1129: "Cell Number"

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rhomboidal
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1129: "Cell Number"

Postby rhomboidal » Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:18 am UTC

Image

Title Text: There's also a +1 sometimes, which is there to keep everyone on their toes. In the future, people who got to pick cool numbers by signing up for Google Voice early will be revered as wizards.

If I was really a wizard, I would've known where I'd be living seven years in the future.

TomRobbins
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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby TomRobbins » Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:26 am UTC

Mine is actually where I lived in 2004, but yeh heh anyways.

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penguinoid
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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby penguinoid » Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:32 am UTC

I always wonder why the US doesn't use a non-geographic area code for mobile phones. It's common in most other countries that I know of (eg, UK 07, France 06 & 07, Australia 04 ...). Probably a good reason for this, but I've never heard it.

sotanaht
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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby sotanaht » Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:37 am UTC

Probably better to have a random number rather than one you choose. Sure, it might be interesting to have you're number recognized, but it also means more people dialing your number at "random" if it's anything recognizable.

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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby ijuin » Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:45 am UTC

It's probably the sheer number of users that would make a single non-geographic code unwieldy. There are close to two hundred million cell phones in the US, therefore any phone number system that could distinguish between all of them must have at least nine digits. Thus, all phones (and the phone routing computers) would have to be reprogrammed to accept nine-digit "local" numbers. Given that we already have a ten-digit number format set up via the three-digit area codes and seven-digit local numbers (capable of handling an address space of about six billion, since area codes or private local numbers beginning with one or zero are disallowed), none of the major telephone providers has considered it to be worth the cost of creating a new format.

Additionally, it is a relatively recent development among telephone providers to have "flat" calling fees whereby all long-distance calls within the 48 States cost the same rate. Without such a "flat" pricing scheme, nationwide roaming is much more complicated, and so it makes more sense to tie your phone to your "home" service area, since calls to places near the home area would be cheaper than transcontinental calls. As long as your calling costs remain thus tied to geography, there is no real incentive to move phones outside of the geographically-based area code system.

That said, we ARE starting to run relatively short on address space for similar reasons to why IPV4 ran out, so a migration to eight-digit local numbers may be needed as soon as 2020.

Ardee
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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby Ardee » Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:51 am UTC

Hehe, this is actually pretty funny - the joke is the implied comparison to SSNs, which we're told to try and keep private, but have more structure and far less randomness than a phone number meant for sharing

VanI
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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby VanI » Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:07 am UTC

I live in a rural area, and the first six digits tell me if someone's from here.
I swear, a fireball lied to me just the other day...

Ekaros
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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby Ekaros » Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:28 am UTC

Here it's 3 numbers for operator you originally got the number from and then 7 random or your choose from list numbers.

Number mobility isn't the optimal system... It does work surprisingly well though...

yedidyak
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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby yedidyak » Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:42 am UTC

In the UK we had a number where only the last 4 were random. Before that were 3 or 4 for the city, then 3 for the neighborhood.

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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby AvatarIII » Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:13 am UTC

yedidyak wrote:In the UK we had a number where only the last 4 were random. Before that were 3 or 4 for the city, then 3 for the neighborhood.


do you mean land-line? because as far as I'm aware there is no structure to UK mobile phone numbers for area, (except in the case of the Isle of Man)

Wikipedia wrote:070 xxxx xxxx Personal Numbering
074xx xxxxxx Mobile phones (in use since November 2009)
075xx xxxxxx Mobile phones (in use since May 2007)
076 xxxx xxxx Pagers (excluding 07624, used for mobile phones on the Isle of Man)
077xx xxxxxx Mobile phones (former 03xx and 04xx—mostly Vodafone and O2 (formerly Cellnet))
078xx xxxxxx Mobile phones (former 05xx, 06xx and 08xx—mostly Vodafone and O2 (formerly Cellnet))
079xx xxxxxx Mobile phones (former 09xx—mostly Orange and T-Mobile (formerly one2one))
07911 2xxxxx
07911 8xxxxx WiFi numbers (used by companies such as Tovo and Mobiboo)

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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby xorsyst » Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:18 am UTC

penguinoid wrote:I always wonder why the US doesn't use a non-geographic area code for mobile phones. It's common in most other countries that I know of (eg, UK 07, France 06 & 07, Australia 04 ...). Probably a good reason for this, but I've never heard it.


I'm pretty sure that's because the US uses callee-pays, so the call is charged as for a call to a landline in the same area code and the callee pays any upcharge for the mobile; whereas in Europe it tends to be caller-pays, ie the caller pays a higher rate for the call to a mobile.

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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby AvatarIII » Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:30 am UTC

xorsyst wrote:
penguinoid wrote:I always wonder why the US doesn't use a non-geographic area code for mobile phones. It's common in most other countries that I know of (eg, UK 07, France 06 & 07, Australia 04 ...). Probably a good reason for this, but I've never heard it.


I'm pretty sure that's because the US uses callee-pays, so the call is charged as for a call to a landline in the same area code and the callee pays any upcharge for the mobile; whereas in Europe it tends to be caller-pays, ie the caller pays a higher rate for the call to a mobile.


what a crazy system. Do you also pay for the cost of stamps to receive letters? :D

flguy1980
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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby flguy1980 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:27 am UTC

I got a landline in 2000 when I first moved out of my parents' house, then had the number moved to a cell phone in 2005--I still live in the same city.

My prefix actually isn't all that random--the prefix is one of the city's oldest prefixes, and actually had an "EXchange name" associated with it (back when phone numbers were in the form JK 5-1234). Sometimes, when I give out my phone number, I get looks from long-time residents, who ask me things like "Do you live downtown?"

I've already decided that, should I move somewhere else in the North American Numbering Plan area, I will get a new phone number local to wherever I'm living--that is, if geographic area codes are even still in use as they are now.

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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby gordo » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:57 am UTC

AvatarIII wrote:
xorsyst wrote:
penguinoid wrote:I always wonder why the US doesn't use a non-geographic area code for mobile phones. It's common in most other countries that I know of (eg, UK 07, France 06 & 07, Australia 04 ...). Probably a good reason for this, but I've never heard it.


I'm pretty sure that's because the US uses callee-pays, so the call is charged as for a call to a landline in the same area code and the callee pays any upcharge for the mobile; whereas in Europe it tends to be caller-pays, ie the caller pays a higher rate for the call to a mobile.


what a crazy system. Do you also pay for the cost of stamps to receive letters? :D


I was never able to figure this out either. I lived in the US for a year (I'm Dutch), and I kept wondering why I kept running out of phone credit (prepaid), until someone told me that the callee pays. Which sucks, especially if you keep getting phone calls from companies trying to sell you stuff*. A US-friend of mine had to change phone-numbers because some dude she didn't know kept texting here, raking up her phone bill like crazy. Can someone explain what the rationale is behind the "callee pays"-system?

* A tactic employer here in NL is to keep such companies on hold, e.g. while you cook dinner. Like:

Code: Select all

sales person: Are you interesting in buying X?
you: Sure, very interested! Can you hold on for a second while I turn off the stove?
sales person: Of course.
you go bake a pie

I never had the guts to do this myself, but there are stories of people that kept sales reps on hold for over an hour. Not that they care, since their company pays the bills.

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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby SerMufasa » Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:01 pm UTC

For those of us who use services like Vonage for landline, it works like this:

(_ _ _) <--- Region you lived in 2005
[][][] <--- Town/City you lived in 2005 (the geographic area represented by the first three numbers probably varies widely across the US)
[][][][] <--- Random four numbers


====

Regarding the comic, for me it's going to be where I lived in 2012, as that's when I switched completely to a company-provided cell (I'm not much of a phone person so prior to that I was using a cell pretty much for emergency purposes). Of course, area code in 2012 is the same as area code in 2005, but still
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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby cellocgw » Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:26 pm UTC

VanI wrote:<your signature is> I swear, a fireball lied to me just the other day.


That was *daring* of it.
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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby cellocgw » Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:30 pm UTC

yeah, well, I'm still waiting for my Official Internet Nickname (cellocgw) to become available at Google Voice.
Meanwhile I bet someone's scooped up "328-7448" :P or 382-5968
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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby speising » Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:33 pm UTC

does that mean you can't tell from the number if it's cell or landline in the US?
i like having the possibility to differentiate between the two.

getting charged for receiving sms is robbery in my eyes; you aren't able to decide which messages you'd like to receive.

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SerMufasa
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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby SerMufasa » Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:41 pm UTC

speising wrote:does that mean you can't tell from the number if it's cell or landline in the US?
i like having the possibility to differentiate between the two.


You can not.
Source
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fulldecent
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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby fulldecent » Fri Nov 02, 2012 1:10 pm UTC

Shameless plug on topic:

How to get a list of all numbers on Google Voice to choose the best one:
http://fulldecent.blogspot.com/2009/07/ ... voice.html

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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby Jackpot777 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 1:17 pm UTC

flguy1980 wrote:I got a landline in 2000 when I first moved out of my parents' house, then had the number moved to a cell phone in 2005--I still live in the same city.

My prefix actually isn't all that random--the prefix is one of the city's oldest prefixes, and actually had an "EXchange name" associated with it (back when phone numbers were in the form JK 5-1234). Sometimes, when I give out my phone number, I get looks from long-time residents, who ask me things like "Do you live downtown?"

I've already decided that, should I move somewhere else in the North American Numbering Plan area, I will get a new phone number local to wherever I'm living--that is, if geographic area codes are even still in use as they are now.


This is what I came to say. Phone numbers in films that are always 555-XXXX are that way because of the fictional exchanges used to ensure real numbers weren't used. In older television shows from the 1950s or 1960s, "KLondike 5" or "KLamath 5" was used, as at the time the telephone exchanges used letters and numbers in phone numbers. More recent works set in this period typically use this convention as well.

(This part is for non-North Americans that may not know this...) And the K and L are on the 5 button in North America...

Image

...which is why we get 'vanity' numbers. A real estate business could call itself Home 4 Less, choose 1-800-466-3453 (with letters added on) and advertise their phone number as their whole company name (even though 'Home-4-Le' is the only thing needed to get through to them).

Image

TheoGB
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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby TheoGB » Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:00 pm UTC

UK Landlines certainly used the letters for the exchange, in London at least.

Old London numbers were "area name"-4 digits when you spoke to the operator. Once they got rid of the operators you got the 3 digit exchange based on the area. Where I live in North London is Archway - 272 (ARC). Holloway down the road may have existed - 465.

Certainly if you go through old Tube maps you'll see the number at the bottom for London Transport is ABBEY 1234 then later it becomes 222-1234.

Obviously when they changed the numbers we all ended up with 8-digit numbers, the 3-digit exchange being prefixed by a 7 or an 8. Until only a year or so ago the number for London Transport was still 7222-1234.

Liggliluff
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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby Liggliluff » Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:02 pm UTC

Sweden mobile number:

seven random numbers
└──────┬───────┘
07[]-[][][][][][][]
┌─┴──────┐
phone provider

Correct me if I'm wroing

ksufinger
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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby ksufinger » Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:02 pm UTC

What about the wizards who used Google Voice when it was GrandCentral?

butch81385
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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby butch81385 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:13 pm UTC

I spent a semester of college in England. I got a prepaid cell phone while I was there. Let me tell you how confused I was when I first got it. I still don't understand it. I mean there were plus signs, zeros in parenthesis, and no hyphens to be able to easily learn how to say your number. Sometimes I was given a number to call and I had to add a zero in the beginning to call it. sometimes I didn't. Some numbers were shorter than others. It was just crazy...

That being said, I loved the fact that I received calls for free. I had a skype number that also received free calls and I left my computer on 24/7. Friends and family from home could call a local number, and my computer would ring. If I answered, there was no charge. If I didn't answer I had it set to forward to my cell phone for something like $0.05 per minute. I also had a decent deal on my cell phone (well i guess it was my mobile, since that's what they call it there) with awesome international rates for calling the US. Though with my plan calling a UK landline was cheap, but calling a UK mobile was more expensive than calling the US. Craziness.

I also got the Nokia 1101 for free with the prepaid plan. That thing took a beating but kept going (in pure Nokia fashion). Also had a flashlight. Found that to be more useful than I expected.

Anyway, there is really no point to this other than to say that just as our system is confusing to the Brits, their system is confusing to me.

jay35
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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby jay35 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:25 pm UTC

Where you lived in 2005 IF you haven't switched carriers since and lost the number (yep, for several years thereafter some numbers could not be transferred), changed it because you wanted your new local area code to avoid long distance charges, or changed it to avoid harassment/telemarketer spam/etc.

senor_cardgage
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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby senor_cardgage » Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:31 pm UTC

This applies to me, certainly.

Got my first cell phone in 2005. Moved away in 2006. Still have the same number.

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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby popman » Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:53 pm UTC

Liggliluff wrote:Sweden mobile number:

seven random numbers
└──────┬───────┘
07[]-[][][][][][][]
┌─┴──────┐
phone provider

Correct me if I'm wroing


this is pretty much what we have in Ireland too.
except it's 08X XXXXXXX though some numbers are withheld to be auctioned off, such as the one bought by a taxi service here, 086 0860860 (also the international dialing code for it is 00 353 86 0860860)
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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:56 pm UTC

gordo wrote:
AvatarIII wrote:
xorsyst wrote:
penguinoid wrote:I always wonder why the US doesn't use a non-geographic area code for mobile phones. It's common in most other countries that I know of (eg, UK 07, France 06 & 07, Australia 04 ...). Probably a good reason for this, but I've never heard it.


I'm pretty sure that's because the US uses callee-pays, so the call is charged as for a call to a landline in the same area code and the callee pays any upcharge for the mobile; whereas in Europe it tends to be caller-pays, ie the caller pays a higher rate for the call to a mobile.


what a crazy system. Do you also pay for the cost of stamps to receive letters? :D


I was never able to figure this out either. I lived in the US for a year (I'm Dutch), and I kept wondering why I kept running out of phone credit (prepaid), until someone told me that the callee pays. Which sucks, especially if you keep getting phone calls from companies trying to sell you stuff*. A US-friend of mine had to change phone-numbers because some dude she didn't know kept texting here, raking up her phone bill like crazy. Can someone explain what the rationale is behind the "callee pays"-system?


Okay, so.. pre-cell phones, you had your (555)555-5555 numbers. Anything in (555)555-XXXX was a free call as it was local, and you only needed to dial 555-5555. If you called (777)555-5555, that was a long distance call you paid for, and the (777) was dialed. Well, actually, 1 777 555 5555 was dialed.

So then Cell Phones came along. And with a cell phone, you paid for every single call, coming or going. I think they tried charging for long distance at first, but that went away relatively quickly as the whole point was that you could travel with the thing and paying a constant rate was attractive. So the advantage of a cell phone over a landline was you could call your long-distance friend for a cheaper rate than you could on your landline. But you kept your landline as you used it to make all your local calls.

Then a lot of cell carriers started various programs where it was essentially free to contact certain listed numbers, or to contact anyone else on their network. If you were on Company X and all your friends were on Company X, you basically only pay for calls you make to.. I dunno, order a pizza or something. Which you do online now anyway. So those 500 minutes you get a month went from nigh impossible to stay under in 2000 to "How the hell would I use 500 in a month?" today.

The Pre-paid phones keep the standard billing rate - you pay for all incoming and outgoing calls. Just like you do on a contract phone.

Again - if I didn't make that clear... if you use a cell phone to call another cell phone both sides pay for the call. This can be mitigated by various methods depending on the cellular company, but the default in the US is that both sides pay. Landlines work through companies that do not charge to receive calls, only to send (and usually only to send long distance. They do charge a monthly rate to just be connected, mind you). But Cellular calls pay for both incoming and outgoing. Which is why telemarketers are not allowed to contact cell phones (good luck stopping them anyway).

A better thing I'd love to have explained - why does texting cost money? The whole SMS thing just piggybacks on the connection ping your phone and tower send anyway.. I can understand sending images and whatnot, but just text within the.. what is it, a 128 character limit? Why does that cost anything? Your phone does it anyway to stay connected, and it's just wasted packets otherwise.
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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby ElWanderer » Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:06 pm UTC

butch81385 wrote:I spent a semester of college in England. I got a prepaid cell phone while I was there. Let me tell you how confused I was when I first got it. I still don't understand it. I mean there were plus signs, zeros in parenthesis, and no hyphens to be able to easily learn how to say your number. Sometimes I was given a number to call and I had to add a zero in the beginning to call it. sometimes I didn't. Some numbers were shorter than others. It was just crazy...

Wikipedia has enough information on how UK telephone numbers are arranged to drive you round the bend.

On zeroes in parantheses: if your UK number is 01234 123456, the number you need to give people who want to call you from outside the UK is +44 1234 123456 - the zero gets replaced by the international dialling code for the UK (+44). This has led some people/companies to write their number as +44 (0)1234 123456, which is confusing and not recommended.
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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby AvatarIII » Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:15 pm UTC

butch81385 wrote:I spent a semester of college in England. I got a prepaid cell phone while I was there. Let me tell you how confused I was when I first got it. I still don't understand it. I mean there were plus signs, zeros in parenthesis, and no hyphens to be able to easily learn how to say your number. Sometimes I was given a number to call and I had to add a zero in the beginning to call it. sometimes I didn't. Some numbers were shorter than others. It was just crazy...

That being said, I loved the fact that I received calls for free. I had a skype number that also received free calls and I left my computer on 24/7. Friends and family from home could call a local number, and my computer would ring. If I answered, there was no charge. If I didn't answer I had it set to forward to my cell phone for something like $0.05 per minute. I also had a decent deal on my cell phone (well i guess it was my mobile, since that's what they call it there) with awesome international rates for calling the US. Though with my plan calling a UK landline was cheap, but calling a UK mobile was more expensive than calling the US. Craziness.

I also got the Nokia 1101 for free with the prepaid plan. That thing took a beating but kept going (in pure Nokia fashion). Also had a flashlight. Found that to be more useful than I expected.

Anyway, there is really no point to this other than to say that just as our system is confusing to the Brits, their system is confusing to me.


you don't need hyphens to tell you how to say a number, just say it how it rolls off the tongue best. for example, my current number is 07 and then 3 triplets of numbers that roll off the tongue in a nice 07-***-***-*** way, other people might have a number that works said best 07**-***-****
the general way of writing a phone number in the UK is +44(0)****-****** because the 44 is the country code, so optional, and the 0 you don't type unless you are ignoring the 44.
there shouldn't be a lot of number length variance in the UK, most numbers should be 10 numbers long (plus an 0 or 44) although a few premium numbers and area codes only use 9 (+0/44) and a very few special numbers are 7 (+0/44) then if you are calling from land-line to land-line within the same area code you only need to dial the last 6 numbers.

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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby dbam987 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:25 pm UTC

Lol! Perfect timing of this thread since I just picked up a new cell account. Randall, you ARE a wizard!

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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby planetjay » Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:37 pm UTC

My GV number is my area code, my area code backwards, and the model number of the IBM PC XT. Yeah. I'm old. GET OFF MY LAWN!

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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby gordo » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:01 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:
gordo wrote: Can someone explain what the rationale is behind the "callee pays"-system?


Okay, so.. pre-cell phones, you had your (555)555-5555 numbers. Anything in (555)555-XXXX was a free call as it was local, and you only needed to dial 555-5555. If you called (777)555-5555, that was a long distance call you paid for, and the (777) was dialed. Well, actually, 1 777 555 5555 was dialed.

So then Cell Phones came along. And with a cell phone, you paid for every single call, coming or going. I think they tried charging for long distance at first, but that went away relatively quickly as the whole point was that you could travel with the thing and paying a constant rate was attractive. So the advantage of a cell phone over a landline was you could call your long-distance friend for a cheaper rate than you could on your landline. But you kept your landline as you used it to make all your local calls.

Then a lot of cell carriers started various programs where it was essentially free to contact certain listed numbers, or to contact anyone else on their network. If you were on Company X and all your friends were on Company X, you basically only pay for calls you make to.. I dunno, order a pizza or something. Which you do online now anyway. So those 500 minutes you get a month went from nigh impossible to stay under in 2000 to "How the hell would I use 500 in a month?" today.

The Pre-paid phones keep the standard billing rate - you pay for all incoming and outgoing calls. Just like you do on a contract phone.

Again - if I didn't make that clear... if you use a cell phone to call another cell phone both sides pay for the call. This can be mitigated by various methods depending on the cellular company, but the default in the US is that both sides pay. Landlines work through companies that do not charge to receive calls, only to send (and usually only to send long distance. They do charge a monthly rate to just be connected, mind you). But Cellular calls pay for both incoming and outgoing. Which is why telemarketers are not allowed to contact cell phones (good luck stopping them anyway).


Thanks, that was informative.

I understand that the USA differs from Europe in that states are not the same as countries (but could be in terms of size...), and thus things were organized differently: people move more easily from one state to the next, while Europeans don't move that quickly from one country to the next. Hence, there is a larger need for long-distance calling in the USA than there is in Europe.

Here in The Netherlands, the only time I pay to receive a call is when I'm abroad carrying my cell phone. Then the caller pays as if they were calling me in my home country, and I pay for the connection across the border (at least, that's how it works for me; I don't know if this is universal). If I were to move permanently to another country, I would get a contract with a new provider in said country, but I realize this isn't really an option in the USA when you'd move to another state.

Never would have guessed a discussion about cell phone number could carry on so long...

butch81385
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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby butch81385 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:23 pm UTC

AvatarIII wrote:you don't need hyphens to tell you how to say a number, just say it how it rolls off the tongue best. for example, my current number is 07 and then 3 triplets of numbers that roll off the tongue in a nice 07-***-***-*** way, other people might have a number that works said best 07**-***-****
the general way of writing a phone number in the UK is +44(0)****-****** because the 44 is the country code, so optional, and the 0 you don't type unless you are ignoring the 44.
there shouldn't be a lot of number length variance in the UK, most numbers should be 10 numbers long (plus an 0 or 44) although a few premium numbers and area codes only use 9 (+0/44) and a very few special numbers are 7 (+0/44) then if you are calling from land-line to land-line within the same area code you only need to dial the last 6 numbers.

ninja'd a bit by ElWanderer, but I ninja'd him on the wiki link in an earlier post so I feel ok.

ElWanderer wrote:Wikipedia has enough information on how UK telephone numbers are arranged to drive you round the bend.

On zeroes in parantheses: if your UK number is 01234 123456, the number you need to give people who want to call you from outside the UK is +44 1234 123456 - the zero gets replaced by the international dialling code for the UK (+44). This has led some people/companies to write their number as +44 (0)1234 123456, which is confusing and not recommended.



And THAT is what I found confusing! lol Having never placed a call from or to another country before that semester abroad, I had no idea what was going on. In the US it was always just a 10 digit number that you dialed. Well, 7 digit local for a while till we got another area code in our area and they made it 10 digit dialing for everything. The only exception was on long distance dialing (from a landline only?) you put a 1 in front of it. Like for 1-800. That 1 was never referred to as the country code, just merely as "put a 1 in front of it if it said call could not be completed".

So going from 10 digits that all appear uniform with an occasional 1, to a system that sometimes has a 0 or sometimes has a 44 (or +44.... i actually asked someone "how do you dial the freaking plus sign") and then has a big mass of numbers with peoples number-pattern being irregular, and some numbers having less numbers than others, was odd. I think my number was something like (+44) (0)7766 027865 (sorry to whoever has that number now). When I got my phone, it was the same time that other friends studying abroad got theirs. We stood on the sidewalk trying with and without the numbers in parenthesis until it actually worked.... and the added them as a contact and didn't use the actual number again...

butch81385
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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby butch81385 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:29 pm UTC

gordo wrote:
Thanks, that was informative.

I understand that the USA differs from Europe in that states are not the same as countries (but could be in terms of size...), and thus things were organized differently: people move more easily from one state to the next, while Europeans don't move that quickly from one country to the next. Hence, there is a larger need for long-distance calling in the USA than there is in Europe.

Here in The Netherlands, the only time I pay to receive a call is when I'm abroad carrying my cell phone. Then the caller pays as if they were calling me in my home country, and I pay for the connection across the border (at least, that's how it works for me; I don't know if this is universal). If I were to move permanently to another country, I would get a contract with a new provider in said country, but I realize this isn't really an option in the USA when you'd move to another state.

Never would have guessed a discussion about cell phone number could carry on so long...


Yes, from when I got my first cell phone I have lived in the 412 area code, the 814 area code, and the 610 area code. Throughout it all I kept the 412 phone number. When I would give my number out in the other cities, I would usually be asked "412, where are you from originally?"

Related site: http://www.lincmad.com/areacodemap.html

As you can see, it is quite easy to go to college, move, date a girl, or have a friend from a different area code (but close geographically).

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ElWanderer
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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby ElWanderer » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:36 pm UTC

butch81385 wrote:So going from 10 digits that all appear uniform with an occasional 1, to a system that sometimes has a 0 or sometimes has a 44 (or +44.... i actually asked someone "how do you dial the freaking plus sign").

Yeah. It gets weirder... I had assumed the + for dialling an international was some kind of magic you could just dial on any phone, but it seems it only works like that on mobile phones. If you're dialling from a landline you have to replace it with the appropriate outgoing international prefix for where you are. An example from wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_international_call_prefixes wrote:If a caller in the USA or Canada wants to call the Mayor of Dunedin, New Zealand, they would dial 011 64 3 477 4000. (The generic international call prefix for NANPA countries is 011, then the country code for New Zealand is 64, the area code for Dunedin is 3, and the local number for the Dunedin City Council is 477 4000).
So, I think, to dial a UK number 01234 123456 from a US landline, you'd have to dial 011 44 1234 123456.
Now I am become Geoff, the destroyer of worlds

xorsyst
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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby xorsyst » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:39 pm UTC

butch81385 wrote:So going from 10 digits that all appear uniform with an occasional 1, to a system that sometimes has a 0 or sometimes has a 44 (or +44.... i actually asked someone "how do you dial the freaking plus sign")


Yeah, but for almost all normal use in the UK, numbers are given as dialled nationally, so without all the +44 and brackets, just the straight 01234 567890 or whatever. Just as they are in the US - you don't often see people quoting their US number with the +1 in front of it, but it does happen and is valid.

zifmia
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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby zifmia » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:50 pm UTC

I live in the Kansas City area, which straddles two states with different area codes. To dial a number on the Missouri side (area code 816), I dial 7 digits with no area code, but to dial a number on the Kansas side, I dial 10 digits, starting with 913. To dial any other area code in the country, I need to dial a 1 first, then ten digits. If I foolishly decide to dial a 1 before the 913 for Kansas, the call won't work, but it will helpfully give me an error message telling me to call the same number without a starting 1. Because actually connecting me to the number they already know I am trying to call would be too difficult.

ijuin
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Re: 1129: "Cell Number"

Postby ijuin » Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:28 pm UTC

gordo wrote:I was never able to figure this out either. I lived in the US for a year (I'm Dutch), and I kept wondering why I kept running out of phone credit (prepaid), until someone told me that the callee pays. Which sucks, especially if you keep getting phone calls from companies trying to sell you stuff*. A US-friend of mine had to change phone-numbers because some dude she didn't know kept texting here, raking up her phone bill like crazy. Can someone explain what the rationale is behind the "callee pays"-system?


Yes, it sucks royally that one has to pay for unwanted incoming calls that you would have refused to accept had you actually known who the calling party was. It makes it possible for someone to run up your bill as an intentional form of harassment.


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