When AT&T makes your long distance phone calls cheaper, you know there’s real business change happening. When AT&T makes international calls placed from your cell phone a lot cheaper, business change has EXPLODED.
And that’s exactly what’s happened. AT&T has released a SmartPhone app that gives you international phone calls for as little as four cents per minute.
This may not matter all that much to all that many people; sure, there are about a gazillion international phone calls placed every day, but I’d say with some confidence that most of the calls placed by most Americans are to other people in the USA. Nevertheless, AT&T was charging a tremendous amount of money for these calls, and now they’ve thrown that revenue away.
Customer Service? No, of course not. AT&T has simply decided that getting paid something is better than getting paid nothing. With more and more people realizing that they can route their way around phone companies and make their international calls using services like Skype, AT&T has decided, wisely, that playing to their customers instead of against them just plain makes sense.
Oh, AT&T is still more expensive than Skype and other VoIP providers. Even at the low end of AT&T’s new international calling prices, they’re about twice as expensive as Microsoft’s VoIP jewel.
But business change it is, nevertheless. SmartPhone users who get their wireless coverage from AT&T and just want to place calls without jumping through technological hoops can now do that without getting ripped off and charged prices that became passé 20 years ago. Coming from AT&T, the company that simply complained when Verizon found an interesting marketing angle to exploit, and that previously thought business change meant asking the government to create it for them through regulatory change, this is huge.
By the way: AT&T International long distance still costs way more than the “zero” you pay if you’ve figured out how to make international calls for free [Contact The Answer Guy]). Just sayin’.