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[5]: So ...
by tidux on Thu 8th Sep 2011 14:28 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: So ..."
tidux
Member since:
2011-08-13

The problem is that with the decline of our education system and the anti-intellectual tendencies of a good 45% of the country, people just don't understand how badly they're getting taken advantage of. Personally, I have the shell of an idea for a bill to fix this at a federal level (by sending it to one of my senators, who's still a decent person).

My name for it is the Fairness In Telephony (FIT) Act, because everything has to have a catchy name these days. Here's the basics:

1. require all cellular telephone companies to have a single protocol and frequency set, ideally GSM/GPRS/EDGE/HSPA/LTE on the standard GSM quad-band frequencies

2. ban roaming fees for any possible use of the phone, including but not limited to voice, sms, mms, and data

3. given that cellular devices are the primary internet connection for some households, mandate the presence of a completely unlimited, unthrottled everything plan, for at most $80 per month in 2011 dollars - Sprint's already doing this and still turning a profit, so there's proof that it can be done

4. ban carrier-locked phones

5. ban locked bootloaders and phones that need to be cracked to give admin/root access - there's no good reason, since the dumb users won't mess with it anyways and it makes us hackers happy, but the telcos have demanded the locked-down phones anyways

Basically, if they're going to act like an oligopoly, force interoperability and user freedom. I'd throw in a bit about requiring all phone OSes to be Free Software, but that's just not going to happen in this climate.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: So ...
by kaiwai on Sat 10th Sep 2011 09:25 in reply to "RE[5]: So ..."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Regarding 3 and 4; when it comes to bootloaders etc. I'd go one step further and mandate that all phones ranges can be only differentiated by hardware not by operating system - in other words you have the same hardware across a whole range but either Windows Phone 7 or Android offered. I would then go one step further and allow the end user to change operating systems by paying a nominal about (say $10-$20) to move from one operating system to another. There is no logical reason why a phone cannot have its operating system changed - if I am unhappy with Android why can't I just purchase a copy of Windows Phone 7 and replace Android with it? We do it with computers right now so why I can't I do it with my phone operating system?

Regarding the issue of unlimited - the problem is that there is a limited amount of spectrum and capacity thus you would end up with flooded mobile phone towers which are then compounded further by the cost of putting up new towers cost almost as much as the tower itself (ignoring all the moronic luddites who think their brains will be fried by a tower close to their home/workplace/ashram/etc.). What is the biggest problem in the US is the differentiation of smart phone data from data using a 3G stick - why do they do that? because they offer high amounts of data on smart phone plans because customers will never reach it but castrate the 3G device users because they know that they'll more likely to reach their limit. In New Zealand the data isn't cheap but you pay a flat rate and the carrier doesn't give two hoots how you use it - if you want to tether it then go ahead, want to just browse on your phone then all power to you. For example I am on a prepaid plan where I pay NZ$25 (US$20) per month for 500MB - I can tether my iPhone to my computer if I want, I can surf the net and stream to my hearts content because at the end of the day I've paid for my data and that is all the carrier should care about.

Reply Parent Score: 2