reply to ohreally
Re: Europe ftw Not for long. If att buys out one of those European providers, say goodby to freedom of choice. You guys will end up just like us.
said by Beans:Unlikely. If AT&T buys one of the 4 infrastructure owning mobile telcos that operate in the UK, they'll actually have to compete to keep the money rolling in. There isn't a chance in hell they'll get away with pulling the crap they do in the US. Some of it is prohibited by law, the rest will just cause everyone to leave. To be honest I'll be amazed if AT&T really does buy one of them.
Not for long. If att buys out one of those European providers, say goodby to freedom of choice. You guys will end up just like us.
As far as I am aware AT&T US has an advantage in that it's the GSM carrier with the most extensive coverage, T-Mobile is GSM too appears to cover urban areas but not really rural areas but their phones are not compatible. Their only real competitor is Verizon who operate a mostly incompatible network. Sprint is also incompatible with AT&T and their network is "so-so".
The UK doesn't have this, all of the operators use the same standards (and phones are completely compatible across all networks) and all of them have similar coverage, urban or rural. So really customers choose mostly based on price or value rather than on coverage or phone offerings (they're the same).
If AT&T wanted to consolidate and buy a second telco that wouldn't be allowed either, so they'd only get as far as owning one of the four telcos.
AT&T provides good coverage IF you live in a city. Outside suburban areas they suck. REALLY, really suck. I'm near a major interstate and have Verizon Wireless LTE. Our dear friend who visits and works for AT&T is lucky to connect to the EDGE network.
As to the phone data issue...my dumbphone went swimming a few years ago before VZW swallowed Alltel. A friend offered me a like-new Blackberry but I would have been forced to accept a data plan. I didn't want a data plan because at that time we didn't even have 2G nearby! Why on earth would I pay for a data plan I couldn't use? I ended up, like many others, getting a cheap phone on eBay and paying for activation.
Our family has 3 dumbphones and after my husband's work discount we pay less than $100 a month. At home and where there's wifi we use tablets. VZW and their ilk can go zorch themselves and their data prices.