The Cost of Convenience: Are You Overpaying?

Recent improvements in both cell phone technology and cellular coverage have made it extremely easy to stay connected anywhere in the world. A few years ago, international travelers looking to place calls while traveling outside the US only had a few options, but not anymore. US carriers realized there was a sizeable market of international travelers who were talking on other carrier’s airtime and they moved quickly to sign roaming agreements which would allow their customers to roam with their US numbers on GSM networks around the world.

Pricing for these roamed calls initially was quite high but over time has become more affordable – and easier to understand – as carriers have adopted a flat rate pricing matrix consisting of international roaming zones. Users could now roam throughout Western Europe for example and know their call costs would be .99 per minute regardless of what country they were in or whether they were placing or receiving a call. This was almost a perfect world for the international traveler: they boarded their plane, arrived at their destination, turned their cell phone on and it worked. Friends, family and business associates could reach them on their personal cell phone number wherever they traveled.

Unfortunately this simplicity of this solution soon led to a very high cost of convenience. It prevented users from investigating other options for voice solutions as it was more convenient to keep your own number rather than seek out lower cost alternatives. The end of 2008 saw the US enter into recession. Companies still had a need for international travel but the costs had to be brought under control. Alternatives such as Cellhire’s global roaming and local airtime solutions offer customers high quality voice service at rates up to 40% below those of US carriers.

Tough economic times have forced telecom managers to weigh the convenience of employees keeping their own numbers against the savings of using alternative airtime solutions. This can be a tough sell to the executive who doesn’t have time to think about swapping SIM cards, perhaps taking an entirely different cell phone – they simply wants to get on the plane and go. “This is exactly the type of customer Cellhire likes to be in front of because the message is so clear,” said John Henry, Vice President of Operations for Cellhire USA. “At first we explain how we can save up to 50% off of their average international call spend. When taken in terms of per minute pricing we’re talking cents and that initially doesn’t seem like much. However, when you explain that their company spent $20,000 on international roaming calls last month a little light goes off and the epiphany begins.” The process is very simple. Cellhire takes an actual customer cell phone bill and substitutes their appropriate solution for the country the customer visited. They are able to show the customer exactly what the Cellhire solution would have cost for those same calls. In most cases the inconvenience of changing cell phone numbers is greatly outweighed by the savings achieved.

Another advantage of solutions offered by a company like Cellhire is the freedom of having zero long term commitments. There are no contracts, no minimum spend requirements, you only use the solution when you need it and only pay for the minutes you use. Plans change, trips are postponed, why not use a solution that offers the flexibility to meet the ever-changing demands of your business. Successful companies will be those who keep their business growing. Reduced margins and revenue numbers mean overheads must be reduced in order to maintain any growth and momentum. Finding a partner to help you achieve these cost reductions will be critical to success in this economic climate and in the future.

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