Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 6th Sep 2011 21:57 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless In the US wireless market, AT&T is currently attempting to buy T-Mobile to create one heck of a behemoth wireless provider. While earlier this week the US government already filed a lawsuit to block the merger, citing antitrust concerns, US carrier Sprint has now also filed a lawsuit to block the merger.
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RE[2]: So ...
by kaiwai on Wed 7th Sep 2011 06:33 UTC in reply to "RE: So ..."
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

If T-Mobile had to be bought, I'd rather Sprint buy them.

A triopoly is better than a duopoloy. We're already getting screwed.


It won't matter a single iota until there is a banning of locked phones and you can purchase then outside of the wall garden that the mobile phone companies operate inside the United States. It truly is amazing when I see how the mobile phone companies operate in the US; if they're not raping you by charging the receiving party for a phone call or text message they're turning around and locking off your ability to purchase a phone on the market and then select the carrier with the two choices being independent of each other.

Good lord, don't get me started on coverage - the last thing the US needs is an even more fragmented marketplace. Like I've said, looking at the US is like watching New Zealand and Australia from 15 years ago - its a really bad joke but the average American on this forum thinks (to quote George Carlin) "everything is fine and f-cking dandy!".

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[3]: So ...
by Fennec_Fox on Wed 7th Sep 2011 19:28 in reply to "RE[2]: So ..."
Fennec_Fox Member since:
2006-10-30

... raping you by charging the receiving party for a phone call or text message...


And this would probably be the most glaring example of customer abuse by mobile service providers in North America. Coming from EU, and walking into the store in Canada to get a cell phone, this to me was the biggest shocker... That, and how laughingly small the "home zone" is, beyond which you are being slapped with hefty roaming charges...

Of course you *can* theoretically get a plan with "free" roaming, incoming texts and calls... But the price of such a plan would be heart-attack inducing...

BTW, in Canada we have it even worse - we have only three major telecom suppliers, also in a "lightly regulated" market... To give you an idea how badly Canadians are being raped, and mega-profits telcos are raking in - one of them, Rogers, has just applied with the government to start their own Chartered Bank...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: So ...
by darknexus on Wed 7th Sep 2011 20:45 in reply to "RE[2]: So ..."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

It won't matter a single iota until there is a banning of locked phones and you can purchase then outside of the wall garden that the mobile phone companies operate inside the United States.


This is why having more than one option for a GSM carrier is important in this country. I can easily get unlocked GSM phones, and good ones at that. Unlocked phones are not by any means illegal here. True, they're not subsidized, but that's okay by me since it also means the carrier can't try to force me into a ridiculously-priced plan just because I have a certain phone (iPhone plans, anyone?). An added benefit is that I'm not forced to buy a phone loaded down with carrier bloatware.
The trouble with the non-GSM carriers here is twofold. First, they do not use SIM cards, not because CDMA can't have sims but because it's a way for them to lock you in. More importantly though, the two CDMA providers (Verizon and Sprint) use a completely different CDMA frequency and I don't know of any CDMA phone on the market that will handle both. Even if you could get an unlocked CDMA phone, therefore, you're still going to be stuck with only one carrier that'll work with the phone you've bought. In our fucked up CDMA arena, it wouldn't make one bit of difference if we could buy unlocked devices or not, except for allowing you to buy phones with out carrier crapware.
It truly is amazing when I see how the mobile phone companies operate in the US; if they're not raping you by charging the receiving party for a phone call or text message


Yeah, although some of them are finally beginning to drop that. None of the major nation-wide ones, sadly.

they're turning around and locking off your ability to purchase a phone on the market and then select the carrier with the two choices being independent of each other.

If you're referring to the iPhone, you can blame Apple for that. No one held a gun to their corporate collective head and forced them to give AT&T exclusivity, and there's nothing stopping them from selling them unlocked now that said agreement is over. They still choose not to though. It doesn't make sense to me, but I suppose that's why I'm not a corporate bigwig and never want to be.

Good lord, don't get me started on coverage - the last thing the US needs is an even more fragmented marketplace. Like I've said, looking at the US is like watching New Zealand and Australia from 15 years ago - its a really bad joke but the average American on this forum thinks (to quote George Carlin) "everything is fine and f-cking dandy!".


Um, they do? I don't think most of the Americans on this forum thing anything's fine and dandy about this. Now, the average non-technically-inclined American that's been dumbed down by tv is quite another story, but something tells me that you won't find many of those morons here. Be careful not to stereotype too much. That's just what we "average Americans" get accused of doing, after all. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: So ...
by kaiwai on Thu 8th Sep 2011 03:46 in reply to "RE[3]: So ..."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

This is why having more than one option for a GSM carrier is important in this country. I can easily get unlocked GSM phones, and good ones at that. Unlocked phones are not by any means illegal here. True, they're not subsidized, but that's okay by me since it also means the carrier can't try to force me into a ridiculously-priced plan just because I have a certain phone (iPhone plans, anyone?). An added benefit is that I'm not forced to buy a phone loaded down with carrier bloatware.


You can get subsidised phones here in NZ which are unlocked but you're signed into a contract meaning until you get out of that contract you'll have to keep paying for the service (even if you remove the SIM and use another carrier). Many times you'll see carriers go "bring your phone to our service and we'll give you a $200 credit". I know in the case of Vodafone I got a $150 credit on my account when bought a phone full price and then signed up for a contract.

The problem is carriers in the US are trying to claim that unless they lock the phones they'll have to charge full price (thus 'consumers lose' - yes they do actually use that argument when there is a inquiry by the US government into the mobile phone market) which is a load of crap - if you want to offer subsidises on phones you do it via contract with the only real 'losers' are people who want prepaid (but even then prepaid phones in NZ sit around $100 for a middle of the road cheap phone).

The trouble with the non-GSM carriers here is twofold. First, they do not use SIM cards, not because CDMA can't have sims but because it's a way for them to lock you in. More importantly though, the two CDMA providers (Verizon and Sprint) use a completely different CDMA frequency and I don't know of any CDMA phone on the market that will handle both. Even if you could get an unlocked CDMA phone, therefore, you're still going to be stuck with only one carrier that'll work with the phone you've bought. In our fucked up CDMA arena, it wouldn't make one bit of difference if we could buy unlocked devices or not, except for allowing you to buy phones with out carrier crapware.


Even so there is the issue of frequency in the case of GSM where in NZ we have two WCDMA vendors, Vodafone operates on the 900/2100 and Telecom NZ on 850/2100 - there needs to be a law that forces mobile handset vendors to support minimum of x number of frequencies if they're to be sold in a particular country and maybe go one step further and also demand that these handset vendor sell directly to consumers unsubsidised unbranded versions of their phones so that there is choice beyond having to go into a retail shop.

Yeah, although some of them are finally beginning to drop that. None of the major nation-wide ones, sadly.


It always amazes me how these carriers could get away for it for so long - I remember back in the day when I was paying $1.90 per minute through BellSouth NZ (before it was bought out by Vodafone) then gradually over several years of competition the price got below a dollar.

If you're referring to the iPhone, you can blame Apple for that. No one held a gun to their corporate collective head and forced them to give AT&T exclusivity, and there's nothing stopping them from selling them unlocked now that said agreement is over. They still choose not to though. It doesn't make sense to me, but I suppose that's why I'm not a corporate bigwig and never want to be.


It is strange given that in New Zealand I can purchase the iPhone directly from Apple (or one of the many Apple resellers), got to Telecom (Vodafone is Apple's official launch partner in NZ and Australia) and purchase one of those micro-sim's without too many hassles. Why was there this arrangement with AT&T? I have a feeling that it has to do more with Americans used to having heavily subsidised phones (and unwillingness to pay full price for phones) and carriers unwilling to subsidise the phones unless it is exclusive to their network. In a perfect world carriers would compete on who has the best service rather than holding customers hostage to, "well, if you really want that phone you only have one option".

Um, they do? I don't think most of the Americans on this forum thing anything's fine and dandy about this. Now, the average non-technically-inclined American that's been dumbed down by tv is quite another story, but something tells me that you won't find many of those morons here. Be careful not to stereotype too much. That's just what we "average Americans" get accused of doing, after all. ;)


True but at the same time though the status quo has been this way for many decades with no ground swell of movement by the masses to demanding a real competitive marketplace rather than the entrenched network of walled gardens where people are sucked in by subsidised handsets then raped without mercy by the carrier with crappy service and high fees to leave. I know one shouldn't stereotype but my stereotype was based on Joe and Jane Sixpack on main street rather than the technologically savvy people on this forum.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: So ...
by dcbw on Fri 9th Sep 2011 00:00 in reply to "RE[3]: So ..."
dcbw Member since:
2006-08-31

More importantly though, the two CDMA providers (Verizon and Sprint) use a completely different CDMA frequency and I don't know of any CDMA phone on the market that will handle both.


Wrong. All CDMA phones on sale in the United States (and likely Canada) support both 850MHz and 1900MHz which Sprint, Verizon, US Cellular and others use. Only a few phones support the 1700MHz (AWS) CDMA frequency that Cricket uses, but those phones also support 850MHz and 1900MHz.

Sprint almost exclusively runs CDMA 1x and EVDO on 1900MHz, while Verizon runs CDMA 1x on 850MHz and 1900 MHz, and EVDO almost exclusively on 1900MHz. US Cellular is mostly an 850MHz carrier with some 1900MHz spectrum. Every CDMA phone sold in the US has support for both frequencies.

All CDMA phones in the US are capable of roaming between Sprint and Verizon and US Cellular. It's only inter-provider agreements (and the Preferred Roaming Lists built into each CDMA handset) that limit roaming. It has nothing to do with radio frequency limitations.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[9]: "Long term" matters
by zima on Tue 13th Sep 2011 23:54 in reply to "RE[2]: So ..."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

don't get me started on coverage ... its a really bad joke but the average American on this forum thinks (to quote George Carlin) "everything is fine and f-cking dandy!".

The saddest part is all the mind-twisting to justify it... say, that Europe is supposedly ahead in infrastructure cycles thanks to WW2 (as if whole continent was levelled, as if a solid telephone network was the first priority when repairing all the destruction, as if every place didn't need to upgrade recently most of core equipment numerous times to stay in the game). Or insisting that rural levels of the US are comparable to... sub-Saharan Africa (I kid you not), ignoring that suburban sprawl is a matter of choice (which does impact local, interchange-level operations), imagining Europe as some sort of continent-wide urbanized area with half an hour from a random major agglomeration (me, living in the very centre of Europe, I have an hour to anything of note, and 5+ hours to all of nearest three major agglomerations; two of which are in different countries, with loosely connected infrastructures and weak benefits of "radiating" them; with even some quite sparsely inhabited primordial forests and swamps in-between)

...and always ignoring that the "big three" Nordic countries have population densities (all that matters in the end, how many people pay for each proportional part of infrastructure) significantly below that of the US.

PS. One very minor thing, not warranting a separate reply, in one of your other nearby posts...
I've seen it here in NZ - people spending thousands on the latest gadgets but don't have the money to provide a decent lunch or a rain coat for their kid. We live in a strange time where people have warped priorities.

I don't think that's really the case, I don't think that's fair. The past wasn't really better, we just don't have memories of it. "Good old times" is a myth known, in written forms, since the antiquity.
People were starving much more often in the past. And look at all the ornamental folklore artefacts, very valued and cherished now ...but, really, primarily made to look "fancy" (at the time) and, worse, typically very labour intensive.

Edited 2011-09-14 00:12 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2