Monday 24 January 2011 by Formelia Alberthine

Mobile in space experiment to uncover the mysteries of roaming charges


British engineers planning to send a mobile phone into space have claimed that they hope their efforts will finally allow mankind to understand the complexities of modern roaming charges.

The team at Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) have ignored warnings that the plan to send a phone into the most challenging environment known to man will use up all available funding in just a few weeks – even if they choose only to receive calls from people back home.

The phone, which will be running the Android system, will be used to check just how quickly a phone bill can get out of control when used outside of your home country.

A spokesman for SSTL has said any costs incurred will be worthwhile, regardless of whether the organisation is forced to fold as a result.

“Our chosen supplier has made us fully aware of the implications of using one of our phones outside the price plan of the originating agreement – it’s all there in the small print, apparently.”

“Anyone who has ever picked up their messages on a Mediterranean island knows how expensive this experiment is going to be, but it’s an important step for mankind in finally understanding how they can charge so much to receive a bloody phone call.”

Mobile phone in space

Members of the mobile phone industry have reacted angrily to the planned experiment, insisting that their process for charging customers for roaming services is absolutely straight forward, for anyone with an advanced degree in Mathematics.

A spokesperson for the industry body GSMA said, “Look, the charges are optional, if you don’t want to pay astronomical amounts to receive a call from someone you didn’t want to speak to anyway, then just turn off your handset. Simple.”

“Though why you’d send a handset into space and not have it switched on, I have no idea.”

“Yes, we are very much looking forward to sending out this particular phone bill, actually.”

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