The plummeting cost of mobile technology to the point of free


The very first mobile phones were rare, unreliable and very expensive. Few people could afford a portable phone as they were called then and fewer still could afford to use them. Mobile technology seemed like it was going nowhere for a while, clumsy, clunky and heavy as a load of bricks (not just one brick) pagers were making better progress. A simple phone call sent to a device that displayed a short message to call someone was the way things were and even bleepers and pagers were trendy. Phones were not quite there because they were expensive and costly to use.

A business tool for business people

By the time the mid-1990s appeared mobile phones from the likes of Ericsson and Nokia were beginning to appear. These phones were initially expensive and the more ringtones it had the more expensive the phone was. Silly things mattered and silly things, by today’s standards, affected the cost of the phone. Things like the number of contacts a phone could hold, if the phone had a speakerphone and soon if the phone had gadgets such as a calendar, calculator or games. The phones were affordable for business people at first and a mobile phone generation was being born.

The cost of calling

Mobile handsets were expensive, but they were coming down in price. However, the real drawback was the cost of making calls. Text messages began to appear and by today’s standards, the cost sending a text was high. The cost of a call made the mobile phones somewhat prohibitive and free cellphone service was not even thought of, a cheap one was enough for now.  At first there was a limited choice of networks to choose from and while there were some completeness prices were all about the same. Contracts were limited and at first prepaid models were not even thought of. The cost of calls had to come down.

Low cost of handsets

Technology improved over time and cellular networks began to improve. Data networks evolved and soon the model of mobile telephony was all about not voice communication. Handsets became portable computers and before long some phones had more power than a home PC. Devices became smaller and then larger when tablets appeared but competition and growing numbers of manufacturers saw the price of the hardware begin to tumble. The cost of owning a phone dropped but the costs of using a phone were still the gripe

Lower cost use

Today most people in the civilized world own a mobile phone, the majority own a smartphone. Owning the phone as part of a contract or simply buying a phone has become very affordable and the challenge now is how to use your phone for as little as possible. Lower call rates are there but people still want them lower, data calls are the thing and the cost of data must fall according to every user. Costs will fall but the question remains will we have a totally free way to use a mobile phone?


Leave A Reply