AT&T gets biggerPosted: March 21, 2011
If you haven’t heard, AT&T just acquired T-Mobile, making the largest cell network in America by far.
I’m no fan of T-Mobile – just ask my girlfriend how they handle Madison reception. (Hint: they basically don’t). But that pales in comparison to my opinions of AT&T. Not only do they not offer coverage to my home in rural WI, my Madison apartment, or seemingly anywhere else I happen to go, but they repeatedly offer to sell my family internet and tv services. That would be fine if we lived in an area where U-verse actually worked, but we don’t and their representatives simply will not stop their sales pitches until we repeatedly tell them to check their coverage maps.
Maybe if their network was expanding this would be ok – I know that I live in a rather unpopulated area, so it’s not a big priority for them. But, it’s only 30 minutes from Milwaukee, and I’ve had AT&T cell phones for about 8 years now. The coverage never improves one bit. I can’t just switch carriers because my mother pays the bills, not me. Plus, her phone works much better at my house than mine. If there’s one thing Nokia does, it’s make a good antenna.
But that’s not the main issue here – AT&T was already a telcom monopoly, split up by the government but rebuilt by clever business moves. It’s not even a remotely competent monopoly, and it just got bigger. For more background on that, see Colbert (via Shawn Blanc). Verizon, despite offering ubiquitously better coverage, has to be feeling a bit pressured now. I can only hope that ridiculously bad cell coverage is not the future of the phone industry, when it should have solved that issue long ago.
In case you’re wondering, T-Mobile doesn’t work at my house either. That would be too easy.