it's because I know more about telephones than the average > consumer. †But I still think it's common knowledge that cell phone > fees outside of the country are astronomical. †And as John pointed > out, racking up an $8k bill is no easy feat. †Don't people travel to > exotic locales to get away from it all? It's very possible the actual bill wasn't that high and there's more to the story than we know. I'm not at all sure that it's "common knowledge" among ordinary consumers that cellphone charges out of the country can be significantly higher than here. Rates and charges are so complex these days it's very hard for ordinary consumers to keep up with them. Remember, many carriers do not provide itemized call lists anymore. ***** Moderator's Note ***** Taking a cell phone to a foreign country without regard to the rates and charges which will apply is like travelling without vaccinations: if someone wants to be a candidate for the Darwin Award, that's their business, but they shouldn't come to the hospital crying about how they didn't know plague still exists. In like manner, Americans venturing abroad with radio transceivers should not come crying to the press about a cellular bill, just because they didn't realize that a foreign government might not care how much they assumed that foreign telecommunications networks, policies, or charges are "just like us". Bill Horne ------------------------------ Date: Mon, 14 Sep 2009 01:17:30 -0500 From: Dave Garland <dave.garland@wizinfo.com> To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment Message-ID: <SuCdnb8_MLECQjDXnZ2dnUVZ_uadnZ2d@posted.visi> > ***** Moderator's Note ***** > In like manner, Americans venturing abroad with radio transceivers > should not come crying to the press about a cellular bill, just > because they didn't realize that a foreign government might not care > how much they assumed that foreign telecommunications networks, > policies, or charges are "just like us". Sadly, I've met people who did not realize that their cell phones were radio transceivers. Even though they had noticed that there was no wire. Dave ***** Moderator's Note ***** A fool and his money were lucky to get together in the first place. ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 13 Sep 2009 13:44:05 -0700 (PDT) From: Joseph Singer <joeofseattle@yahoo.com> To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment Message-ID: <947169.97340.qm@web52702.mail.re2.yahoo.com> Sat, 12 Sep 2009 08:22:45 -0400 Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> quoted an article: > Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment > > By Christopher Elliott > Tribune Media Services > > (Tribune Media Services) -- When it comes to "gotcha" fees, the > cellular phone industry makes travel companies look like rank > amateurs. > > Take what happened to P. Morgan Brown when his wife decided to take a > spur-of-the-moment vacation to Indonesia. > > Her Verizon bill came to a staggering $8,000. Text-messages home cost > an astounding $2.50 each and the meter was running at an eye-popping > $1.75 a minute for phone calls. It's too bad that this person got the huge bills but I don't feel that sorry for anyone who just "goes" somewhere with a device that has the potential to run up huge bills without investigating what their travel with their device is going to cost them. I am well aware of the high cost of roaming and data roaming charges and that's why I get prepaid SIMs when I visit other countries and if someone calls me on my own number I have that covered too since I have my calls forwarded to my foreign number. I use the Kall8 service, but there are others that work as well such as VoiceStick. ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 13 Sep 2009 06:42:03 -0700 From: Sam Spade <sam@coldmail.com> To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment Message-ID: <ME6rm.34793$u76.12165@newsfe10.iad> hancock4@bbs.cpcn.com wrote: > Calling "customer service" can mean a long wait and inaccurate > infomration from an overseas based automaton. (If anyone knows a good > way to easily find out landline and cell phone special rates please > share it with us.) > Isn't this a case where prudent planning can go a long way? I'm thinking in terms of calling customer service before I leave home, and going over my travel plans with them. Perhaps getting a supervisor's name if there is any hint of a run around? They are the folks who finally do the billing. ***** Moderator's Note ***** Please write up a report of your experiences and submit it here: I'm very interested in seeing how you're received when you make that request. ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 13 Sep 2009 09:30:54 -0500 From: Dave Garland <dave.garland@wizinfo.com> To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment Message-ID: <1NKdnbHwE-denDDXnZ2dnUVZ_gudnZ2d@posted.visi> Sam Spade wrote: > Isn't this a case where prudent planning can go a long way? I'm > thinking in terms of calling customer service before I leave home, and > going over my travel plans with them. Perhaps getting a supervisor's > name if there is any hint of a run around? They are the folks who > finally do the billing. > > ***** Moderator's Note ***** > > Please write up a report of your experiences and submit it here: I'm > very interested in seeing how you're received when you make that > request. If you are in a state where to do so is legal, I'd suggest recording the call, so you'll have irrefutable proof of what they told you. Dave ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 13 Sep 2009 12:13:23 -0700 From: Sam Spade <sam@coldmail.com> To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment Message-ID: <nvbrm.29487$nP6.393@newsfe25.iad> Dave Garland wrote: > Sam Spade wrote: > > >> Isn't this a case where prudent planning can go a long way? I'm >> thinking in terms of calling customer service before I leave home, >> and going over my travel plans with them. Perhaps getting a >> supervisor's name if there is any hint of a run around? They are >> the folks who finally do the billing. >> >> ***** Moderator's Note ***** >> >> Please write up a report of your experiences and submit it here: >> I'm very interested in seeing how you're received when you make >> that request. > > If you are in a state where to do so is legal, I'd suggest recording > the call, so you'll have irrefutable proof of what they told you. Or, the old lawyer trick. Put your recollections in writing and send to the top dog, stating the purpose of the letter, a detailed statement of the information provided to you by rep "Jones at 10:55 AM, PDT, August 16, 2009. Conclude the letter by saying, "Please let me know by mail or telephone if you disagree with my statement of the facts as set forth in this letter." ***** Moderator's Note ***** I don't think you need to involve an attorney: keep in mind that top executives deal with lawyers on a daily basis, and are not likely to be impressed or intimidated by a lawyer. However, a paper letter can bring good results: just state your case as clearly and simply as possible, and you'll almost always get a good result. Bill Horne ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 13 Sep 2009 21:59:22 +0000 (UTC) From: danny burstein <dannyb@panix.com> To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment Message-ID: <h8jpvq$8h7$1@reader1.panix.com> In <nvbrm.29487$nP6.393@newsfe25.iad> Sam Spade <sam@coldmail.com> writes: [snip of yet another horror story regarding a "cellular phone" arried out of the US leading to a mega bill ] >However, a paper letter can bring good results: just state your case >as clearly and simply as possible, and you'll almost always get a good >result. The societal problem here is that there's no warning to the average consumer that they're going to be zapped with astronimical charges of this size. It's a pretty brand new experience for people to run into this with.. telephones. Pretty much since the start of the public telephone system your maximum exposure was limited. (Yes, there were occassional horrors involving the "900" numbers and releated stuff, but they were pretty rare, and while getting hit for hundreds of dollars was possible, it took some doing. Oh, and eventually the regulators, the Law, and public pressure cut this down to size). In the Good Old Dayze the One Bell System, It Works, would even occasionally call a customer in the middle of a billing period warning that there were lots more calls, and lots more expenses, than the norm. So it's really about time the wireless telcos implemented some flagging on today's accounts. (Even better would be to erduve their absurd and confiscatory rates). -- _____________________________________________________ Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key dannyb@panix.com [to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded] ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 13 Sep 2009 15:04:20 -0700 From: Sam Spade <sam@coldmail.com> To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment Message-ID: <E%drm.315672$E61.98295@newsfe09.iad> Sam Spade wrote: > Or, the old lawyer trick. Put your recollections in writing and send > to the top dog, stating the purpose of the letter, a detailed > statement of the information provided to you by rep "Jones at 10:55 > AM, PDT, August 16, 2009. Conclude the letter by saying, "Please let > me know by mail or telephone if you disagree with my statement of the > facts as set forth in this letter." > > ***** Moderator's Note ***** > > I don't think you need to involve an attorney: keep in mind that top > executives deal with lawyers on a daily basis, and are not likely to > be impressed or intimidated by a lawyer. > > However, a paper letter can bring good results: just state your case > as clearly and simply as possible, and you'll almost always get a good > result. I was speaking of the customer writing the letter using that style. ;-) ***** Moderator's Note ***** That's unlikely to impress or intimidate anyone. The "top dog" gets legal notices every day, and some top executives get so many of them that they designate a secretary with a limited power-of-attorney which allows the secretary to be served with legal notices. Trying to sound like a lawyer is an old spammer trick, since spammers often send threatenting emails filled with legalese to those who report them. The spam fighters call such messages "Cartoonies", a morphed word which is a combination of "cartoon" and "attorney". Long story short: just get to the point, and never threaten what you can't or won't deliver. You'll get farther by being an angry customer than by trying to sound like something else. Bill Horne ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 13 Sep 2009 13:15:49 -0700 (PDT) From: hancock4@bbs.cpcn.com To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment Message-ID: <8cb60bed-49c9-4f5c-9b46-6d23570054f5@g23g2000yqh.googlegroups.com> On Sep 13, 1:33†pm, Dave Garland <dave.garl...@wizinfo.com> wrote: > If you are in a state where to do so is legal, I'd suggest recording > the call, so you'll have irrefutable proof of what they told you. I am not a lawyer. Perhaps people with actual experience in recording calls could respond to the following post (not merely reading what the law says on paper). I would recommend recording a phone call with any organization with whom you are having a serious dispute for which resolution may be difficult. Many journalists have told me they routinely record all telephone interviews without notice even though illegal in the state (they didn't even know it was illegal). It has never been an issue. If memory serves, a participant in 'Monicagate' illegally recorded calls and while it was discussed, there was no prosecution and the illegal tapes still were utilized. I can't help suspect that recording a call without notice for your own record would not be a problem even if illegal in your state. _Perhaps_ attempting to use that recording in court might be a problem, but that assumes your case goes that far. I think if you tell the person you're recording the call then it is legal. Again, others with experience in this might comment further. My old answering machine had a conversation record option where a beep tone was done every 15 seconds. This was a published standard to announce a call was recorded. At one time 911 centers, which recorded the call, played the beep tone, as did certain other organizations. I don't know if they still make such recording machines that play the beep tone. I only used it once, and it was certainly easier and higher quality than than the suction cup against the receiver plugged into a tape recorder. But I assume commercial-grade electronic dealers would carry telephone recorders because many places do record phone calls today. ------------------------------ Date: Mon, 14 Sep 2009 00:11:10 -0500 From: Dave Garland <dave.garland@wizinfo.com> To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment Message-ID: <C4ednefXntCOTTDXnZ2dnUVZ_sydnZ2d@posted.visi> hancock4@bbs.cpcn.com wrote: > On Sep 13, 1:33 pm, Dave Garland <dave.garl...@wizinfo.com> wrote: > >> If you are in a state where to do so is legal, I'd suggest recording >> the call, so you'll have irrefutable proof of what they told you. > > I am not a lawyer. Perhaps people with actual experience in > recording calls could respond to the following post (not merely > reading what the law says on paper). I can't speak to what you can get away with, but according to http://www.citmedialaw.org/legal-guide/recording-phone-calls-and-conversations Twelve states require the consent of every party to a phone call or conversation in order to make the recording lawful. These "two-party consent" laws have been adopted in California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington. Now, IANAL either, but if the recording started off with an announcement from the VM hell of the party you were calling that said "this call may be monitored for quality assurance", I'd take that as permission. [Moderator snip] Dave ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 13 Sep 2009 21:23:08 +0000 (UTC) From: danny burstein <dannyb@panix.com> To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment Message-ID: <h8jnrs$1f2$1@reader1.panix.com> In <1NKdnbHwE-denDDXnZ2dnUVZ_gudnZ2d@posted.visi> Dave Garland <dave.garland@wizinfo.com> writes: >> ***** Moderator's Note ***** >> >> Please write up a report of your experiences and submit it here: I'm >> very interested in seeing how you're received when you make that >> request. > If you are in a state where to do so is legal, I'd suggest recording > the call, so you'll have irrefutable proof of what they told you. I'd suggest that... the recording played by just about every telco (and far too many other businesses) at the beginning of any phone call that says "this call may be recorded for quality assurance or training purposes" grants you permission... -- _____________________________________________________ Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key dannyb@panix.com [to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded] ***** Moderator's Note ***** IANALB I think that announcement about how a call may be recorded gives them permission to record, not you. AFAIK, you have to announce that you are recording in order to make it legal. FWIW, I once had experience listening in on a lot of phone calls made by telemarketers: I was responsible for doing routine maintenance on leased T-Carrier lines which carried foreign-exchange trunks for a company pitching everything from home maintenance contracts to time-share condos in Gulfport, Mississippi. I won't divulge specifics, but they're not important anyway. What I remember was realizing that all the sales pitches were carefully worded so that they implied a tremendous amount that they didn't actually promise. Bill Horne ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 13 Sep 2009 12:09:54 -0700 From: Sam Spade <sam@coldmail.com> To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment Message-ID: <6sbrm.29486$nP6.18063@newsfe25.iad> Sam Spade wrote: > hancock4@bbs.cpcn.com wrote: > >> Calling "customer service" can mean a long wait and inaccurate >> infomration from an overseas based automaton. (If anyone knows a good >> way to easily find out landline and cell phone special rates please >> share it with us.) >> > > Isn't this a case where prudent planning can go a long way? I'm > thinking in terms of calling customer service before I leave home, and > going over my travel plans with them. Perhaps getting a supervisor's > name if there is any hint of a run around? They are the folks who > finally do the billing. > > ***** Moderator's Note ***** > > Please write up a report of your experiences and submit it here: I'm > very interested in seeing how you're received when you make that > request. > You will have a very long wait because I only travel in this country. ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 13 Sep 2009 13:45:37 -0400 From: "David B. Horvath, CCP" <dhorvath@cobs.com> To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment Message-ID: <20090913175019.25049.qmail@gal.iecc.com> At Sat, 12 Sep 2009 13:57:36 -0700 (PDT), hancock4@bbs.cpcn.com wrote: >On Sep 12, 11:24 am, Monty Solomon <mo...@roscom.com> wrote: > > > Her Verizon bill came to a staggering $8,000. Text-messages home cost > > an astounding $2.50 each and the meter was running at an eye-popping > > $1.75 a minute for phone calls. > >Historically, overseas telephone charges were extremely high. >Likewise, cellphone roaming charges outside your home area used to be >high (mine was $1.00/minute). Even after new cables allowed >reductions rates were still high. Given that, I would think a >traveler would check into rates cell and landline rates in advance, >especially from a distant place like Indonesia. > >Unfortunately, today it's hard to find out what rates are. It used to >be to simply dial the operator at any time and she'd tell you. But >now with the many phone plans and carriers it's hard to find out. >Many people today have free calling within the continental (48 states) >so rarely have a need to get rates. But there's usually a charge, >possibly a steep one, to call or use a cellphone outside the 48 >states. > >Calling "customer service" can mean a long wait and inaccurate >infomration from an overseas based automaton. (If anyone knows a good >way to easily find out landline and cell phone special rates please >share it with us.) I was able to find the rates for AT&T (my provider) in about 4 clicks and theirs isn't the easiest since it allows you to build an entire itinerary of countries and verifies coverage and foreign providers. AT&T Standard International Roaming $3.99 voice per minute AT&T World Traveler $2.49 voice per minute Send Text Message $0.50 per message sent Send Picture and Video Messages $1.30 per message sent Not very hard. We checked it out before our last trip. We knew the costs before we went and understood (roughly) wat our bill would be when we got back -- and used the phone accordingly. - David ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 13 Sep 2009 14:55:57 -0400 From: "Geoffrey Welsh" <gwelsh@spamcop.net> To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Re: Sky-high travel phone bills nearly bust house payment Message-ID: <359c8$4aad403f$43e693f6$16918@PRIMUS.CA> Monty Solomon wrote: > By Christopher Elliott > Tribune Media Services > Her Verizon bill came to a staggering $8,000. Text-messages home cost > an astounding $2.50 each and the meter was running at an eye-popping > $1.75 a minute for phone calls. Let's assume that it was a two-week vacation and that the $8000 was $5,000 for minutes and $3,000 for messages: that's almost 3,000 minutes (almost three and a half hours per day) and 1200 messages (almost 100 per day). > [from the story] > Stories like his are becoming more common ... because some of us don't stop to think that things might work differently in other parts of the world from how they do at home. I remember when it was practically inconceivable for any individual to make hours-long landline long distance calls because they understood that it cost money; are we so self-absorbed (or spoiled by the bundles available at home) that we expect our home plans to cover service worldwide? And, if my estimates are anywhere near correct, the person in question was a fool from the beginning for spending money to fly halfway around the world just so she could spend half the day talking and texting on her cellphone! -- Geoffrey Welsh . ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 13 Sep 2009 14:09:45 -0400 From: "Geoffrey Welsh" <gwelsh@spamcop.net> To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Re: Dr. James Marsters, TTY deaf service developer Message-ID: <76fc7$4aad356a$43e693f6$12935@PRIMUS.CA> hancock4@bbs.cpcn.com wrote: > All these posts about poor equipment manufacturing do seem to > demonstrate why the old Bell System--and regulators--were so hesitant > to allow customer owned equipment to be connected to the network. > What good were 'standards' if they weren't followed? Let's use the standard rhetorical tool of testing the soundness of that logic by applying it to a ridiculously extreme situation: if non-compliance negates the value of the standard then, by that logic, the failure of laws to prevent murder, assault, rape, etc. negate their value. Of course, laws are valuable because generally people obey them and therefore the vast majority of us can go about our lives in peace and security the vast majority of the time. Despite the spectacular exceptions - which are rare enough that we feel them worthy of mention here - standards are exactly what permit devices from multiple manufacturers to interoperate, and the resulting opportunities to replace even a tiny part of a system with an improved version has driven innovation domino-style. The pieces from my story - the Amiga and the then-record low priced modem - were significant stepping stones on the path to the computers and communication facilities we're using to discuss them today. They also taught me that it wasn't nearly as smart as I thought it was to use ribbon cable and quick-snap DB-25 connectors for quick and dirty RS-232 cables! Yes, I also interpreted the RS-232 standard in a way that I thought suited me, and that makes me as guilty as Commodore and that modem manufacturer. (Did I forget to mention that part in the original recounting? <grin>) -- Geoffrey Welsh . ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 13 Sep 2009 19:01:13 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Guess What Texting Costs Your Wireless Provider? Message-ID: <p06240850c6d301a6c760@[10.0.1.3]> Guess What Texting Costs Your Wireless Provider? By Eric Bender Thursday, Sep. 10, 2009 When my teenage son ignores me while tapping away furiously on his cell phone, I have the consolation of knowing that he has joined the quickest-growing form of two-way communication in human history. A decade ago, just about no one in the U.S. sent these messages, known as Short Message Service (SMS) texts. This year, we will zing out 1.2 trillion of them, predicts market-intelligence firm IDC. That translates to a barrage of messages from each user, especially teens, who seem to be receiving new text messages - a.k.a. "blowing up" - more than they take new breaths. The average U.S. mobile teen now sends or receives an average of 2,899 text messages per month, according to Nielsen Mobile. "With teens, the act of picking up a phone and calling someone is dropping away," notes Christopher Collins, a senior analyst with Yankee Group. What's most amazing about the texting craze is just how inexpensive it is for mobile carriers to provide this wildly popular service. SMS messages are not only extremely short (maxing out at 160 characters), but they also cleverly exploit today's digital phone networks, leveraging transmission channels between phone and cell tower that were originally designed to coordinate voice calls. "They cost the mobile carriers so little that you could argue that they're free," says Collins. That situation set antitrust alarm bells ringing when AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon all raised their pay-per-use costs of sending a text message from 10 cents to 20 cents over the past three years. That prompted Senator Herbert Kohl, the Wisconsin Democrat who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, to hold hearings on the matter in June. At those hearings, Srinivasan Keshav, a professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario and an expert on mobile computing, presented a detailed analysis of all the expenses that carriers incur in handling SMS messages. He showed that the wireless channels contribute about a tenth of a cent to a carrier's cost, that accounting charges might be twice that and that other costs basically round to zero because texting requires so little of a mobile network's infrastructure. Summing up, Keshav found that a text message doesn't cost providers more than 0.3 cent. ... http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1921373,00.html ------------------------------ TELECOM Digest is an electronic journal devoted mostly to telecom- munications topics. It is circulated anywhere there is email, in addition to Usenet, where it appears as the moderated newsgroup 'comp.dcom.telecom'. TELECOM Digest is a not-for-profit, mostly non-commercial educational service offered to the Internet by Patrick Townson. All the contents of the Digest are compilation-copyrighted. You may reprint articles in some other media on an occasional basis, but please attribute my work and that of the original author. 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