When I was growing up I was thought to be very aware of what phone numbers I called. As I was old enough to make calls in the early 80’s you learned that calling people far away was expensive. Even up to the early 2000’s you had the same issue.

Then, suddenly, as the price of data plummeted voice was suddenly a very thin stream of information to send. It got rounded down to free. For instance, cell phone plans used to be measured in minutes. Now voice is free. Voice is only around 13kbps to send. Compare that to images or even video and it’s a drop in the proverbial bucket. 1GB of data is almost 9 days of voice.

I had a phone screen last month with a gentleman from Kazakstan. It was at 9AM Pacific time so I called him from my cell phone at home.

I just got the bill.

$164.09 for 61 minutes of poor quality voice. $2.69 a minute.


You take things like voice calls for granted. It’s free — or cheap.

Until it isn’t.