Number portability, WAP, and other mistakes


This is no to imply that number portability is a mistake. Nor that
WAP is a mistake. But that the ability for the consumer to switch
among cellphone plans encourages doing more than just price comparison
shopping.

My current plan is what could be considered bare minimum and
expensive. AT&T charges me $120/month for 1100 minutes TDMA digital,
no roaming charges with text messages extra. There are much cheaper
plans out there, but most of the phones have color screens, MP3 audio
ringtones, wap browsers and all for a fee per
click/message/download.

Switching to one of these phones might encourage you to nickel and
dime your way back to $100/month. So the fine line to walk is to get
the lower cost basic service while avoiding the temptation to send
pictures at 25 cents a pop or download songs at $1 each.

So I have switched from AT&T and cingular spending $200/month on 4
phones to T-Mobile spending $90/month on 4 phones. The actual number
switchover took less than 5 minutes per phone once all the paperwork
was done. The old phone still rings at the old number during the
transition period, but the new phone dials out and shows caller id as
the new number.

The nature of WAP services reminds me of gopher and early days of
the web in terms of the scarcity of content and the novelty of being
able to draw up content by clicking on a wireless phone.

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