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I assume it was decided that cellphone owners should be billed, to get the technology adopted as soon as possible.

This method of billing actually retards cellphone use. That is one of the reasons celluar adoptions rates are higher in other countries. And they always leave them on. If Finland used the NA model Nokia phones would have timers that you could set to turn your phone on at the start of free periods and off at the end.

How was it that other countries have it the opposite?

In most other countries all calls are a toll calls so the idea was a natural for them.

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