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AT&T drops price of 2GB no-contract plan by $15, T-Mobile doubles down on 'Simple Choice'

post #1 of 87
Thread Starter 
The wireless carrier price wars continue this weekend as AT&T and T-Mobile respectively announced price cuts and new data incentives for subscribers.

ATT T-Mobile


T-Mobile on Friday announced Simple Choice customers will soon have 1GB of 4G LTE data per month added to their account for free, effectively doubling the amount data previously allotted to the entry-level price tier. More data is available in 2GB chunks for an additional $10 per month.

Simple Choice customers will also get unlimited global texting from the U.S. and while abroad from 122 countries and destinations.

Along with the bonus data, the telecom quietly raised the price of its unlimited 4G LTE data option to $30, up from $20 per month. Terms still include 5GB of tethered data use.

T-Mobile's new pricing scheme is scheduled to take effect on Mar. 23, while the unlimited texting feature is set for activation in April.

As for AT&T, the nation's second-largest wireless telecom announced plans to cut pricing for single- and two-line no-contract accounts.

Starting Sunday, single-line Mobile Share Value plans will drop $15 to start at $65 for 2GB of data, unlimited talk and text, unlimited international messaging and 50GB of cloud storage. Two-line accounts start at $90 for the same services.

To go along with the new deal, AT&T is offering a $100 bill credit for activating a new line of postpaid service, including smartphones, tablets, mobile hotspots and feature phones.
post #2 of 87
Maybe now we can start seeing mobile rates rapidly start falling to reasonable levels. Hopefully we can also force the government to remove its head from its ass, breakup the cable company monopolies, and get cable and internet service fees lowered as well, and land based internet speeds increased dramatically to competitive international levels.
post #3 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

Maybe now we can start seeing mobile rates rapidly start falling to reasonable levels. Hopefully we can also force the government to remove its head from its ass, breakup the cable company monopolies, and get cable and internet service fees lowered as well, and land based internet speeds increased dramatically to competitive international levels.

Why would the government break up a monopoly that they awarded in the first place? What's a reasonable level? Everyone is applauding T-Mobile but they just got the worst ratings. It's laughable that you don't want your phone manufacturer to get into a race to the bottom but you want your carrier to do just that.
Edited by dasanman69 - 3/8/14 at 5:00pm
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post #4 of 87
I think the USA cell phone use could become as advanced as Europe and Japan if the carriers would allow it.
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post #5 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

Maybe now we can start seeing mobile rates rapidly start falling to reasonable levels. Hopefully we can also force the government to remove its head from its ass, breakup the cable company monopolies, and get cable and internet service fees lowered as well, and land based internet speeds increased dramatically to competitive international levels.

As I understand it, city governments awarded licenses to cable companies to install fiber and coax throughout neighborhoods in exchange for exclusive rights to provide service to the customers in those areas. The exclusive contracts allowed the cable companies to recoup their investment over a specified number of years. In most cases the cable runs through conduits which are either under city streets or under the greenway which both actually belong to the city. After the specified length of the contract, the city would allow other providers to also pull fiber through the conduit thus offering competition. The specifics of the contract and licenses are not universal and vary from city to city. I believe the same type of agreements extend to above ground installations.

 

In other words, there is no oversight from any federal agency to regulate the cable industries with respect to fixed infrastructure within the cities that they serve. Net neutrality is a completely different subject and has almost nothing to do with the last mile of Internet delivery. So there is no chance that the cable companies will be broken up, as you say, unless one of them becomes a monopoly, which might be closer to happening with the TWC purchase by Comcast, but we are still a long way off from that mega-cable company becoming a monopoly.

 

Personally, I would like to see Apple enter this business segment and offer citywide free wifi but only to Apple devices.


Edited by mstone - 3/8/14 at 6:26pm

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post #6 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

As I understand it, city governments awarded licenses to cable companies to install fiber and coax throughout neighborhoods in exchange for exclusive rights to provide service to the customers in those areas. The exclusive contracts allowed the cable companies to recoup their investment over a specified number of years. In most cases the cable runs through conduits which are either under city streets or under the greenway which both actually belong to the city. After the specified length of the contract, the city would allow other providers to also pull fiber through the conduit thus offering competition. The specifics of the contract and licenses are not universal and vary from city to city. I believe the same type of agreements extend to above ground installations.

 

In other words, there is no oversight from any federal agency to regulate the cable industries with respect to fixed infrastructure within the cities that they serve. Net neutrality is a completely different subject and has almost nothing to do with the last mile of Internet delivery. So there is no chance that the cable companies will be broken up, as you say, unless one of them becomes a monopoly, which might be closer to happening with the TWC purchase by Comcast, but we are still a long way off from that mega-cable company becoming a monopoly.

 

Personally, I would like to see Apple enter this business segment and offer citywide free wifi but only to Apple devices.

 

I'm trying to imagine the shitstorm that would ensue if Apple did that, and I am finding my imagination lacking in this case. :)

post #7 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

As I understand it, city governments awarded licenses to cable companies to install fiber and coax throughout neighborhoods in exchange for exclusive rights to provide service to the customers in those areas. The exclusive contracts allowed the cable companies to recoup their investment over a specified number of years. In most cases the cable runs through conduits which are either under city streets or under the greenway which both actually belong to the city. After the specified length of the contract, the city would allow other providers to also pull fiber through the conduit thus offering competition. The specifics of the contract and licenses are not universal and vary from city to city. I believe the same type of agreements extend to above ground installations.

Poles are shared, but underground conduits are not.
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post #8 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post
 
Poles are shared, but underground conduits are not.

As I said, the arrangements vary from city to city. In the case of Irvine, California, Cox, and AT&T share the underground conduits. Other parts of OC also allow sharing of conduits by TWC and Verizon. The conduits, in most cases, are owned by the cities even though they were installed at the expense of a primary cable company. I have no first hand information about other areas of the country.

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post #9 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

Maybe now we can start seeing mobile rates rapidly start falling to reasonable levels. Hopefully we can also force the government to remove its head from its ass, breakup the cable company monopolies, and get cable and internet service fees lowered as well, and land based internet speeds increased dramatically to competitive international levels.

Why would the government break up a monopoly that they awarded in the first place? What's a reasonable level? Everyone is applauding T-Mobile but they just got the worst ratings. It's laughable that you don't want your phone manufacturer to get into a race to the bottom but you want your carrier to do just that.

 

"Race to the bottom".

You're kidding, right? Where do you think ALL cell carriers are right now? The only direction there is (for any of them) is up.

post #10 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobSchlob View Post

"Race to the bottom".
You're kidding, right? Where do you think ALL cell carriers are right now? The only direction there is (for any of them) is up.

Move out of the sticks. I get great service.
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post #11 of 87

If you travel at all, you will realize how crummy American cellular service is.

 

American mobile operators are absolutely appalling. Same with our landline broadband Internet providers (DSL, cable). Atrocious and over-priced.

 

The incompetence of American telecommunications/Internet providers is similar to the ineptitude of American public transit operators. New York is the sole exception, public transit in the rest of America is essentially an embarrassment.

 

But hey, at least we have great junk food, auto air conditioners, and reality TV.


Edited by mpantone - 3/8/14 at 7:46pm
post #12 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpantone View Post
 

American mobile operators are absolutely appalling.

One of the main problems with US mobile networks is the enormous user base coupled with very  limited cell tower capacity. The fact that getting tower locations approved has become so difficult means that at peak hours, you can't even load a web page over cell. The user base has far outpaced the infrastructure capabilities. The situation is not likely to improve anytime soon due to installation costs, zoning and regulations. In other parts of the world carriers are able to install adequate tower locations.

 

Cellular technology works on a hexagon where a user is supposed to be served by a minimum of three towers, Unfortunately, in many US urban areas, the user is being served by a single tower which sort of defeats the principle of cells. I don't see things improving any time soon. In my other country, the Republic of Panama, the cell network is much better than the US, but we have unsightly towers all over the place. It is sort of a trade off between quality of neighborhood life and quality of cell service.


Edited by mstone - 3/8/14 at 8:14pm

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post #13 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpantone View Post

 
American mobile operators are absolutely appalling.
One of the main problems with US mobile networks is the enormous user base coupled with very  limited cell tower capacity. The fact that getting tower locations approved has become so difficult means that at peak hours, you can't even load a web page over cell. The user base has far outpaced the infrastructure capabilities. The situation is not likely to improve anytime soon due to installation costs, zoning and regulations. In other parts of the world carriers are able to install adequate tower locations.

Cellular technology works on a hexagon where a user is supposed to be served by a minimum of three towers, Unfortunately, in many US urban areas, the user is being served by a single tower which sort of defeats the principle of cells. I don't see things improving any time soon. In my other country, the Republic of Panama, the cell network is much better than the US, but we have unsightly towers all over the place. It is sort of a trade off between quality of neighborhood life and quality of cell service.

We've heard these same bs arguments for way too long. They're getting tired and old.

Frankly, the quality is pretty mediocre even in dense population corridors such as the Boston-DC and LA-SF (which are more similar to European urban agglomerations than some Iowa cornfield that stretches from here to forever).

The simple problem we have is low expectations.
post #14 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


We've heard these same bs arguments for way too long. They're getting tired and old.

Frankly, the quality is pretty mediocre even in dense population corridors such as the Boston-DC and LA-SF (which are more similar to European urban agglomerations than some Iowa cornfield that stretches from here to forever).

The simple problem we have is low expectations.

 

True.  And it holds for our infrastructure as a whole -- tech or non-tech.  Everything from our cell system to our bridges to you-name-it is awful.  Too many people have been convinced that this is just the way things are gonna be, and there's nothing to be done about it.  So they have, as you say, low expectations.

 

People complain about un- or low employment?  Put the damn country to work fixing the effin' infrastructure!  Will it cost money?  Yes.  Will it put people to work?  Yes.  Will those people then have money to put back into the economy AND pay more taxes?  Yes.

 

Ugh.  I'm going to stop now, before I get into full rant mode. :)

post #15 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

We've heard these same bs arguments for way too long. They're getting tired and old.

Frankly, the quality is pretty mediocre even in dense population corridors such as the Boston-DC and LA-SF (which are more similar to European urban agglomerations than some Iowa cornfield that stretches from here to forever).

The simple problem we have is low expectations.

I am basing my comments on a few insider information sources. One is a close friend who has a business that does nothing but do simulations for cell carriers to show visual representations of what a tower might look like in a given location to assist in negotiations with land owners to allow the construction. And another source of information is another friend who owns some property in San Diego County where AT&T is paying him more than $20,000 a month to locate a tower on his land. The arguments may be old but you can look on various web sites to see where the towers are and try to figure out where more towers can be placed. In California the towers have to be disguised as palm trees or pine trees and it is not at all simple to get them approved. Argue all you want about other parts of the US but I know what I'm talking about in SoCal.

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post #16 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobSchlob View Post

"Race to the bottom".
You're kidding, right? Where do you think ALL cell carriers are right now? The only direction there is (for any of them) is up.

Move out of the sticks. I get great service.

 

I assume by "the sticks", you mean the U.S.?

post #17 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobSchlob View Post

I assume by "the sticks", you mean the U.S.?

Anywhere that has more trees than people is "the sticks". lol.gif
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post #18 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobSchlob View Post

I assume by "the sticks", you mean the U.S.?

Anywhere that has more trees than people is "the sticks". lol.gif

More BS.

 

In the US there are approximately 247 billion trees. The  population of  the US is 314 million 

 

You must live in New Jersey.

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post #19 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

More BS.

 

In the US there are approximately 247 billion trees. The  population of  the US is 314 million 

 

You must live in New Jersey.

 

There are definitely places, though, where there are fewer trees than people.  Heck, I lived in one of those places for a year: Tempe, AZ.  There were probably more people in my dorm* than there were trees in all of Tempe.

 

* = my dorm had 15 floors, btw.

post #20 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpantone View Post

 
American mobile operators are absolutely appalling.
One of the main problems with US mobile networks is the enormous user base coupled with very  limited cell tower capacity. The fact that getting tower locations approved has become so difficult means that at peak hours, you can't even load a web page over cell. The user base has far outpaced the infrastructure capabilities. The situation is not likely to improve anytime soon due to installation costs, zoning and regulations. In other parts of the world carriers are able to install adequate tower locations.

Cellular technology works on a hexagon where a user is supposed to be served by a minimum of three towers, Unfortunately, in many US urban areas, the user is being served by a single tower which sort of defeats the principle of cells. I don't see things improving any time soon. In my other country, the Republic of Panama, the cell network is much better than the US, but we have unsightly towers all over the place. It is sort of a trade off between quality of neighborhood life and quality of cell service.

There's a tech called pCell (was DIDO) that may offer a solution. I tried to create an AI discussion pn another thread:
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Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

SOT

If this is real ...


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post #21 of 87
I am not sure what is considered high speed cellular with T-Mobile in other countries. As a US customer now traveling in Argentina, my cellular data rate is about 0.1 Mbps both up and down. Agreed it is free, but is this high speed. It only works at all with one carrier here, Claro and is listed as 3G. I tried to pay for higher speed for 500mb of data, but they wouldn't take my money. I have used sim cards in Germany, Netherlands, and Belgium with my iPhone and the data rate was about 3 Mbps. Still confused. It is torture trying to send a photo at these speeds.

Moreover, my 5-star hotel (Four Seasons Buenos Aires) charges $20/day for Premium Internet Wifi, which amounts to 1.4Mbps up and down. I would hate to think what the standard internet wifi speed would be.
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post #22 of 87
This is still
TOO HIGH
net 10 $50 second smart phone 45$
2gb unlimited text and talk

I have an old ATT plan too good to give up
My daughter 12 has no text plan
Between iMessage (95%) of her friends
Textnow
Whatsapp
Don't need a text plan saved $$$$$

This ATT stuff is bogus
Some compeitition in cellular but govt controls the bandwidth
No competition in cable comcast TW merger will devastate consumer choice
And kill off our ability to get alacart programming or reasonable un throttled streaming

Govt created the environment for these monopolies consumers don't have the $$$$ to payoff politicians that make the laws
NSA loves this access
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post #23 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I am basing my comments on a few insider information sources. One is a close friend who has a business that does nothing but do simulations for cell carriers to show visual representations of what a tower might look like in a given location to assist in negotiations with land owners to allow the construction. And another source of information is another friend who owns some property in San Diego County where AT&T is paying him more than $20,000 a month to locate a tower on his land. The arguments may be old but you can look on various web sites to see where the towers are and try to figure out where more towers can be placed. In California the towers have to be disguised as palm trees or pine trees and it is not at all simple to get them approved. Argue all you want about other parts of the US but I know what I'm talking about in SoCal.

And you think cell towers get installed for free in Europe?
post #24 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fithian View Post

I am not sure what is considered high speed cellular with T-Mobile in other countries. As a US customer now traveling in Argentina, my cellular data rate is about 0.1 Mbps both up and down. Agreed it is free, but is this high speed. It only works at all with one carrier here, Claro and is listed as 3G. I tried to pay for higher speed for 500mb of data, but they wouldn't take my money. I have used sim cards in Germany, Netherlands, and Belgium with my iPhone and the data rate was about 3 Mbps. Still confused. It is torture trying to send a photo at these speeds.

Moreover, my 5-star hotel (Four Seasons Buenos Aires) charges $20/day for Premium Internet Wifi, which amounts to 1.4Mbps up and down. I would hate to think what the standard internet wifi speed would be.

I dunno. I'd rather compare myself to Helsinki or Seoul than Buenos Aires.
post #25 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post

There are definitely places, though, where there are fewer trees than people.  Heck, I lived in one of those places for a year: Tempe, AZ.  There were probably more people in my dorm* than there were trees in all of Tempe.

* = my dorm had 15 floors, btw.

Are you including palm trees as trees or grass because I recall there are plenty at Palm Walk alone. The internet says 111.

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post #26 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

And you think cell towers get installed for free in Europe?

Not for free, but costs might not be the same. Even in the US costs and difficultly vary wildly from city to city.

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post #27 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

And you think cell towers get installed for free in Europe?

Not for free, but costs might not be the same. Even in the US costs and difficultly vary wildly from city to city.

Perhaps but afaik, real estate is more expensive in Europe, labor is more expensive in Europe, and equipment is more expensive in Europe.
post #28 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post

There are definitely places, though, where there are fewer trees than people.  Heck, I lived in one of those places for a year: Tempe, AZ.  There were probably more people in my dorm* than there were trees in all of Tempe.

* = my dorm had 15 floors, btw.

Are you including palm trees as trees or grass because I recall there are plenty at Palm Walk alone. The internet says 111.

Aha… Are you outing yourself as a Sundevil?

We used to live in Wildcat country… And there are lots of Mesquite bosques in the area!
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post #29 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Perhaps but afaik, real estate is more expensive in Europe, labor is more expensive in Europe, and equipment is more expensive in Europe.

I agree with that but you also need to consider average population densities which can lower the average cost per subscriber as well laws that allow placements to be easier and cheaper for MNOs.

It seems to me that cell phone usage was a bit slow to gain traction in nations that had a better landline setup. Wouldn't those that didn't see cellphones as an opportunity and therefore might get better supported by the government? This is just speculation on my part but I remember being Eastern Europe a decade ago and not see too many landlines but cellphone coverage was surprisingly good compared to the US.

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post #30 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

More BS.

In the US there are approximately 247 billion trees. The  population of  the US is 314 million 

You must live in New Jersey.

First, I jokingly made that up, and second, I didn't mean the entire country I meant rural areas.
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post #31 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


Aha… Are you outing yourself as a Sundevil?

We used to live in Wildcat country… And there are lots of Mesquite bosques in the area!

I wouldn't go that far, but I've been to AZ and the PHX area plenty of times. I even spent about 4 months there back in 2011. While I am a big fan of the spartan landscape there is absolutely no way I could stand the heat dying the Summer, and most of the Spring and Fall.

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post #32 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


Perhaps but afaik, real estate is more expensive in Europe, labor is more expensive in Europe, and equipment is more expensive in Europe.

 

And I hear they take the month of August off... OFF!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORV9PNfl4K0

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post #33 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


Aha… Are you outing yourself as a Sundevil?

We used to live in Wildcat country… And there are lots of Mesquite bosques in the area!

I wouldn't go that far, but I've been to AZ and the PHX area plenty of times. I even spent about 4 months there back in 2011. While I am a big fan of the spartan landscape there is absolutely no way I could stand the heat dying the Summer, and most of the Spring and Fall.

Yes… Phoenix is rather a conglomeration of heat islands! Tucson is higher desert and with much less concrete and has a much better climate. The worst season is mid April to mid June --- but, even then, your body acclimates to the dry heat -- and there are air conditioners, swamp coolers and misters everywhere you go. Monsoons in August and December moderate the climate substantially -- quite enjoyable.

And, if you've never seen the desert in bloom after a rainy winter – you've really missed something!
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post #34 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

And I hear they take the month of August off... OFF!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORV9PNfl4K0

I've heard that no BMWs are built in August.
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post #35 of 87
This is Wrong:
"Along with the bonus data, the telecom quietly raised the price of its unlimited 4G LTE data option to $30, up from $20 per month. Terms still include 5GB of tethered data use."

1st off , right now its 2.5GB, its going UP TO 5GB on the 23rd.
2nd, its still $70 a month, which is $20 more than the base plan (50 + 20 = 70).

From T-Mobile.com : "Sign up today and double your 4G LTE tethering (Smartphone Mobile HotSpot). Beginning March 23, 2.5GB becomes 5GB, for the SAME PRICE." (Emphasis added)
post #36 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Perhaps but afaik, real estate is more expensive in Europe, labor is more expensive in Europe, and equipment is more expensive in Europe.

I agree with that but you also need to consider average population densities which can lower the average cost per subscriber as well laws that allow placements to be easier and cheaper for MNOs.

It seems to me that cell phone usage was a bit slow to gain traction in nations that had a better landline setup. Wouldn't those that didn't see cellphones as an opportunity and therefore might get better supported by the government? This is just speculation on my part but I remember being Eastern Europe a decade ago and not see too many landlines but cellphone coverage was surprisingly good compared to the US.

I am not sure that the population density in, say, the Paris - Geneva corridor is that different from the Boston - DC or LA - SF corridor.
post #37 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fithian View Post

I am not sure what is considered high speed cellular with T-Mobile in other countries. As a US customer now traveling in Argentina, my cellular data rate is about 0.1 Mbps both up and down. Agreed it is free, but is this high speed. It only works at all with one carrier here, Claro and is listed as 3G. I tried to pay for higher speed for 500mb of data, but they wouldn't take my money. I have used sim cards in Germany, Netherlands, and Belgium with my iPhone and the data rate was about 3 Mbps. Still confused. It is torture trying to send a photo at these speeds.

Moreover, my 5-star hotel (Four Seasons Buenos Aires) charges $20/day for Premium Internet Wifi, which amounts to 1.4Mbps up and down. I would hate to think what the standard internet wifi speed would be.


There's this:
Quote:
Mobile carriers are primarily concerned with maintaining, if not increasing, their average revenue per user (ARPU), and love charging you by MB of data consumed. So data prices are only going to drop if they can maintain this revenue, or there's a ton of competition and they keep undercutting each other in a race to the bottom. With this technology, it's conceivable that 5G wireless could displace both cable and DSL connections within a few years, as is claimed in the presentation. Historical trends like this exponential growth in Internet bandwidth [22] (Gilder's law, increasing by 50% every year) seem to be driving a drop in cost/bit, though prepaid data is still quite pricey around the world; I made a quick chart of mobile broadband prices, speed, and internet penetration around the world in Tabealu using data from the ITU, Akamai, and Wikipedia.

http://akbars.net/how-steve-perlmans-revolutionary-wireless-technology-works-and-why-its-a-bigger-deal-than-anyone-realizes.html





http://public.tableausoftware.com/views/mobilebroadbandcorrect/Sheet1#1
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post #38 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I am not sure that the population density in, say, the Paris - Geneva corridor is that different from the Boston - DC or LA - SF corridor.

But it's not BT&T or B-Mobile servicing just the Boston area. Customers in Boston are also paying for the costs involved in covered much less densely populated areas, which includes the expensive highway travel in this country. But that's besides the point because without knowing all the factors at play, which again include laws, you can't make a simple 1:1 comparison to say that one nation should be just as easy to cover as another for the same price.

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post #39 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

And, if you've never seen the desert in bloom after a rainy winter – you've really missed something!

I'm not sure I have seen that.

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post #40 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


But it's not BT&T or B-Mobile servicing just the Boston area. Customers in Boston are also paying for the costs involved in covered much less densely populated areas, which includes the expensive highway travel in this country. But that's besides the point because without knowing all the factors at play, which again include laws, you can't make a simple 1:1 comparison to say that one nation should be just as easy to cover as another for the same price.

I think you're totally missing the point. Taxes and cross-subsidies are much higher in Europe.

Perhaps the truth is as simple as, we're not as good as we think we are. On a related point, see this: http://theweek.com/article/index/257404/why-is-american-internet-so-slow
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