Something has got to be done about AT&T. They're too big and their ads are as accurate as McCain propaganda. I suppose that I am not all that upset about the cell phone company, but it does seem odd that our cell phone bills have continued to rise over the last ten years, even as new technologies improve cellular efficiencies and lower operating costs for the big companies. For example, just three years ago text messaging cost $0.10 a message. And as technology improves, the rates rise across the industry as companies now charge $0.20-0.30 a message, including incoming texts (why should we have to pay for those?!).
I read yesterday that you can send 600 text messages, and it will have less data involved than even a one minute phone call. The only difference is that the phone company will be banking $120-200 on those texts. That's what you call a cash cow. Many European countries charge much less for their cell phone and wifi coverage, and they run on faster networks. But as long as we are willing to shell out top dollar for things like wifi, cellular networks, and gasoline, then there isn't much point in companies lowering prices. (As far as my grief on gas is concerned, the national average has been below the $3.70/gal mark for a month now, and here in Chicago we've been paying $4.30/gal. Why do they charge so much? Because we are willing to pay for it!)
So with that precursor I present to you:
So how many bars does AT&T claim? I actually find it quite rare to have more than a bar or two. As I look at my phone right now, I only see one bar. I assume that one bar really means none (it is the smallest bar after all...). One would suspect that coverage in Chicago would fare somewhat better.
Well at least the 3G seemed to be working. But to be honest, I have been quite disappointed by the 3G performance. It often performs at dial-up speeds. There have even been times when the phone reverts back to the Edge, and the Internet actually performs faster on the Edge network than on 3G!! That's not supposed to happen. For a while it was blamed on immature chipsets or weak iPhone antennae, but I guess tests are showing that those components are up sufficient, and that the responsibility for weak 3G lies in the carrier, and AT&T are not providing the speeds that were advertised to consumers.
I'll be lenient on AT&T on two points: First, the tremendous success of this new iPhone has placed an onerous burden on the AT&T network and perhaps they are working round-the-clock to come up with a solution to provide the service that they sold us (*yea right...*). Second, Apple has owned up to the dropped call issue, and we'll see if today's software update will remedy this problem (Steve Job's claims that it will).
Anyway, I didn't mean for this blog to be heated or charged... I did think that the billboard and juxtaposed "no-bar" phone pic was pretty funny though.