Wireless Carriers Offer Scant Hope to Users
5. Data Prices Are Outrageous
With the growth of netbooks making waves across the industry, being able to connect to the Web from anywhere is becoming increasingly important. But high-speed-networking costs are out of sight. If users want to be able to access the Web no matter where they are, they will need to pay dearly for that service. And all the carriers are to blame.
6. Little Competition
Although AT&T and Verizon Wireless are battling it out with each other right now, it's rather disappointing that they still seem to have little desire to compete on price. A quick glance at carrier calling plans shows that whether someone is considering Verizon Wireless, AT&T or Sprint, they will likely pay the same price for access to the network. Only T-Mobile seems intent on being a price leader.
7. The Rest of the World Is Ahead
In the United States, wireless carriers are lagging far behind many countries around the world. Several countries have full coverage, providing customers access to the cell network no matter where they are. In the United States, carriers are still trying to bring service to rural areas and other dead spots in and around more trafficked locations. That's unacceptable.
8. Users Suffer
Most wireless carriers are deeply concerned with services that enhance the usability of a mobile phone. For example, any voice over IP (VOIP) apps that use AT&T's 3G network have failed to gain entry to Apple's App Store. AT&T, like other carriers, is concerned that if VOIP apps make their way to mobile phones and access a connection over its 3G network, users will rely on them, rather than their minutes plan to place calls. Granted, carriers need to protect their business. But unfortunately, it has been to the detriment of its users. The same can be said for the way carriers have handled tethering. Users need to jump through hoops just to connect to the Web. It's a real shame.
9. Enterprises Aren't Any Better Off
Although consumers typically gripe the most when it comes to wireless carriers, the enterprise isn't faring much better. Like consumers, companies have a hard time getting out of plans. They also suffer from poor coverage and expensive data plans. Simply put, everyone is being affected by carriers.
10. The Future Isn't Very Bright
As we look ahead at what to expect from carriers over the next few years, it doesn't seem like much will change. Rollouts of better data networks are moving slowly. Coverage, while improving, is still a major question mark. And if history is any guide, the plans that have made the carriers so profitable probably won't change much going forward. It's sad. And it's disappointing.