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Undoing the UnCarrier

With John gone, T-Mobile is sliding back into being a regular ol carrier. My biggest gripe is that the information on their website contradicts itself. It will state that “Stateside Calling” calls are 20₵ a minute in the feature description…

US Approach to Cellular Towers is Wrong

Why is the US cellular system among the worst in the world? My experience is that when I travel to other countries is that there are no dropped calls, there are no coverage gaps, and speeds are remarkably faster than…

The case for mandatory cellular roaming

Traditionally we have placed a very high priority on reliable communications in the event of an emergency. It’s been a national priority that we can not only call 911, but that we can reach each other if there is a…

What Became of the Telecom Gold Standard for Reliability?

The United States used to have the most reliable communications system in the world? Now, it is one of the worst. What happened? And why don’t people seem to care? The standard in 1975 for Central Office reliability was that…

The Dual SIM challenge

I was very very hesitant when I decided to switch from Verizon to T-Mobile. I had been with Verizon for decades and they had a good (although declining) network. I perceived of T-Mobile as a third-tier company. (I would later…

How to Watch YouTube on Verizon

For years I have been frustrated by my inability to watch YouTube videos on my Verizon phone. When I do a SpeedTest there is more than enough speed to watch videos. My data plan has more than enough high speed…

Understanding Speedtest

Alternative title: Why you can’t actually use your cell phone’s data plan. There’s one great misunderstanding that most people have about speedtest: that your download speed isn’t controlled by your upload speed. Consider the speedtest shown in the photo. Looks…

I loved Google Fi So I Let It Go

I tried Google Fi. I really wanted it to work. The idea of just having a simple, straightforward plan was appealing. What I found was that it was expensive and worked very poorly on an iPhone. It was not a…

The Moth and the Candle and 5G

If I could describe the mindset of telephone companies it would be the story of the moth and the candle. In May, AT&T announced with great fanfare that it is back to being a telephone company again: AT&T to refocus…

Old is New Again

One of the popular trends in cables is braided nylon. They not only look good, but they wear exceptionally well. Unlike plastic coated cables they don’t crack, rarely fray, glide easily, and tend not to kink. They also feel nice…

Learning by Shipping (AirTag Edition)

Apple AirTags are remarkable tracking devices. You can put one of these half-dollar sized disks into a package, or hang it on your pet’s collar, or stick it to anything you desire to track. (Think: grandkids at Disneyland.) I’ve been…

Standalone 5G

Cellular 5G is confusing and conflicting. But there are a few points that I think are worth explaining, clearly. T-Mobile has been advertising that they are building a “Standalone 5G” network. This terms means nothing to most of us, but…

Switching to T-Mobile from Verizon

I was a Verizon mobile customer for decades. I’ve had a cell phone for 35 years now (not many can say that) and I have always wanted (and was willing to pay for) the best service. And, for a long…

We Need More Short Numbers

We used to have 8 precious easy-to-remember numbers: 411 for directory assistance 211 for long distance assistance 611 for telephone repair 911 for emergencies. When we added 311 for government, 511 for road information, and because everybody needs to call…

How to Pick a Cellular Plan

Shopping for a cellular plan is perhaps the most confusing thing you will ever shop for. It’s as fun as eating cardboard and less informative then buying a refrigerator. But there are some very simple rules to follow to get…

Try 5G LTE Today

Tired of your battery running down? Tired of constantly dropped calls? Want better coverage, especially in outlying areas? If you are having these problems… Consider “5G LTE”. Go to your carrier settings on your phone. Turn OFF 5G and choose…

How to Stop SPAM Calling

I don’t know why we make SPAM calling so easy. I offered one suggestion on how to stop it here. It must be that decisions are being made by politicians/managers (same thing) who don’t really solve problems. We don’t need…

T-Mobile Tracking Changes

If you are a T-Mobile customer, you need to act fast. They are changing their privacy policy … to be more like the others. Starting April 26th, T-Mobile will begin monitoring which websites you visit, and can view and analyze…

T-Mobile Customers Seeing Magenta

T-Mobile is rapidly transforming into a big, bad customer exploiting carrier. It’s customers should be seeing red, er, magenta. John Legere transformed T-Mobile from a broken-down carrier with a dysfunctional network into the un-carrier. His brilliant transformation strategy was simple:…

The History of the Dial Pad

The history of the Touch-Tone dial is remarkably complicated and fascinating. Today we all know the 12 button dial with 123 at the top and * and # in the bottom left and right. (Why aren’t there emojis for Touch-Tone…