Mobile phones in France are so bizarre. On the one hand, to have a mobile phone is quite inexpensive - mine costs me $13/month. And all incoming calls are free (this is the same as with most countries other than the united states - you only use minutes when you make calls, not when you receive calls). But on the other hand, to actually use the phone to make a call is the most expensive thing in the universe. For example, my company (Orange) just sent me a text message advertising a product that will give you a huge discount to a single phone number. Yes, for only $3.90 per week, I can have 20 minutes talk time to a single number. Which works out to 20 cents per minute. Which is, in fact, a good deal, when you consider that normally it would cost me 59 cents per minute. But regardless, the price is far too high. The trick, of course, is that the market is heavily concentrated, there are still a lot of taxes, and all land lines are still under the monopoly control of France telecom. In fact, it was recently announced that France Telecom would be raising their line subscription rates by 23% "to bring this fee in line with the average in the 15 core EU markets at the end of 2004". How many people will dump their land line and go to mobile phones only? We'll see. I do know that VoIP (making telephone calls over the internet) is quite popular here - and it isn't hard to see why.

Jason in Egypt commented:
Did this change in the U.S.? When I left, it was still free to receive calls on your phone and didn't count toward your minutes or anything...
on Sat Feb 5 16:46:34 2005

David commented:
No, it wasn't, Jason. You're on smack.
on Sat Feb 5 19:59:39 2005

Jason in Egypt commented:
Well shit, so that's where all my money went! (you decide which place, the phone bill...or smack) *grin*
on Mon Feb 7 23:20:53 2005

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