[lug] Android comparisons

Nate Duehr nate at natetech.com
Mon Aug 16 19:46:43 MDT 2010

On 8/16/2010 4:09 PM, Davide Del Vento wrote:

> After 3 years of living here, I still feel bad when I hear these kind
> of sentences. I know, I've probably ranted about it onlist already,
> but in many other countries (most of the Europe and surely in Italy)
> you can buy any phone you like and it will very likely work with any
> carrier you like.

This is because GSM is the main standard in most of Europe, correct?

> Like when you buy any car, they may suggest one
> brand of gasoline, but it works with any brand (well, there are small
> caveats, such as not putting diesel or rubbing alcohol in it instead
> of gas, but they are reasonable). Too bad that's not the case here in
> the US, and that apparently almost nobody cares and the few ones who
> do care, cannot do anything about it, besides "hoping" like you are
> doing.

We all care, but they know how to price two things properly to keep us 
from revolting... a) They keep the prices JUST low enough that you're 
"okay" with the carrier lock-in game... and b) they know how much 
Senators and Congresscritters cost.

:-) :-) ;-)

> Ah, and 90% of the Italian phones do work here in the US with a
> T-mobile SIM card (in fact, the phone I'm using right now was bought
> in Italy, because I couldn't find anything worth buying here - and
> T-mobile is the only carrier deserving my money, since they allow me
> to do that). Good luck with putting an Italian SIM card in your iPhone
> - although you may buy the exact same iPhone in Italy and I'll bet it
> works just fine with any carrier

Unfortunately I know from good sources (the carriers will never publish 
this information, but it COULD be dug out of the public FCC tower and 
transmitter databases, very painfully) that T-Mo in Colorado has about 
1/3 less sites than the other carriers.  I know plenty of people who use 
them, don't get me wrong, but get outside of populated areas and you're 
either not going to have (much) coverage, or you may even be on a 
roaming agreement between T-Mo and AT&T... since they're the only two 
GSM players.

And I think I saw news today where T-Mo isn't going to upgrade to 4G. 
They're staying at 3G in the U.S.

Ohhhh well. Sadly for capitalism to truly work the telcos need to be 
broken up again... a friend predicted this back in the 80's during the 
first break-up... if you break up the horizontally layered strata of...

Long Distance
Extra Services

They're just going to re-form as three or four companies that do ALL of 
those.  (And in the meantime, add broadband which didn't really exist 
back when Judge Greene broke up the Bell System.)

The break-up did some good things, but created a scenario where if 
you're not serviced in your area by one of the "big three", something's 
going to suffer.

Qwest being one of the bit-players that wanted to remain separate (and 
tie their fortunes to Philip Anschutz's brilliant move to purchase dead 
railroads, not for the rail company, but for the right-of-way to the 
tracks so he could lay tons and tons of fiber out here in the West), and 
not re-join a big name... kinda leaves much of the Rocky Mountain West 
out in the cold as we head toward fiber-to-the-curb becoming commonplace 
"back East" and "out West".

Denver also being home to the first big Cable TV biz (TCI, and the 
Daniels empire), means Comcast has a lot more clout here than say, a 
company like Cox... who's pushing WAY harder on new tech... at least in 
my humble opinion... so in the broadband world, we're also a bit behind 
on the other major delivery mechanism... Cable.  But I don't have any 
huge complaints about where Comcast "is at" tech-wise... they're keeping 
up with DOCSIS 3 and deploying it, and they have similar problems to 
Qwest... far too much rural area to cover that has no people in it.

The only profitable places for either one, are the big cities along the 
Front Range, here in Colorado anyway.

So... yeah... it's interesting.  Still too many competitors vying for 
too few dollars, in many cases.  And a waning interest by the general 
public in "wicked fast speeds"... that us techies live and die by...

Interesting study in socio-economics going on, worldwide... when you 
look at all facets of "Telco".  Plenty of countries still have State-run 
telecommunications, and some have high prices (Mexico... wow!) and some 
have low... many limit the number of competitors, or perhaps they're 
naturally limited by less people.  Canada is really fascinating... 
competition, but many folks still use and trust good ol' Bell Canada, 
and no real reason not to, really... from what I've heard.

I do wonder if the economic downturn had been longer and harder if more 
lower-tier telcos wouldn't have gone completely out of business.  T-Mo 
is a multi-national, but they're very weak here in the States compared 
to Verizon, for example.

And just in case folks from my day job ever read this, I have to be 
careful making comments like that... I am not playing favorites, just 
stating observations over many years of watching Telco...

Now back to your regularly scheduled Linux programming!  :-)


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