Thursday, January 28, 2010

AT&T must be rolling in the dough

I am a Sprint cellular customer. I have been for a long time. I haven't had any issues with their service. I have had issue with their pricing (for phones) and subsequent customer service. As a long term customer, I should be able to get any benefits a new customer would get i.e. free or very low-priced new model cellular phones. I shouldn't have to renew my commitment. It should be obvious that I am committed!

I'm not into all the hub-bub about who has 3G, 4G or whateverG. As long as mine works and it's damn near the competition, I'm pretty much satisfied.

I've heard many issues with AT&T's network, especially with the iPhone. Congestion on and overwhelming the servers, etc. I would think that any service would have had problems not knowing to the extent the iPhone would tax their equipment. New product, new service, new problems. It's the way of business.

What I don't understand is that AT&T has always had issues with simple cellular and data usage. I can't say this from personal usage as I've only been on Sprint and a brief, regrettable stint on T-Mobile many years ago when I left Sprint for "better phone pricing" but shittier service (there is a reason T-Mobile customer service is rated highly...they had to make up for the shitty service).

Anyway, I just read that AT&T was once again awarded the network deal with the iPad. Story here while it lasts.

I guess it's great that Apple and AT&T have this budding relationship. It's good to see that companies can make money off of each other and still maintain the partnership. The problem is that AT&T is adding another product that will tax their equipment, the iPad.

First we had the iPhone. Then the Kindle. Then the Nook. Now the iPad. All working on the AT&T 3G or 4G network. I'm not sure how the 3G separates from the 4G but if all but the iPhone will be on 3G then I think there is going to be further issues.

Our relatives in Pawnee, Illinois purchased a Nook and got it a few weeks before Christmas. While we were visiting over Christmas vacation, my wife wanted to purchase a book on her cousin's Nook on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. They couldn't. The Nook kept telling them that the network was unavailable and to "Please try again, later." WTF?! The day after Christmas it worked just fine. What we assumed happened is that all these people opened their Christmas presents to find a Nook and started downloading books. This in turn clogged the network for a few hours/days. Now, granted this won't happen every time or hardly at all but I think they will be entering new "happening every time" territory with the iPad.

Anyway, I just thought it was interesting how everything mobile is basically on the AT&T network. So, AT&T should not ever run into money problems for at least a few years.

The other funny thing I see in their commercials is how they compare their network and package pricing for cell service to Verizon and T-Mobile but never Sprint. To me, it's got to say something. Some will say that Sprint isn't seen as competition. Others will say, and I agree, that Sprint isn't competition because the network on top of better service plan pricing puts Sprint above the others. I'm not saying Sprint is the one to beat overall (even though I've had no issues with the service itself) but their service plan pricing seems to always have been better than Verizon and AT&T.

Okay, end of random thought for now...

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