Another Nail in the Local Exchange Coffin

As if the landline business hadn€™t suffered enough with wireless carriers taking share for domestic usage and VoIP taking share for international calling, now comes a slew of cheap international long distance calling plans from the cellular operators. Verizon and Sprint are offering plans at $4.00 per month for highly discounted international long-distance rates.

Cheap international long distance has been a key driver of VoIP penetration. Now one has to ask "Why should I have anything other than a cell number?€ Whatever consumers or small businesses choose €" landline, cell or VoIP – those companies out there that supply basic and enhanced listings to the offline and online Yellow Pages and local search publishers must be feeling numb from the velocity and pace at which their once stable and reliable source of information has been thrown into flux.

And what about caller ID €" that great innovation that came out of SS7 switches that could display the area code and phone number of an inbound call. In the not too distant future when we move from the Bay Area to America€™s heartland, we€™ll take our four, 415 area code, cellphones with us. Then when we ring up the local plumber€™s wife in Iowa she€™ll have to decide if a call from area code 415 is worth taking. After all, if pay per call platforms are really the new business model, she and her husband will be paying for each call.

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