Call around the world for just $90!
In 1964, AT&T took out advertisements to remind consumers how affordable international long-distance service had become—just $12 for a typical overseas call.
The fact that average wages in 1964 were $2.50 per hour, and that a call cost the equivalent of $94 today, suggests that AT&T's advertisement wasn't aimed at the average consumer. Still, the 1964 rates were a bargain relative to the $75 cost of a three-minute trans-Atlantic call in 1927—the equivalent of more than $1,000 today.
Call volumes in 1964 were as modest as prices were high—the U.S. generated just 20 million minutes of traffic.
However, falling prices and international migration made international calling a mass market service. By 2015, average U.S. international call prices had fallen to less than $0.09 per minute and traffic reached 134 billion minutes.
Stephan was formerly TeleGeography's VP of Strategy. He was responsible for new product development and advised TeleGeography's research teams.