On 1/8/2007 12:39 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> Could anyone comment on the state of wireless and landline telephone
> services in Western Europe?
My impression is that in the bad old days the phone service offered by
government PTT monopolies was expensive and inefficient, with waiting
lists for lines, slow/bad quality connections, etc. Infrastructure
was way behind that in the US. That caused a great appetite for the
capabilities offered by new technologies, such as mobile, as well as
their ability as an alternative to the inadequate landline service,
and the growth rate for mobile service was extremely high, as a
In the US, the landline network has long been pretty affordable and
available, so mobile service was targeted (initially) at those
segments who valued mobility enough to pay a premium, rather than as a
landline replacement or substitute.
There was a very high growth rate, and to sustain that growth U.S.
carriers needed to target not only doctors and lawyers, but also
drivers of pickup trucks and eventually schoolkids. A high level of
competition, spurred by FCC decisions, has caused marginal rates to
continually decline, so carriers need to expand usage and customer
As a result, many US young people are so used to using the cellphone
that they don't bother to have a landline. At my daughter's college,
every dorm room has a landline phone. Neither my daughter nor I have
any idea what the number is. She uses her cellphone exclusively.
Because of the wireless companies' nationwide calling plans, the kids
in her college can keep numbers from their home areas, often on family
calling plans, and call each other without "long distance" charges,
even though two students may be calling across campus from phones with
area codes ranging from Alaska to Florida.
Europe doesn't offer quite the same level of free calling across
borders, but the cellphone often is less expensive to use than
landlines for making calls. (However, the regulations in Europe also
impose a surcharge on landline calls to cellphones.)
Michael D. Sullivan
Bethesda, MD (USA)
(To reply, change example.invalid to com in the address.)