Cellular phone service costs 1997

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by senseless, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. senseless macrumors 68000

    senseless

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
    #1
    From an old metrophone sales brochure. No texts, no internet, just voice. cellular.jpeg
     
  2. Zenithal Suspended

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #2
    I'd forgotten about predetermined minutes. Wow. When SMS came around, I believe you were limited to those, too. I can't remember when this ancient pricing model was dropped. 2005, 2006?
     
  3. senseless thread starter macrumors 68000

    senseless

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
    #3
    And of course the dreaded "roaming charge" that push a call price to $1 per minute!
     
  4. heehee macrumors 68020

    heehee

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    Location:
    Same country as Santa Claus
    #4
    IMG_4514.JPG I remember when the Motorola StarTac came out, it was $1,000.
     
  5. Zenithal Suspended

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #5
    My bulky flip phone had that. I later took employment with a company that had hefty packages for employees, and we also had PTT which was bloody fun to use in public. It knocked people flat with how spooky it seemed. Those were the days. I had a non flip LG based phone in 2000/20001 which was rather good. Specifically, because I was able to throw it against brick walls quite often out of dropped call frustration and it still worked. At the time, I believe I was with Cingular before they were bought by ATT.
     
  6. JackieInCo macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
    Location:
    Colorado
    #6
    I got my first cellphone in 1993. I remember the minutes packages being so expensive, pretty much inline with the OPs screenshot. Minutes were expensive. I remember paying about $100 for about 350 minutes or so. I remember I was so happy to get my first cellphone when I passed the credit check.

    People still had pagers back then and so not everyone had a cellphone yet.

    The next year, I got hired on at a company as a driver and was the only one who had a cellphone there. It was a real convenient thing to have. I still work at that same company today and of course, everyone has a cellphone now. It's pretty much a requirement for the job now. I remember talking to people on the phone back then and being able to tell when the phone hopped onto the next cell. Was fun times though. My boss at the time had just purchased one of those Motorola bag phones. Huge thing but he enjoyed it just as much as I enjoyed my phone back then.

    Now I have 6 lines on T-Mobile for $160 w/ unlimited minutes on each line plus a free line for my Gear S watch. They stopped charging me for that plan when I wanted to cancel it.
     
  7. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #7
    I clearly remember the transistion from beeper to bag phone! :D

    I loved Motorola flip phones picturing back when they were cutting edge. :) Does Motorola still make phones?
     
  8. Khalanad75 macrumors 6502

    Khalanad75

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2015
    Location:
    land of confusion
    #8
    I honestly miss my old Nokia 5110. That damn brickphone was nigh unbreakable. I accidently ran it over after it fell out of my pocket getting into my car. I cracked the faceplate and that was it. I replaced it and still used it for another 2 years.

    I love all that we can do with the smartphones of today, but for just a pure phone, it couldn't be beat. It felt great in your hands, had excellent call quality, and was highly customizable. I remember my sister in law changed out her antenna to one that had multicolored LEDs in it that lit up when it rang.
     
  9. TheAppleFairy macrumors 68020

    TheAppleFairy

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2013
    Location:
    The Clinton Archipelago unfortunately
    #9
    Ok Mr. Stephenson, don't try to justify current cellphone prices with old prices.

    LOL cellphones back in the day were for emergency use only.
     
  10. bunnspecial, Sep 29, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016

    bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #10
    We got our first cell phone in the summer of '96 when my grandfather was in the hospital (implantable difribillator/pacemaker, which was at the time just maturing as a technology and they had to install two due to a defect in the first) and were debating about cancelling the family vacation. My aunt and grandmother both encouraged us to go on, and my aunt suggested getting a cell phone. Our first plan had no minutes and I think was about $.20/minute in area and $2/min out of area. Because of where we were headed, we chose a plan that covered the entire 502 area code(at the time basically the western half of Kentucky) and extended some ways into Missouri, Illinois, and Tennessee.

    In any case, fast forward a year and a half and at that time we'd moved up to a plan that gave us 30 minutes/month in area, $.10/minute in area past that, but was still about $2/min out of area. Even so, the phone had probably only been used a handful of times-just to use up our minutes my parents would call to check in when they were out somewhere, but that was about it.

    In any case, around Christmas/New Years in '97, an uncle up in Michigan passed away. We went up to the funeral and my dad's brother along with his son(my cousin) went up with us. We'd left the cell phone number with my uncle's wife "just in case." We were about a half hour from home, but in the 606 area code(at the time all of Eastern KY) so were roaming. My aunt called to see where we were, and my uncle talked to her for about 10 minutes. I think that call was something like $25, because in addition to the per-minute fee there was a connection charge.

    By the way, does anyone else remember "Night and weekend minutes?" For a while, when I would go away on school trips my parents would send me with a calling card. In fact, I think I still have a 500 minute one(with about 400 minutes left on it) buried in my wallet somewhere-I'd guess it's still good, and I suppose it would come in handy if I had to try and find a payphone in a place with no cell service. In any case, once my parents each got their own cell phones(sequential numbers, BTW), they would often send me away on trips with one of the phones and the explicit instructions to only call after 9:00PM :) .
     
  11. JackieInCo macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
    Location:
    Colorado
    #11
    Here was my first cellphone from 1993. I bought the extra battery kit that came with a leather case, extra battery and cigarette lighter plug all for $100. The phone was $199 with two year sub. You could swap batteries without dropping the call.

    IMG_0489.JPG
     

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