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back to article The FLOATING mobile phone shop on the edge of the Internet

Google Maps can't find the Cambodian village of Prek Toal. Bing Maps is similarly clueless about the community of 6,000 nestled near the north-western end of Lake Tonle Sap. But Cambodian mobile carrier Metfone knows all about Prek Toal: it has a dealer there in a floating building and may well operate one of three cells the …

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Anonymous Coward

Is there anywhere I can go that will help me escape from the blight of the mobile phone?

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Given that mobiles are leapfrogging fixed lines across the developing world and doing some frankly astounding good, no.

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xyz
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RE: Given that mobiles are leapfrogging fixed lines across the developing world

Yeah that baffles me, how come I can't get a signal in sodding Lewisham when I can get a signal in the middle of ******** nowhere, anyplace else on the planet.

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Is there anywhere I can go that will help me escape from the blight of the mobile phone?

The past.

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Re: RE: Given that mobiles are leapfrogging fixed lines across the developing world

Probably because there are far fewer buildings blocking your signal in the middle of ******** nowhere. Or indeed far fewer other people with phones using all the cell capacity.

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Re: RE: Given that mobiles are leapfrogging fixed lines across the developing world

And of course, the big ticket item.

The arse end of nowhere lacks the NIMBYs and tinfoil-hat wearers who would tie any attempt to install three large masts to give that excellent service in expensive planning knots for the next five years.

If you're prepared to be f***ing grateful for the service, it's more likely that they'll provide it.

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Pint

Yes.... (see below)

Try the Sargasso sea...

Seaweed flavoured beer, an acquired taste.

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Ru
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Meh

Is there anywhere I can go that will help me escape from the blight of the mobile phone?

I recommend taking up diving as a hobby. Or perhaps caving, depending on where you live.

Consider than mobile telephony is not a blight to a person who has no other means of reliable communication beyond earshot.

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Happy

Neither Damascus, Virginia nor Green Cove, Tennessee have mobile service of any kind. The North Slope of Alaska doesn't have much coverage outside of Deadhorse either.

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Re: RE: Given that mobiles are leapfrogging fixed lines across the developing world

Malcolm 1,

I side with xyz on this - probably because I only live a couple of miles away. I would be more convinced about the lack of signal being the fault of builders and/or users if the quality of service had not taken such a sharp nose dive when Orange and T-Mobile merged.

Suddenly, from being able to get a line almost all of the time, users (at least in central and south London) would regularly get failed connections. I quit EE over the poor performance, but my wife still has an EE work phone and is frequently out of contact.

I don't think that such a sudden change can be blamed on anyone but the network, and Lewisham has been a signal-free area for as long as I can remember (long before the current medium rise developments went up anyway).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: RE: Given that mobiles are leapfrogging fixed lines across the developing world

"Yeah that baffles me, how come I can't get a signal in sodding Lewisham when I can get a signal in the middle of ******** nowhere, anyplace else on the planet."

Easy, Eustace Bagge rents out his windmill as a cell phone tower.

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Yes, the London Underground, or at least the bits of it that are actually underground.

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Is there anywhere I can go that will help me escape from the blight of the mobile phone?

I hear Mars is nice at this time of the year...

Mobile phone signals haven't reached there yet either. You would be at home there.

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FAIL

"Metfone has a digital music service called iMuzik"

I believe that allows you to change the dial tone that the calling party hears when calling you to Rick Astley or something equally modern and hip that today's youth are down with, instead of being a Spotify-style service as the article seems to describe.

Edit: After rummaging around the full Imuzik website, it's both. How strange.

<--- Icon for opening my mouth before doing the proper research. Or wherever it is now ---> ^ v

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Thumb Up

Great article

More Reg journos should recount their holidays from a tech perspective.

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I do believe that there is no mobile reception in Antarctica.

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FAIL

Consider this?

"That's a fortune in a village where a dollar is a not-considerable sum"

A dollar is NOT a considerable sum? Are you sure?

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How do they afford them?

Are they all sold on some ridiculously low-priced but long-term contract or something?

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Re: How do they afford them?

The phones cost what the market will bear. They live in an economically depressed place whereas you probably don't, hence, you pay more than them. It's the way it works.

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Re: How do they afford them?

It's also possible to buy a phone in this country for under £10. Before a recent trip to Africa, I bought a Nokia feature-phone, unlocked and ready to go, for £6.50. There was also a non-branded Chinese one in the same shop (Phones4u maybe? Can't remember) for about £4.

I reckon people are willing to spend a few days or a week of wages on something like a phone. In the 1st world, that often means a few hundred quid. In developing countries, it's more likely to be in the sub-£10 region, so those phones are much more common there.

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Re-using nails

That does not surprise me at all, its always struck me when in SEA that they are very thrifty about stuff like that. I don't know if its cultural because the areas used to be really poor but to me its seems something we lack in a way.

Why not re-use the nails rather than discard them just pay to have slightly shinier ones to use?

You see the re-use of items a lot, I've stayed in places that have basically been built from collected scrap and actually look pretty nice, I've been to all you can eat buffets that will charge you extra if you fill your plate and don't eat it all (but don't care if you make multiple visits) its the waste of food they find objectionable.

It makes them rather nifty at building things from what we would often regard as crap of landfill as well, in a Heath Robinson engineering sort of way.

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Re: Re-using nails

I was living with some friends in the early '90s in Ho Chi Minh while they remodeled a bar. Construction debris (mostly chunks of concrete) was stacked outside the front door. People, the better off ones with wheelbarrows, would appear from nowhere and take it away.

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Re: Re-using nails

lowwall, that's actually a fascinating insight, thanks.

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"full size SIM"

I assume by saying that only full size SIMs were on offer you actually mean mini SIMs (2FF size) rather the business card size SIMs (1FF size). The latter, technically speaking, being full size SIMs.

I am curious to know if phones are still produced that take 1FF sized SIMs. I haven't seen one for years.

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