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Thoughts on a Phone Bill

by Nicole Hayward

The amount of time we spend on phone calls is shrinking. How does that affect business calling and phone bills?

Published: July 30, 2010

This blog is by Tim, our SIP Maven.

Wired Magazine has an interesting article today called Death of the Phone Call. In this article, Clive Thompson discusses the shrinking amount of time we spend on the phone. Thompson cites a recent report from Nielsen, claiming that the average length of cell phone conversations has fallen from around 3 minutes in 2005 to less than half that today. Plus, people are making fewer numbers of calls.

I think the iPhone 4 dropped call antennaegate kerfuffle is even more surprising, considering that many people aren't using their iPhones to make calls (how very 2006 of you to think that people use iPhones to make phone calls!). I asked a colleague what he thought of his new iPhone 4's losing signal strength. He told me that, after a week of using the "phone," he still hadn't actually made a call.

These days, Texting, SMS, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare etc. etc. are the preferred method of communicating. And its not just the young people; I've used fewer than 100 minutes of calling time over the past six months on my cell phone. So this brings me to a point: I really wish my cell phone provider had a pricing plan like OnSIP - Just pay for the features I use and the actual amount of time I spend speaking.

I'm happy to pay a reasonable amount for my bandwidth usage. I want my carrier to be profitable so they can continue to invest in network improvements. I just don't want the profit model to be based on charging me for things I don't use or need. Likewise, the all-you-can-eat minutes bucket that most VoIP business service providers offer looks attractive. And, a few years ago it probably made sense for some companies to sign up for it. But who, in 2010, has time for long business phone calls. We are all to busy updating our mayorships!

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