Place and Cost

I am at the European Telecommunication Standards Institute (ETSI) in Southern France this week and every now and then I have to give a call to some experts back in Germany. Interesting how a 5 minute call to the same number is priced depending on which calling option I use:

  • Using my French SIM card in my N95: € 3.50 (70 cents a minute)
  • Using my German SIM card in my N95: € 2.90 (58 cents a minute)
  • Using the N95 VoIP function via the Wifi network: € 0.09 (1.79 cents a minute)
  • Using the VoIP client on my PC via Wifi: € 0.00 (call is VoIP end to End)

In the end I mostly use the N95 VoIP option over Wifi as for some calls some privacy is needed which is not not provided in the meeting room where the PC is located. I could move the PC but the € 0.09 is a good tradeoff for the convenience.

I titled this post “place and cost” because it shows how cost dramatically drops when different access methods are available and compete with each other. In places with less competition like the car, the countryside, etc.) mobile operators take over and option 3 and 4 are no longer possible. Unless of course, the operator offers a reasonable 3G data plan which make VoIP calls affordable again. One might argue it is more expensive to operate nationwide mobile networks with good coverage compared to DSL networks but I doubt the difference is € 0.09 to € 3.50.