First this is not a post about Canada versus the U.S. It is a post about cellular and wireless service in two areas of North America.
Since getting an iPhone over a year ago it took some getting used to in changing carriers from Telus to Rogers. There is the good and bad in both but overall Rogers has been a good supplier of cellphone services as they are used by the iPhone. What one takes for granted is the availability of service access. In your everyday working world which is usually limited in a geographic area things are pretty good. The phone reception is always 5 bars and 3G is always available. When traveling in Canada it has never been a problem to have good service wherever I have been. The caveat here is that others may not have the good luck to be in a good reception area of Rogers. Peoples personal history may vary.
With AT&T it is a different story. No matter where I have been in the last 12 days I have never seen 5 bars. I constantly see the dialogue box pop up ‘Network Lost – Your selected cellular network is no longer available…” You have the choice to Dismiss or go to Settings. Dismiss is the only choice you can make if you don’t want to waste your time. I have yet to see 3G service, only E. To put it bluntly I am not a happy camper when using their services. Rogers hooked me up with a US plan before coming down here so the cost is expensive but not ridiculous. Without the plan it would be a nightmare.
What happened today really showed me the extent of why people are fed up with AT&T. I was in the middle of Santa Fe and at 11 o’clock had to make a conference call. But first I have to find an area where I could get some decent bars. Just behind the art gallery we were at was a residential street where I wandered about 75 feet up and down the block to make sure there would be good service for the duration of the call. At one end of the 75 foot walk the cell phone service would drop. Now if you have ever been to Santa Fe you know there are not very many tall buildings downtown. It isn’t like you are in the middle of Manhattan. The question is why is this service so bad? Aren’t the wireless wavelengths regulated by some public body that at least has some standards that are maintained? Does AT&T offer its customers a rebate on dropped calls? How can a company that is this large offer such crummy service?
Apple should allow a little free enterprise here. Owners of iPhones should be able to choose which supplier they want, not be forced to make due with a minimal practitioner. The only way we as consumers have a say in economic terms is to be able to vote with our dollars. When we can’t do that it really becomes a cancer to a system that we don’t need.