Escape From Bad Mobile Service


Everything You Want But a Reliable 3-Min Call

“It’s possible for one man to get out through the wire, even get away, but there are in fact a considerable number of people besides yourself in this camp who are trying to escape.” Squadron Leader Bartlett (Richard Attenborough) – The Great Escape (1963)

The nice thing about the CTIA (the wireless association) conference is that you get to see all the new mobile toys.  The great thing about the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is that you get to see everything – present/future mobile infrastructure technology…services/offerings in every country…devices/features that make your eyes water.  We change “devices” about every six-nine months (it helps the economy).   Until recently, we kept the same mobile service provider.  Service was OK.  Digging to find a new provider just seemed to be too much work.

Digging Out – While you may be paying to use their service to communicate with others it is often extremely difficult to dig your way out of the really great contract.  It all sounds great at the outset, calls anytime/anywhere, shoot/send photos, watch TV on your screen, IM folks, stay in email touch…great.  Until you try to escape.  Photo – The Great Escape (Universal Artists)

But our provider made the work a little easier.   We had been paying (extra) for service in neighboring countries (Canada, Mexico).   But not being able to make/place a call made us determined to escape.  Tech support in Bangladesh assured us the provider has service in those area.  Had to be “our” fault.  Weren’t satisfied?   Call to their international roaming staff.   No they can’t transfer you.  No they can’t email them to call you.  Other option…escape!

The First Call
The industry has changed dramatically since Martin Cooper, a manager at Motorola, made the first call with a mobile phone.

Can You Hear Me Now — Martin Cooper, a Motorola manager, didn’t have any trouble connecting with the industry’s first “brick” phone call in Japan.  Of course, it’s not like the call had to go halfway around the globe through 20 different providers either.

Moving from provider S to V or A in the U.S. isn’t one of them.  In most countries you want mobile connectivity you have choice.  Go to the store, pick the phone.  Go to another store, pick the service.  Then pick the features and talk…text…listen to music…watch videos…catch TV shows…email…surf the web.

Figure 1 – Pick Your Service – Today’s mobile service providers and some of the Greatest Products of the Year offer you capabilities like you wouldn’t believe.  It may all be just data but each has a different price.

Over “there”, they don’t use the “free phone” (Americans really are cheap!) to confine you to a 2-year iron-clad contract!  In the U.S. the provider doesn’t tell you but what he’s saying is repeating Co. von Luger’s statement…“We have in effect put all our rotten eggs in one basket. And we intend to watch this basket carefully.” After all, the provider has built out “his” infrastructure…“his” service offerings to meet your needs.

After all, the offering is where the money is at:

  • 4 million people will use mobile maps this year
  • Premium mobile content will generate $44 billion in 2011
  • By 2010 there will be 100 million mobile video subscribers
  • 29% of adults 25-34 will download mobile games
  • By 2010 there will be 134 million mobile gamers
  • Mobile video generated $200 million in sales last year
  • By 2011 mobile video will be a $6 billion industry


Figure 2 – Not Just Dialing for Dollars – Phone call minutes are just minutes.  But put mobile entertainment into the picture and an hour can whiz by in no time at all.  That’s big bucks!!  Source — IDC

Big deal!  If you’re a supplier (hardware, service, content) sure.  If you’re a consumer?  Most simply want a phone service that works…all the time!