3rd World Phone Service in the US

by Colin Berkshire

Colin here.

I really think that America may have cell service that ranks it as a Third World country.

Let’s compare it to a real live Third World country such as Thailand.

I consistently get 10 to 30 Mb speeds on my cell phone here in Thailand. On Verizon at home I get between one and 4 Mb per second during the day. On T-Mobile the speeds are frequently around 1 Mb. Sprint can be lower than that. AT&T can be hard to measure since they don’t even have coverage in many areas of cities.

Verizon wants to charge $70 a month and provide 2 Gb of capacity. The audio quality is really, really bad.

AIS in Thailand charges $22 and includes 9 Gb of capacity. AIS has high definition audio.

In Verizon I can be in a major city in America and have coverage problems. With AT&T I feel lucky to have coverage at all in many cities. When you step away from an interstate highway with AT&T you don’t even get a lifeline.

With AIS in Thailand you can be in the middle of a rice field an hour away from the city and still have 3G service. AIS has 3G service in cities that don’t even have electricity.

Why in America are we content to put up with such terrible service at such terrible prices? Why are we willing to accept a network build out that could be doubled for the price of one months revenues from the industry?

One of the traits that seems to be prevalent in a Third World country is the feeling by most people that there’s nothing they can do to improve the current situation.

This is why I think China is going to be a great success: the Chinese have a lot of energy, creativity, and they know that they can change things.

Talk to people in America about our cell phone network and you always get a shoulder shrug and a feeling of helplessness. It’s not worth calling and complaining to the company, it’s not worth doing anything because there’s nothing you can do about it. That’s a third world mentality.