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Talking to Expat

Community Veteran
Posts: 5,322
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Registered: 21-03-2011

Talking to Expat

The missus has a weekly call to her friend who's working in Saudi Arabia. After 20 years of working in London as a nurse, this friend decided it was time to save for retirement. The money is good but she misses England. So my wife's call is a lifeline to someone working in what is in effect a closed hot dusty compound.
Fortunately they have good internet access in their accommodation so voice calls over Skype to Skype are realistic and reliable and free. If the missus made the same 45 minute call over the standard rate BT the call cost would be in the region of £35. I we made a phone call via Vonage or Skype the call would be around £7. The BT charges are excessive. Small wonder that BT complain they are losing out to Internet telephone and they have to load quarterly rental fees and call connect fees.
However if Vonage, Skype etc can manage to keep telephone call charges down, why can't BT  do the same? You have to look hard on the BT site, wading through various "plans" to get to the true cost of calls. They clearly want to hide their high charges.Sadly the PN charges are tightly coupled with BT.
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6 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Talking to Expat

Maybe BT should be required to reduce the number of plans in a similar way the energy companies have. Their regulator should look into this.
With the energy companies their tariffs are certainly easier to understand.
itsme
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Re: Talking to Expat

Quote from: AlaricAdair
Fortunately they have good internet access in their accommodation so voice calls over Skype to Skype are realistic and reliable and freestandard rate BT the call cost would be in the region of £35. I we made a phone call via Vonage or Skype the call would be around £7.

Users assume that using mobile networks to call International is expensive but worth checking as with Giffgaff Saudi is 7ppm to landline and 11ppm to mobiles.
Community Veteran
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Re: Talking to Expat

Quote from: AlaricAdair
However if Vonage, Skype etc can manage to keep telephone call charges down, why can't BT  do the same?
I would have thought it was obvious, they are using different technologies and infrastructure from different generations.
Presumably a Skype call is only using the POTS for the last few local miles in Saudi and all other charges are absorbed "elsewhere".
Community Veteran
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Re: Talking to Expat

Touching on HPs reply, BT have a rather large infrastructure to manage that involves physical hardware and men climbing poles, going underground etc.
Skype don't need to worry about it.
While I will agree that I think BT are great extortionists, I do think that they will never be able to realistically compete on price due to the nature of their responsibilities. I do though find it annoying how they keep ramping up service charges - like the cessation charge for your broadband when you terminate it. I think thats a disgrace.
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Community Veteran
Posts: 5,322
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Registered: 21-03-2011

Re: Talking to Expat

Quote from: HPsauce
]I would have thought it was obvious, they are using different technologies and infrastructure from different generations.

Actually the international part is now pretty much an open  but competitive market. Telecoms service providers just buy x million voice minutes/bandwidth capacity from the owners of the international fibres. Those "minutes" are priced at a fraction of the price charged to the consumer. The only substantial price element is if the end telecoms company/authority (PTT) in the remote country decides to add a whack. This would apply uniformly to all telecoms vendors wanting to terminate calls in the country. It's just that the likes of Skype/Vonage operate successful businesses at lower profits than BT on international calls.
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Community Veteran
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Re: Talking to Expat

I was under the assumption that the majority of the call cost comes from the destination provider rather than the originator?
Looking at Sky/TT's call charges to Saudi, they appear to be the same.