I’m not sure there is a mobile phone provider in the US that I would be happy with.
- AT&T – I was always happy with their service. But I feel like it’s too expensive. I also feel like it’s a mistake for them to waste money to only double the speed of their 3G network. I think AT&T and their customers would be better off if they didn’t upgrade their 3G network, reduced prices, and accelerated the launch of their 4G/LTE network.
- T-Mobile – Their coverage is noticeably worse than AT&T where I live, and pretty much the entire way down Highway 1 to LA. In our old apartment on the corner of Evelyn and Mary in Sunnyvale I didn’t even have voice coverage. And 3G coverage is spotty everywhere. I do feel like their prices are reasonable when compared to AT&T. They might want to give up on 3G and instead launch LTE before AT&T and Verizon.
- Verizon and Sprint – I don’t have personal experience with either, but CDMA? Come on. GSM seems more prominent in countries I care about. And while I don’t travel much and probably wouldn’t even use my phone overseas if I did, I think there is a lot of value to interoperability. I’d consider Verizon and Sprint only after they’ve switched to LTE.
And woo boy, I hate that unlimited data plans don’t unilaterally include unlimited text messaging. This is one of those things where carriers charge consumers because they can, not because the pricing model is fair. And while that’s a reasonable business decision (although aggressive), I find it really disrespectful to the consumer. Services should cost an amount proportional to the overhead it causes on the carrier. Twenty cents to send 100 bytes is insulting.
The unjust cost of SMS is my primary motivation to make a kick ass IM client for Android. It’s why I’m willing to work so hard on it. And why I won’t stop until I’m satisfied with the product.