03 December 2009

The AT&T / Verizon Saga

I am going to briefly talk about two things: changing lanes, and the AT&T / Verizon battle....

Like any corporation or politician, Verizon decided the best way to prove its superiority was not to cite its own advantages, but to disparage its biggest competitor. I'm a loyal AT&T subscriber, not because I'm stubborn, but because I have always appreciated the attention to detail with the User Experience. When I call for support, 24/7, I'm always greeted by an American who is well trained, not outsourced. The online interface is immaculate. The in store experience is equally impressive. I've used my iPhone in 6 countries this year seamlessly, with flexible roaming and data plans. Verizon, if you want to woo me over to your network, insinuating that I'm an idiot because I stand by a company that has always treated me well, it just won't work.

Regarding the recent and infamous drop in reliability of the AT&T Network, its no secret that the network has been hindered by a dramatic increase in data usage by iPhone users. What did you expect? The iPhone is arguably one of the most data heavy smart phones on the market, and AT&T added 3.2 million iPhone users in the third quarter alone. It has certainly become en vogue to bash AT&T. Its especially amusing when people who have never even had the service feel that they are an authority on the topic. But like any hot topic, it makes people feel better about themselves to repeat what the tech blogs have said based on little or no research. In practice, yes I have a few dropped calls here and there, and I sometimes get texts or voice mails a little late. But come on, its not the end of the world. You can check your voice mail anytime by calling your own number from an iPhone. If someone had important information to tell you, I hope they won't rely on one text to get that information to you. And a call being dropped can usually be remedied by walking an extra 20 feet.

I am going to stick with the same strategy I use on the highway. Anyone who's driven in LA traffic knows, if the lane next to you starts to move fast, everyone will get in that lane immediately, thinking that it will save them those precious minutes. In reality, everyone moves to that "fast" lane, and the one person who decided to be patient and stay behind in the slow lane, ends up ahead of everyone else. If Android sales on the Verizon network mirror the iPhone sales on the AT&T network as a result of its latest campaign, I wonder how easily Verizon will be able to maintain its alleged superior coverage and service. Will it be able to handle the same growing pains?