Mobile Phone Alternatives


Once upon a time pagers were fairly common in the UK but since the introduction of mobile handsets pagers are rarely seen being used. They can be considered if all you want is to be able to receive brief messages and they do cost less than some mobile phones.

However they do have drawbacks:

  • You are limited to only receiving messages – often a message will need a reply!
  • They are very expensive to call – the premium rate numbers used are sometimes barred by company switchboards.
  • When coverage is low your messages may be lost (e.g. in a tunnel) when they are sent. Unlike mobiles sent SMS messages, pagers don’t acknowledge receipt, so the network won’t know to re-send it.
  • Pagers put you in a reactive situation – you have to wait to be contacted, which can cause more concern than it relieves.

Pagers are still quite popular in the USA most notably with doctors, where mobile users pay for incoming calls, but in the UK and Europe in general people generally find mobile phones more useful and practical.