My local phone contract is 70$ per months for 6 GB and a limited numbers of calls/text and no MMS. So I'm basically paying less than half roaming with my France SIM than with my local one, while having a better service. The real kicker? The roaming is happening on my local's provider network.
I don't care what your definition of insanity is, mine is Canadian telecoms.
As far as I could tell, you’re a caveman in France if you use SMS or cell calls as they use WhatsApp. That surprised me.
This suspiciously resembles a opportunity for arbitrage.
The only downsides were that I had a Mexican phone number (I use Google Voice anyway, so just needed the data) and, more importantly, that all the customer support was in Spanish...
I ended up ditching the SIM after about a year when the data stopped working when I bought a new tariff. Not sure how much this was due to my inability to navigate the Spanish customer interface vs. ATT cracking down on people doing exactly this.
They offer an option for about 10€ a month which offers unlimited international calls but only to landlines. 10€ is also how much unlimited texts cost – but I don’t send many texts anyways so 3 * 20¢ a month is not too bad.
I think the real problem is that there is no real competition in Germany. They are 3 carriers, 2 of them use the D network but are very expensive and one is cheaper but only uses 1800HZ frequencies which makes them unusable in most buildings. You have a false sense of competition from third party resells which either use the a slow network, a slow connections, or just don’t offer LTE/4G at all (although their customer support is usefully way better then one of the three carriers).
After all, we almost pay American prices in terms of $/GB, but live in a very dense area, we don’t need a lot of rual coverage (unlike in America where you can go 300 miles in one way and don’t meet anybody) and have no difficult mountains. Even according to our government we have “good and fair telecom regulations”.
That’s because we have really good phone contracts in France compared to the rest of the World, and also because mobile roaming charges are forbidden in the EU .
That’s a developed world problem isn’t it, or at least it’s bad there too?
A downside of the situation you discuss is that it’s not easy to navigate the current situation, as you can’t communicate with certain people if you don’t want WhatsApp. In France i encountered several people don’t have a cellphone number for calls or SMS, and my interest in WhatsApp is zero, preventing communication except by email.