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#142845 03/09/05 06:58 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,498
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C-H Offline OP
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Is the plain old telephone system in decline? Given the ubiquitousness of cellphones these days, the number of landlines is dropping. I cancelled mine about four years ago since the the cellphone is cheaper if you take the monthly cost into account. The phone company has been reluctant to install new lines for a decade now and after the storm in January, they decided not to repair lines where the cost is estimated to exceed $7000.

What is the outlook where you live?

#142846 03/09/05 09:53 AM
Joined: Aug 2001
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I think POTS is going to be around for many more years to come. In my immediate area demand has actually been increasing in the last few years due to new housing developments and people turning what were once holiday homes into permanent residences. If you walk around my little settlement you'll see dozens of DACS units on poles (multiplexers to put two or more lines on one physical pair).

Being out in the boondocks (by English standards), cellphone coverage can also be fairly patchy here. Vodafone is pretty good, but the others still have quite a way to go to fill in the gaps.

There's also the problem of the cost of calling a cellphone from a normal landline. We operate on the "caller pays" principle here, unlike the U.S. where calling a cellphone costs no more than a call to a regular line.

Calling a cellphone here is much more expensive than calling another POTS line, and many people would still be very reluctant to call if you could only provide them with a cellphone number.

#142847 03/09/05 11:32 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
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C-H Offline OP
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Quote
Calling a cellphone here is much more expensive than calling another POTS line, and many people would still be very reluctant to call if you could only provide them with a cellphone number.

True here as well: calling a cellphone from a landline is a lot more expensive (about $0.30/minute) than calling another ordinary phone ($0.03/min). When calling from a cellphone the cost is the same no matter who you call, as long as it is within the country ($0.10/min). The landline comes with a monthly fee ($20) but the cellphone only has a minimum charge ($10, call it or lose it) The landline pays for those who call more than four hours per month to another landline.

#142848 03/09/05 12:14 PM
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From a post I made a few weeks ago:
http://massis.lcs.mit.edu/telecom-archives/TELECOM_Digest_Online/2006.html

Quote
Here in the U.K., for example, somebody on BT's basic "Option 1" package pays a daytime rate of 5.6 cents per minute for a long-distance call to a regular landline anywhere within the country. A daytime call to a cellphone runs from 23 to 45 cents/min depending upon the network.

Evening and weekend landline calls are capped at just 10.3 cents for a call lasting up to an hour. The cellphone rates are 12 to 32 cents/min evening, 6.8 to 14.5 cents/min weekends.


[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 03-09-2005).]

#142849 03/09/05 12:51 PM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
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Cellphones don't operate during extended power outages.

The battery in the phone runs out (with no way of recharging it) and the "cells" themselves (the transceivers that relay the calls) are run on storage batteries that run out if they're not kept charged.

During the August 2003 blackout in New York City, cell phones winked out as the batteries died. The plain old telephone system remained intact and in full working order.

C-H, maybe the phone company in your country could be taken to task for ignoring its business? It seems to me that they're cutting themselves in the throat if they're reluctant to install new lines.

#142850 03/09/05 03:20 PM
Joined: May 2004
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That's why we decided to start a VoIP company in Hungary. We had some discounts from an international company to be the Hungarian provider, so we can give lower prices than the average VoIP providers (the EU and US about 0.022 EUR/min), whicha are not even known in Hungary for there's no advertisement at all about VoIP possibilities.

So we start to sell the service (after we were punished with a perfect investigation ofthe national intelligece agency and broadcast and voice and data agency) to small companies which cannot get discount from T-Mobile or Voda, cause they are not "so big".

I hope it will totally change the whole phone billing system, or level.


The world is full of beauty if the heart is full of love
#142851 03/09/05 03:24 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 364
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for those who hs broadband and can call thru pc I suggest to download one of skype, xpro, callserve or any kind of softphone, cause all you have to do is pay about 25EUR to your account and you can use it without any comission or charge.


The world is full of beauty if the heart is full of love
#142852 03/09/05 04:47 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 1,250
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djk Offline
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POTS / PSTN is far from dead or on its way out. If anything it's being transformed into a high speed data network.

Mobile phones are becoming cheaper and have certainly replaced certain aspects of the POTS e.g. payphones and hotel room phones but, until the price drops a LOT more they can't compete with POTS on cost.

The future of the wireline telephone service lies with DSL ... you can squeeze up to 8mbit/sec down a POTS line potentially giving you access to all sorts of services including video on demand (IPTV) etc etc.

#142853 03/16/05 07:54 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,407
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C-H,
What a question you ask!.
Telecommunications the world over is doing a double take at the moment with Wireless technology trying to compete with it and with VoIP also singing in too, there are a few scared Telco's.
Telecon NZ, was just saying last week that they would have to "up" the prices on home lines to compensate for the loss in tolls from VoIP.
Oh dear, we've threatened thier NZ$368 million margin, my heart bleeds!. [Linked Image]
If I lose my phone line, I'm not going to shed a tear.
Telecom needs to see economic reality, $54 a month for a phone line in itself is just too expensive!.
Idiots!!!!. [Linked Image]

#142854 03/16/05 08:45 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,498
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C-H Offline OP
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$54 NZD a month for the phone line? That is close to 40 USD! [Linked Image]

In fact, the main telco here has lowered the price slightly in recent years to rival the cellphones and the price per minute is much lower than it was ten years ago.

Off topic: I suppose this is part of the general trend towards lower prices. From food to hammer drills, the price seems only to drop from year to year. And, oh, my bank just offered me a fantastic 0.1% interest rate on my savings account. Yes, really.

Back to topic: There have been complaints from regulators that the main telco is blocking its competitors by making access to the switches and connection points difficult. There have been arguments on who is to pay for knocking down walls to make room for more equipment. All companies want to cram their gear into the existing space and noone want to pay for it to be expanded when full. Companies have to turn down DSL customers because they can't find space for them.

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