Newsletter Issue #590: And Now There Are Three

March 21st, 2011

As many of you know, AT&T wireless was cobbled together from several mergers. This meant several years of growing pains, to integrate networks, and to make the wider system of cell phone towers compatible with each other.

It’s fair to say that AT&T still gets ragged on for being way behind the curve, particularly when it comes to the iPhone. The arrival of Apple’s iconic smartphone on the Verizon Wireless network has made it possible for people who ran into connection problems with AT&T to find a superior alternative. Well, superior in some cities, but at the expense of not being able to use voice and data services at the same time. But if you can’t get a stable connection, or encounter frequent dropped calls, the tradeoff may be worth it.

As to Verizon, they became number one on the basis of acquiring another compatible carrier, Alltel. But even before the merger, both companies were praised for superior networks and customer service.

After that merger, there were four major wireless carriers, two of which, Sprint and T-Mobile, were not offering the iPhone. Indeed, one of T-Mobile’s controversial ads touts their alleged “4G” network, while criticizing the iPhone for being on networks that don’t offer the higher speed technology. In passing, the critics disputed T-Mobile’s claim that their network is anything but 3G.

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