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U.S. Wireless Service Still Stinks

August 5, 2005

I smirked when I saw this on a Verizon press release today:

"The company's long tradition of investment in its network, including stringent quality testing, is rooted in Verizon Wireless' commitment to offer the most reliable wireless service. Known for its award winning service, Verizon Wireless has regularly invested more than $4 billion nationally each year since its inception -- and more than $5 billion last year alone -- to expand and upgrade its nationwide wireless network."

Fine. Whatever.

I've been a Verizon customer for more than five years. It's true...I am more likely to get a signal with Verizon than any other company. As long as I'm in a city. A big city. Outside. Standing on a box.

Let's face it...cell phone coverage in the U.S. in rural or semi-rural areas still stinks. Even suburban areas are patchy. When it exists, it's very poor. Most of the time, it doesn't exist.

(Yes, I know I wrote an article yesterday about non-stop chattering on cell phones in supermarkets. But that doesn't stop me from wishing that the U.S. system was better. Maybe then people wouldn't have to yell information about their irritable bowel syndrome quite so loud if the signals were better.)

I borrowed a GSM phone from Rich Tehrani several years ago and brought it to Ireland. After buying a SIM card, I wandered the breadth and depth of the wilds of western Ireland. I got a signal everywhere I went. I was beginning to think that some of the sheep were fitted with transmitters.

How old will we be before the U.S. wireless industry catches up to the rest of the world? Message to the U.S. wireless industry: we want better coverage and better service, and press releases aren't going to convince us we've got it.

We could also use more sheep.

TES




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