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Leading Descriptions of Long Distance Services Companies: a Short Compendium
To call a person from a great distance requires that you spend money to a telephone company for utilizing this service. If you plan to talk to someone multiple times over long ranges, you will have to choose a corporation which will strike the best balance between service and price. However, before you choose your next provider, try to learn all you can about their utilities. Below are four terms to know about telecommunications.
Local Access Transport Areas - Abbreviated as LATAs, these are cells around the country in which conversations between two people are deemed "local" and thus charged to the local phone company. A call between LATAs is considered long distance and thus will carry an extra fee.
Interexchange Carrier - A corporation which conducts service between LATAs. These exclusively connect two different customers in different LATAs, and so can charge their own fees for using this service. Every minute using their services costs money, so pick and choose which provider to go with. Certain numbers may offer a discount when calling.
Calling Card - A card which is credited to a prepaid plan. Standard cards have a fixed amount of credit attached to them and are tossed when finished. Rechargeable versions can have money deposited into them for continuous use.
Personal Communication Service - A system which allows wireless communication services such as pager, instant messaging, and data transfer. PCS allows a customer to remotely access data stored at a home or office by use of their cell phone. PCS emphasizes personal use and operates at a higher frequency than standard cellular devices which were originally designed for use in cars.
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The telephone was invented in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell. Long distance service began naturally as the Bell Company expanded its service and built new exchanges.
Traditionally, long distance telephone service in the United States has been somewhat separate from local service. Local service is commonly not metered by time, whilst long distance is. International calls generally command the highest rates.
However, things have changed recently. With competition from cell phones, which charge the same for domestic calls regardless of distance, and improved technology, free long distance plans have become more common. It is also becoming rarer for a customer to purchase long distance service from a different carrier. Commonly, service is now purchased in package deals that often also include internet service and may also include subscription television and even mobile phone plans. Providers offer residential customers discounts for purchasing all of their services from one supplier. However, many long distance calls are still billed by the minute, with prices varying by distance.
The equipment used is also evolving. Most telephone trunk lines are now fiber optic and some providers are now running fiber optic lines all the way into people's homes. As wireless phones become more sophisticated and plans more reasonable, some customers are opting out of a fixed telephone altogether and using their mobiles for all calls. Most companies, therefore, offer both wired and wireless service. Business and commercial service is often charged at a higher rate and with more restrictions on the package.
As a telephone company often has a monopoly on local calls, customers retain the legal right to select another provider for long distance. With times changing, however, the line between local and long distance service is blurring and starting to fade away.