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Old 01-21-10, 08:27 PM   #1
nivekdodge
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100 bucks a month

Just saw a commercial stating that they are lowering a certain cell phone package from 99 to 69 a month. Then you start to think.... What the heck are they doing with 100 bucks a month from almost every man, woman and child in this country??? Well except for you the person who chimes in that they don't own one. Not talking to you. But seriously that a lot of cash....
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Old 01-21-10, 08:41 PM   #2
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don't own a TV or a cell phone? I was thinking about this the other day as well. I think that with so many turning off land lines and using cells with free long distance, etc, that what we pay for cell coverage, mobile email, texting, etc is not too bad. My wife lives on her iPhone, playing scrabble, facebooking, etc.

Cell phones have already killed pay phones, how long until only businesses have land lines?
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Old 01-21-10, 09:47 PM   #3
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and us old fogeys who can't be bothered with owning a cell phone.
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Old 01-21-10, 10:00 PM   #4
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Missing the point though. Name one cause that so many people will donate 100 bucks a month for. Or what you can buy with $100.00 X 305 million....A month
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Old 01-21-10, 10:09 PM   #5
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Or what you can buy with $100.00 X 305 million....A month
Apparently cannot buy too damn many cell towers in my area with that. Although our household per capita is <$20, not a c-note.
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Old 01-21-10, 10:22 PM   #6
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I used to work for a company that made base stations for mobile phones. I believe we charged about $100K per rack of equipment. The big RBOCS would buy hundreds of racks.

The initial layout for the service provider is expensive, but with the number of users the equipment is probably paid for pretty quickly.
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Old 01-21-10, 10:27 PM   #7
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My guess is that text messaging pays overhead costs pretty quickly. Seems like most younger people text, and with unlimited texting to boot -- about $20 a month.
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Old 01-21-10, 11:51 PM   #8
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My guess is that text messaging pays overhead costs pretty quickly. Seems like most younger people text, and with unlimited texting to boot -- about $20 a month.
Text charges on 3G networks are ripoff, but suckers keep paying them. Back in the 1G and 2G days, there were network-related limits to the rate text messages could be sent, so the $0.10-$0.25 / message charges weren't just easy money. I haven't shopped for data services, but I found one quote of $25 for 100 MB and one of $40 for unlimited. At 160 bytes per message (not counting overhead), that 4/100 of a cent per message for the 100 MB deal.

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Missing the point though. Name one cause that so many people will donate 100 bucks a month for. Or what you can buy with $100.00 X 305 million....A month
Very true, although your numbers are high. Something like 80% of adults and 60% of kids have mobile phones, and between those who have basic $30 packages and family plans, I read somewhere that the average cost was something like $45 per person. That's slightly different than the average bill at around $75/month because so many accounts are for multiple people. I'm not sure if that includes the ~20-30% of mobile users who have prepaid.

Anyways, to follow on with your point, assuming an overall average of 75% of Americans paying $45/month, that comes to ~$10 billion per month or $123 billion per year.

The entire 13 years of the Apollo program cost $136 billion inflation-adjusted (2007) dollars, which is about 1/12th as much per year as it looks like we spend on cell phones.

The most famous scientific experiment of the decade, the Large Hadron Collider, cost $9 billion. The Human Genome Project was about $3 billion over 15 years. The Hubble Space Telescope is closing in on 20 years of operation and has cost a total of $11 billion. The ITER fusion reactor project has a projected cost of around $15 billion over 20+ years, of which the US has promised $1 billion, but frequently fails to pay our annual pledge for one of most important research projects in the world.

In other words, what we spend on cell phones represents a lot of value. I guess whether we get our money's worth is both subjective and relative, since it could do all those things I listed above, but most people don't care, and it's not even enough to bail out a single mismanaged bank that should have been taken out back and shot (AIG - $183 billion).
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Old 01-22-10, 12:03 AM   #9
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I read somewhere that text messages end up costing about $1300 per MB.
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Old 01-22-10, 08:57 AM   #10
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that $69/month deal is unlimited TALK - no texting.
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Old 01-22-10, 09:04 AM   #11
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I used to work for a company that made base stations for mobile phones. I believe we charged about $100K per rack of equipment. The big RBOCS would buy hundreds of racks.

The initial layout for the service provider is expensive, but with the number of users the equipment is probably paid for pretty quickly.
And that's some of the cheaper equipment in those towers.....
Not to mention the constant replacing equipment due to lightning strikes/power surges, vandalism, wear and tear, and then there's the constant upgrading from TDMA to 3G and now to 4G.


And let's not forget all the record keeping in order to properly process billings, and E911 calls, and of course any legal issues that come up.
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Old 01-22-10, 09:35 AM   #12
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I'm keeping my land line. If I'm not home or at the office you don't need me. I stay cell free for now.
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Old 01-22-10, 04:43 PM   #13
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And that's some of the cheaper equipment in those towers.....
Not to mention the constant replacing equipment due to lightning strikes/power surges, vandalism, wear and tear, and then there's the constant upgrading from TDMA to 3G and now to 4G.

And let's not forget all the record keeping in order to properly process billings, and E911 calls, and of course any legal issues that come up.
Not to mention the salaries of the people that put up those towers and the training for them. Yeah, and all the back-office bureaucracy needed to make the whole operation run. A nickel and dime here and there adds up quickly to a lot of expenses in business. And don't for get TAXES! City taxes, state taxes, federal taxes, etc.
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