phone fun, was GeoIP database issues and the real world consequences

Owen DeLong owen at
Fri Apr 15 19:28:25 UTC 2016

> On Apr 15, 2016, at 12:09, Mark Andrews <marka at> wrote:
> In message <571105A6.3040607 at>, Nikolay Shopik writes:
>>> On 15/04/16 17:51, John R. Levine wrote:
>>> Putting mobiles into a handful of non-geographic codes as they do in
>>> Europe wouldn't work because the US is a very large country, long
>>> distance costs and charges were important, and they needed to be able
>>> to charge more for a mobile call across the country than across the
>>> street.
>> I would like to add that Russian mobiles in non-geographic codes and
>> have free incoming calls (it wasn't until 2006) and also very large
>> territory. But that created internal roaming prices within country.
>> So if you are making call not from your home region you'll pay more also
>> you may pay for incoming call too (unless you pay for such option to
>> make your abroad incoming calls free)
> Australia is about the area as the US and has always had caller
> pays and seperate area codes for mobiles.  Call costs are independent
> of the mobiles location unless you are OS where the callee picks
> up the OS component of the voice call (incoming SMS's are usually
> free even if you are OS, they slug you with replies however).

AU has about the same area, but nowhere near the number/population density, so the comparison isn't particularly apt. 

> I've also got a US SIM and had my credit run to zero dollars with
> the phone turned off due to the sillyness of the US system.  No
> calls or SMS being delivered but I'm still getting charged.

If you are going prepaid in the US, most likely you are transient (foreign traveler) or impoverished. As such, the companies want to collect something from you for the cost of keeping your account in the system. It's a way to avoid the costs associated with number abandonment. Usually within three months (or less) of your account going to $0, your number will be recycled and likely reissued to someone else within 60 days of being marked available. 

It's not so much silliness as a necessity in this market. 


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