Thursday, January 9, 2014

T-Mobile US: The other major carriers are shit

It's easy to be a loudmouth.  Sometimes, you're right and other times, you're wrong.

John Legere and company have made T-Mobile better and that's evident in their recent numbers, where they've gained both prepaid and postpaid customers.  It was the best they've done in eight years, if I remember correctly.

At CES, Mr. Legere complained that the other major carriers are basically shit--their plans, their policies, their service.

I don't disagree 100% but there is a huge difference in T-Mobile and the rest--coverage.

When T-Mobile covers as much as any of the others, and they can keep everything as wonderful as they say things are, then I'll believe them.

It's a lot like the Europeans who live in a country the size of one of the states of the U.S.A. who say how easy it is to put everything into place.  Sure, it's easy to cover when you have an area that you can drive in 6 hours north to south or east to west.  Try covering an area that takes three 15 hour days to drive east to west.

I agree that Sprint has been terrible.  It's struggled a lot while having to deal with Nextel issues, and it went from being the number one 3G data provider to number three.  Once again, coverage matters.

I might have been with T-Mobile years ago, but when I asked about the service, I got a "No, we don't have 3G service yet." in response.  They've come a long way, and so has the new AT&T since its Cingular days.  I'm remembering 38 metropolitan areas were covered when Apple was readying its iPhone with 3G data capabilities.  When the first iPhone became available, Cingular had to upgrade their GPRS/EDGE data because it wasn't good enough.

As far as I'm concerned, it will still be 2016 before issues are settled and LTE will be good for the majority of users.  That is a long time and there will be a lot of B.S. and chest-thumping until that time.

By then, there probably won't be any feature phones and data usage will have increased to match the capabilities on the network, and we'll still be complaining.

Update 2014.03.08: RootMetrics put out a report citing their summary for the U.S.A., with a combination of areas they measured.  It's not all-inclusive but it certainly says something about what is real in mobile phone and data services.  It doesn't look as though T-Mobile was on top.

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