Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Lose Threads 2 July 2009

Say goodbye to all those different cell-phone chargers – at least if you have a phone manufactured for the European market. The European Union has gotten 10 mobile manufacturers to agree to produce a universal cell-phone charger for smart phones. On board are Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Apple, Motorola, RIM, Samsung, LG, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, and NEC. A micro-USB plug will be used for all phones. Some sources indicate that the implementation could be as early as next year. This is also apparently the same charger standard mandated by China.

Mobile phone roaming costs within the European Union (EU) have been coming down for awhile. Now, the EU has standardized roaming costs – if you have a phone from an EU country and are calling within the EU.
The maximum outgoing call cost will now be €0.43
Maximum incoming call cost now €0.19
Maximum text message cost €0.11
Data transmission up to 1 meg €1
We’ve found that – while it may not be the absolute cheapest option (vs. Skype, etc.) – the most convenient option is obtaining a UK SIM chip (or a chip from the primary country you’re visiting) and then just calling (roaming) as normal throughout the EU, without worrying about weird call-back systems, phone cards, or internet calling.

Unrelated to anything, really, Swelblog points out that “Allegiant, AirTran, Alaska and SkyWest – airlines many Americans have never flown – each today have a market capitalization greater than that of either United or US Airways.” Oh, yea, that’s right. It’s related to whether the major carriers (and how many of them) are in business a few years from now.