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January 10, 2007

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Brad Templeton

I'm not quite sure why you call it "minute stealing" -- a term which surely tries to imply something nefarious is going on here.

The thing that's most wrong is companies using lock-in to sell you a product at vastly inflated prices. We all know what long distance calls to Canada and European landlines actually costs, which is below a penny a minute, wholesale. If the mobile carriers want to try to bill huge, 70s-era prices for these calls because you don't get a choice of long distance provider -- well that's exactly the thing from the 70s that the breakup was about stopping.

It's largely artificial. And you can't just change carriers, since all the carriers do this. But so many customers don't make overseas calls that this is not actually lowering your other rates all that much.

Even monopolists can only overchage so much, however, because it gives rise to companies like jahjah and rebtel. Yes, it's not a long term business but they are not stealing, they are performing an important market function -- competing.

SKO

"The Minute Stealers of today buy bulk minutes from the wholesale side of carriers and route the calls over lower costing service options..."

Sounds like the free market at work to me to the full benefit of the consumer like cheaper gas or cheaper flight tickets or cheaper hotel rates.

And,

"..as long as their suppliers recognize that shifting where the money comes from to pay for minutes doesn't mean you stop putting the profit where it needs to be."

"...where the profit *needs* to be."

Andy are you for real? Profits don't *need* to be anywhere. They are earned. That's it. If you are a network operator (or any business) and if you want the money back then come and get it. Offer a better solution and service to your customers at a better price.

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