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Telephone Wars and Free Circles

Updated on October 14, 2009
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Glendon and his wife have led church ministries, conducted empowerment seminars, and travelled to faraway places on business and vacation.

I hate phones. I don’t make phone calls unless I have to. I find telephones intrusive, noisy, and unromantic. But as a self-employed entrepreneur I have come to acquire the bad habit of answering the cell phone on nearly every occasion. I have a no answering of the telephone rule for two inviolate times: family worship, and intimacy.  The better ringing half is obsessed with the telephone, and no time is too sacred or special once the darn thing is crying for attention, every call has to be answered. I vainly congratulate myself on the occasions when I occupy her attention so much she has no choice but to ignore the phone.  

One of these days there will be a headline “HUSBAND SHOOTS PHONE”.

I don’t touch the thing at all during family worship, but I sometimes pause for cause on rare occasions during intimacy. How we slowly become the things we resent!

To add to my sins I now have two cell phones, one for my LIME (formerly Cable &wireless) number; the other a Claro phone (a Nokia cheapie of course) because my wife and her best friend have moved over to Claro for the free circle to replace the flat rate VIP circle we had with LIME.

Cell tower in Jamaica.  Photo by Glendon Caballero
Cell tower in Jamaica. Photo by Glendon Caballero

Mobile operators have discounted packages for a limited number of persons you call regularly within the network. With Lime we were paying about $400 per month per person. With Claro the service is free for up to two other persons in the network. Easy choice. End of story.

I had no choice but to get a Claro if I wanted to continue talking for free (or almost) with dearly beloved.

The average Jamaica cell phone user probably did not pay much attention to the acquisition of Oceanic Digital Jamaica by America Movil (AMX) in August, 2007. You see most Jamaicans were on one or both major mobile operators at the time, namely Cable and wireless (now rebranded as LIME) and Digicel.

So over two years later and the tech watchers like Jose F. Otero are getting all excited and analytical about the future of the digital market.

In my neck of the woods here in central Jamaica the technological wars are heating up. New Claro stores and franchises are promoting their new deals, and are making sales. Every one now has a Claro number. The thing with Jamaicans is that we all have two or three phones. Thanks to internet shopping two members of my family own dual-sim phones.

I still prefer face to face communication. And I rather enjoy the quiet interaction of my countless hours at my laptop chatting with the global village.

I am just not fond of that noisy little device called a telephone. And all that horrible dance hall music being played as bling back. By people who should know better.


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