A world with free mobile calls

I haven’t posted here for a while because I just went on a month long holiday in India, which was quite an experience.

One interesting thing about India was that cellphones are everywhere and the calls are cheap. Like, real cheap. The standard rate is about 1 rupee (USD $0.02) per minute. But if you’re calling someone on the same mobile network as you, then calls are half a rupee (USD $0.01) per minute. This is cheap even for Indians – you can’t buy anything for 1 rupee in India. So it’s practically free to make a quick one minute call.

Interestingly, to send a text message is about the same price – 1 rupee. Suffice to say no one ever texts in India, since it’s quicker and easier to make a call.

So, what do you expect would happen in a world with practically free communication? Spam of course. People who’d been in India a while ignored their text messages, because the only people who ever send texts are companies spamming. Likewise, it was all too common to get calls from unknown numbers which would be a recorded advertisement.

Apparently you can request your number be added to a “do not call” list and it actually works.


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