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You should appreciate that Europe is not utopia for wireless communications. Peak time tariffs are a rip-off. 4 pounds/$6 for a peak time call with Hutchinson Orange. Then a lot of people like myself don't pay at all. 4 mobile networks in UK- Orange, One to One(deutsche telecom owned), Vodafone and BT Cellnet. Two of them, Orange and one to One offer unlimited freephone access(0800 numbers). With this you can dial out with a freephone number to another telephone provider(e.g.First Telecom) who offer calls at the same price as British Telecoms landline standard tariff. Vodafone and Cellnet know this and put a standard tariff on any freephone number.

Owning a mobile 2 years ago used to be good. Previously the low social classes never had access. Now everyones got one and the networks are sometimes jammed in densely populated areas i.e Network Busy displayed on your mobile. Now this is particuarly relevant for internet access via a mobile. On the current GSM networks data transfer rate is 13kbps. Using a laptop and mobile to make online trades can be hazardous. Whereas with voice calls being cut off is infrequent, with internet it is a very common occurrence. At peak trading times e.g. 8am and 4.30am it is difficult even to connect with an ISP because the mobile networks are so crap. When GPRS replaces GSM for internet access the data transfer rate will be around 40kbps. This has been delayed and when it does come out and becomes popular I would expect similar problems.

Any lead Europe has could be evaporated as the mobile companies are spending billions to get their srd Generation licences. Investment in hardware should be the barely adequate minimum. Believe me there is nothing to be envious of. You are better off worrying about your fuel costs this winter.
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