North American Cell Phone Networks

pards

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North America is always portrayed as being one of the most technically advanced places on earth. Both the internet and the telephone were invented here.

But when it comes to the phone system, especially the cellular networks, North America is light years behind the rest of the world. The cell phone models are outdated, the coverage is poor, and the networks themselves are non-standard. GSM, in which the “G” ironically stands for “Global”, is used by only a handful of few networks.

The billing system used for landlines has not been adapted to accommodate a user-pays system that mobile telephony requires. With most providers you pay a monthly subscription and all local calls are free. Calls to local cell phones are not differentiated from calls to local landlines, even though they come at a higher cost to the provider.

A cell phone is also called a mobile phone, and as such it should be mobile. It makes no sense to have a cell phone that is tied to a region by area code. Cell phones should have their own area code. Implementing this one simple change would allow the landline providers to charge cell phone call separately.

Enabling landline-to-cell calls to be charged separately would eliminate one of the most fascinating aspects of the North American phone system: Receiver pays. I have never encountered a phone system anywhere else in the world that charges the recipient instead of the initiator. As a cell phone subscriber, this can become costly through no fault of your own.

What happens if your cell phone makes it onto a telemarketer’s call list? Or worse still, onto an SMS-spammer’s list? Suddenly you’re being charged for calls and messages that you have no interest in and have no way to stop. Interestingly, most providers also allow emails to be sent to phones using an address like [email protected], meaning that you could end up on a spam emailer’s list that could bleed your bank account dry.

But of course cell phone providers have us by the balls. You can’t change cellular networks and keep your old number. In some cases you can’t even change plans with the same provider and keep your number. Most other countries have legislated against such anti-competitive tactics.

The prices of plans are grossly misrepresented to the public. Plans are quoted as being, for example, $25/month, but this does not include:
- The mysterious $6.95/month network access fee
- The mandatory 911 fee
- Applicable taxes (now that’s another rant altogether)

Often it also excludes standard services such as voicemail and caller ID.

Many cellular networks force their customers into unreasonably long contracts before they will permit them to sign up for cost-effective plans. In the case of Rogers in Canada, this applies even if you already own your own phone. This is yet another anti-competitive tactic that should be illegal.

I’d like to end my little rant on a note for all the Pay-As-You-Go customers out there. When customers purchase airtime on a PAYG phone, the provider tacks an expiry date onto the credits. If you don’t use the airtime by a particular date, you lose it unless you top up again (which of course you don’t need to since you still have credit remaining). This is stealing. I paid for it so it is mine. You can’t just take it away.
 

tzedek

Original Member
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why the hell does the name keeo changing? first it was mobile phone, then cellular phone, and now it is wireless phone. wtf?
 

MaxPower

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tzedek said:
why the hell does the name keeo changing? first it was mobile phone, then cellular phone, and now it is wireless phone. wtf?
And before that it was called "Radio Phone" Different type of technology though.
 

ChilianFuckFace

Banned - What an Asshat!
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Don't ever get a nextel!! Is the worse company of all times. I am stuck for a year with a useless phone! :mfinger:
 

ferengi

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I don't own a cell phone. They're just not worth it to me. Just one less bill to have to worry about every month.
 

Live2Die

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Verizon wireless sux. To drop thier plan cost $175. Plus if u goover your minutes the pirice jums from 7 cents to 49 cents. Thats crazy man, like a dollor for every two minutes over. i wanna switch to sprint so bad!
 

FUCKORBEFUCKED

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Verizon is one of the best for reception but you can easily get beat up by their prices. (CDMA Network) :thumbsup:

Sprint and AT&T have better pricing but have very poor reception. Phone is always looking for service. (GSM network) :thumbsdn:

Nextel is worst of all. Highest prices and shit for reception. :thumbsdn: :thumbsdn:
 

ChilianFuckFace

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AT&T cell phone portion of their business just got bought by Bell South which is the same as Cingular wireless...

I think I am going to go with MetroPCS, they are crap, but so are the rest of the companies. One FLAT fee for all of your calls :D
 

Jung

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FUCKORBEFUCKED said:
Verizon is one of the best for reception but you can easily get beat up by their prices. (CDMA Network) :thumbsup:

Sprint and AT&T have better pricing but have very poor reception. Phone is always looking for service. (GSM network) :thumbsdn:
CMDA is a newer technology, but GSM is a better technology. Cingular and AT&T just mergered and have the largest GSM network in ther states. Sprint and Verizon are only good for metro area's, GSM is better for evrything else. Not to mention, I like being about to switch between phones so easily.(read: swap my SIM card between two phones.) Cingular/AT&T have already rolled EDGE where I live, with UMTS(WCDMA) is on it's was with in the next year or so.:thumbsup: Spring and Verizon currently have no 3g plans set forth. :thumbsdn:
 

voiceofreason

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ChilianFuckFace said:
Don't ever get a nextel!! Is the worse company of all times. I am stuck for a year with a useless phone! :mfinger:
For me Nextel is the best service, I've used it all over the country, never fails. I live in the mountains, it's the only phone that works...
 

ChilianFuckFace

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voiceofreason said:
For me Nextel is the best service, I've used it all over the country, never fails. I live in the mountains, it's the only phone that works...
Wow... that crazy. I live in Florida, no mountains here and I get no signal! Not even on an open field. I am still going to switch to Cingular Wireless...
 

Jung

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voiceofreason said:
For me Nextel is the best service, I've used it all over the country, never fails. I live in the mountains, it's the only phone that works...
Nextel does have pretty good service, but they use legacy technology. Most of their phones still use tdma.(with iden)
 

FUCKORBEFUCKED

Pissed off since birth
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voiceofreason said:
For me Nextel is the best service, I've used it all over the country, never fails. I live in the mountains, it's the only phone that works...
There system sucks. Every time you call someone in that network from another provider it says, "Please wait while we locate the Nextel subscriber.” WTF
 

swizeguy

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I currently use a Tracfone just because it was my first cell and i didnt want a bill every month and i didnt know how much i would use it. So far it has treated me well and when i rolled my car i had service so it did its job. But i just moved up to about central maine and i am thinking about getting a plan phone but I cant find one that i think will work well and i wont get a friggin huge bill for...
But i agree it is really screwed up that we have to pay for incomming calls on them.. thats why i just dont give out my number :D
That MetroPCS thing sounds cool but its not avalible anywhere close to where i live so that does alot of good.. i mean really like 3 places it can be used.. wtf?