Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mobilized

We got a cell phone, or mobile phone as they're called here (pronounced moh-beel). We had been satisfied with our Skype plan, for $9/month we get a phone number in the U.S. that family and friends can call for a domestic rate, and we get to make calls anywhere in the world for 2.1¢/minute, including any Norway calls we need to make. The drawback? No local Norwegian number for our friends to call us. (You can get local Skype phone numbers in some countries, but Skype can not provide emergency 911 service and so they are not allowed in Norway).

The math center on campus had an extra cell phone, oops, mobile phone, and it turns out all we needed to do was purchase a SIM card. The card cost about $24 and includes $16 of airtime. Outgoing calls cost about 30¢ to connect plus 15¢/minute, but incoming calls are FREE. It may turn out that our $24 card will last us all year, so combined with Skype, we have a domestic/international solution for about $12/month.

Here's a map. It makes this blog look very professional, don't you agree? This is a map of cell phone penetration in Europe, colored according to the ratio of cell phones subscriptions to population in each country. Norway is in the >100% range. 107%, actually... there's 4.8 million mobile phone subscribers in a country of 4.5 million people. Dang!

In truth, now there's 4.8 million and 1 mobile phone subscribers.

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