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Why Does US Cell Phone Service Suck?

Posted By Barry Ritholtz On June 5, 2014 @ 9:00 am In Really, really bad calls,Regulation,Taxes and Policy,Technology | Comments Disabled

Yesterday on my commute to work, I became annoyed with the spotty coverage and slow connection provided by Verizon Wireless. I tweeted [1] my frustration.

Imagine my surprise when AT&T’s social networking Tinkerbell responded [2] to me: “Connect when and where you want with our reliable 4G LTE!”

I found that amusing. The reason [3] I switched to Verizon Wireless was because AT&T was so awful. I bought the first version of the iPhone, with AT&T as the sole carrier. The device was a delightful and innovative glass brick. Great apps, brilliant design, game-changing paradigm shift. Except for that whole wanting-to-make-phone-calls on it issue. For that purpose, it was worthless. That’s what I mean by glass brick. I returned it for a full refund, and got some ugly non-iPhone at Verizon that I actually could make phone calls on.

Once Verizon got the iPhone, I returned to the glass brick, new and improved — now with phone-calling capabilities!

All of which raises the question: Why are telecom services in the U.S. so unconscionably awful? Sure they’re expensive [4], but at least they are slow [5] and unreliable! We invented most of the technologies so why are they so superior in other countries [6]? continues here [7]


Article printed from The Big Picture: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog

URL to article: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2014/06/why-does-us-cell-phone-service-suck/

URLs in this post:

[1] tweeted: https://twitter.com/ritholtz/status/474171358289481729

[2] responded: https://twitter.com/ATTDeals/status/474173839845650432

[3] reason: https://twitter.com/ritholtz/status/474188510162079744

[4] expensive: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-24528383

[5] slow: http://theweek.com/article/index/257404/why-is-american-internet-so-slow#axzz33lDWMSx0

[6] countries: http://www.academia.edu/2118728/Barriers_to_Entry_Analysis_of_Broadband_Multiple_Platforms_Comparing_the_U.S._and_South_Korea

[7] continues here: http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-06-05/why-does-u-s-cell-phone-service-stink

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