US Carriers Should Invent Great Service

by Colin Berkshire

Here’s an idea for US Cellular companies: Offer customers full access to all networks for truly great service.

There is no longer any technical reason why your phone cannot access and roam to all towers on all companies. Since all US networks use the same LTE/4G/5G protocol and inter-company roaming is inherent with those, a carrier could just flip a switch and your phone could access the best, nearest tower. No more zero-coverage areas, no more dead people because they couldn’t call 911.

I think this should be required by law for safety reasons and also because the airwaves belong to the public.

But perhaps Carriers could offer great service AND make a profit at it…

Carriers could offer a $9.95 monthly add-on that would allow your cell phone to roam on other carrier’s networks when your primary carrier has a weaker signal. It would be pure profit for the carrier. This “multi-carrier” option would apply to whatever calling plan you were on with your current carrier.

The reason it would cost the carriers nothing is because:

  • The actual capability is already built-into all cell phones and tower infrastructure.
  • If a Verizon customer roamed to T-Mobile, it is equally likely that a T-Mobile customer roamed to Verizon. A small accounting task could settle between the carriers any imbalance.
Carriers should offer this as a way of enhancing their profits.

Legislators should mandate it as a matter of public safety and good public policy.