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Cellular phones are a phenomenon that has engulfed people in the nineties. They have become a common occurrence whether you are waiting in line at the super market or in a movie theatre. One professor at Murray State University said, “Many students are carrying them, I had a student get a call in the middle of a test last semester.” Although many people have accepted the thought of carrying a telephone wherever they go, others have not taken the onslaught of cell phones quite so easily. Cell phones have become part of everyday life, and with the dramatic changes that have been made, there is no sign of their existence diminishing. Today, cellular service is available in all 306 Metropolitan Statistical Areas across the country and all of the 428 Rural Service Areas.
Cellular phones carry a diverse group of users. In June 1985, there were about 203,000 cellular phone service subscribers. By June 1989, the number had exploded to 2.7 million subscribers, and by June 1995 there were mire than 26 million subscribers. When cell phones were first introduce, only people with a lot of money had them and the service was very expensive. It was a lot cheaper to stop and use the pay phone than it was to use a cell phone. Now, it is almost as cheap to use a cell phone to make a long distance call as it is to make a long distance call using AT&T.
Long distance calling has become a vast market of sales and bribery. A majority of cell phone users have a long distance plan with there cellular package. A lot of college students have cell phones just to make long distance calls home to their friends and family. Depending on the time of day, a person in Fayetteville, Arkansas can call a person in Dallas, Texas for as little as 9 cents a minute. That is very cheap for that type of telephone call.
Why have Americans become so attached to cellular phones? Is it convenience, or just the way a person feels driving down the road talking to someone. There is no way to tell. I think it is very important to look at the reason Americans buy and use cellular phones. In a survey taken in 1996, Southwestern Bell Cellular asked 5,000 of its users to fill out a survey.
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