Середа, 22 Травня, 2024

$389 per minute – that’s how much it costed to call to the USA a century ago

Almost 100 years ago, humanity obtained an opportunity to deliver voice communication between two parts of the world – North America and Europe. Today, this is a common thing and a call for several thousand kilometers is quite cheap, and if you call over the Internet, the connection does not require additional funds. However, a century ago, you had to pay a fortune for transatlantic talking.

Transatlantic calls have been available since at least 1927 by radio. According to the book “Uniting geography: a common legacy, a shared future” by authors David Herbert and John Mathews, a three-minute call from London to the US costed 15 pounds-sterling.

The amount of 15 pounds-sterling in 1927 is equivalent to 948.54 pounds-sterling in 2019. Modern British money worth only 2% of the money from a century ago. In terms of USA dollars at the exchange rate in the end 2019, the price for a three-minute conversation was $1 167.93. Or $389 per minute of talking.

The transatlantic communication service was popular in 1927 – a 300 thousand calls were made per year.

The cable TAT-1 (TransATlantic No. 1) ended the extreme cost of transatlantic communications. It was started on June 28, 1955, and completed in 1956. It was decommissioned in 1978. The cost of a minute call did not exceed three dollars at that time, or 27.37 modern dollars (data from the book “Broadband telecommunications technologies and management”, author Riaz Esmailzadeh).

TAT-1 didn’t just broadcast conversations. In may 1957, singer and civil rights advocate Paul Robson performed a concert in new York city, and the event was broadcasted via TAT-1 at St Pancras Town Hall in London. A 15-minute broadcast with concert quality costed 300 pounds-sterling at the time. This is 7 280.87 pounds-sterling in money of 2019 or $8 964.9. That is $597 per minute of high-quality audio broadcast.

In our time, Vodafone users can make a mobile call from Ukraine to the United States at the rate of 10 minutes for 10 UAH/day. In dollars, this is $0.037 per minute of conversation.

Євген пише для TechToday з 2012 року. Інженер за освітою. Захоплюється реставрацією старих автомобілів.


Залишайтеся з нами