As many of us know Verizon is having quality problems in large areas of El Paso.
The word on the street is that a cellular operation in Mexico is interfering with Verizon’s local signals.
Verizon recently sent out this message:
Wi-Fi calling may improve your voice calling experience. Please ensure that Wi-Fi Calling is enabled and that you have Wi-Fi activated on your device.
As Wi-Fi becomes more prevalent will we see reduced reliance on cellular carriers? Will we be able to buy less capacity from our cellular carrier and thus save money?
We deserve better
There are already options that allow you to pay for less, as well as unlimited talk and text plans that are very reasonable. We have a plan that uses TMobile’s network, and provides us with two lines for around $40.00 per month.
Brutus, welcome to 2014. iPhone users have had wifi calling capabilities since Sept 2014. Wifi calling only works if you are connected to a wifi network, something difficult to do if you are driving down I-10.
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Wifi calling is nothing new. In fact, carriers have used it as a way to oversell their services and attach too many users per tower, which is what the real issue is. If your cell tower can handle 400 connections and you have 600 users connecting then everyone is going to have poor quality service.
If a carrier in Mexico were really causing an issue in an illegal way, we have federal agencies that would respond. For all its faults, the Mexican government isn’t going to allow any Mexican carrier to commit cross-border criminality. They would stand to lose far more money from the U.S. than the offending carrier might pay in bribes.
More likely what is happening are issues of over-utilization, way too many users than the system can reliably handle, perhaps exacerbated by agreements with Mexican carriers that add more users to the problem.
Of course, if we have the government take it over then everything would be great, because then there would be 2 million users, 150,000 people paying the bill and no one would have good service. And we would have the added benefit of listening to politicians talk about what they “give” us. Free phones for everybody would be an expensive proposition and the quality would be very poor.
Just look at Obamacare. And anyone who didn’t actually have to use Obamacare can shut up, it was and is a terrible destruction of the private insurance market, allowing the insurance companies to pass of their responsibilities through tremendous deductibles on top of the increased premiums. To add insult to injury, it allows hospitals to collect the remainder of their egregious charges from the consumer, where previously they had to take what insurance paid. Our annual healthcare costs TRIPLED under Obamacare while the quality of care went down. One of our new doctor’s diagnosed our son’s seizure as an allergic reaction to pollen.
Anyone who thinks Obamacare is a worthwhile government program is not using it themselves.
I agree completely on Obamacare. That said, news stories a couple of months ago were saying that local government was working with Mexico to address the Mexican carrier problem because apparently it is also interfering with police communications and actually caused issues during the Walmart shooting response. I don’t have any issues with Sprint. Our telecom infrastructure sucks. AT&T was very slow to upgrade the wired broadband network (we still don’t have full fiber optic internet residential service, but the hybrid system they’ve put in is better than it was ). We probably had DSL as the only option going to older homes longer than any city our size in the country. I spent two years contacting AT&T and Niland (then my city rep) complaining about it before the service in our area (the Willows) was finally upgraded. The big problem is lack of real competition in our local market. In larger cities, you often have multiple residential options. Here it is AT&T or the cable company.
Last I looked, El Paso was rated the worst cellular service in the top 50 cities. This tracks my experience for 9 long-suffering years with AT&T here (that is pretty good in other cities). I switched to Verizon last summer and it was an improvement over AT&T. Now I usually have 4 bars inside my house. With AT&T I had to go out on the back deck and stand on my tip toes to get 2 bars.
I encountered this issue in a big way back in 2011 to 2013 when I ran the Broad Band project for the city, just before retirement. It was clear to me that El Paso gets the short end of the stick when it comes to telecommunications.
I don’t know who speaks for this in the halls of government, but I guess no one does. They’re too busy trying to figure out how to build MS an arena while we’re going under. But broadband is to the 21st century what city water and sewer was to the early 20th. You need to get that, CC,because it is a high priority for development, especially in disadvantaged communities like El Paso.
Oh, and as for Mexico. We ran a microwave link from the county to La Fe, right on the border, to give La Fe some bandwidth for their fine educational work with Segundo kids. It was an unlicensed frequency in the US only requiring that the county notify the FCC. It turned out that what is unlicensed in the US was licensed frequency in Mexico and we had to reduce the power of the link (and bandwidth) to prevent bleedover into Mexico. There are international treaties that govern this and it is taken seriously, so let’s hope Verizon gets some relief. But I wouldn’t hold my breath.
We have T-Mobile and have suddenly experienced connection issues, with just one or two bars rather than the full connction we’ve had until recently.
Leave it to someone to take a casual Sunday morning conversation about cellular phone service and turn it into a rant about Obamacare.
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Anon; they could rant about the free Obama phones given out to the low rent crowd in his administration. That would be about cellular phones, except the program began on Dubya’s watch 🙂
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Why are the time stamps on this blog one hour ahead of the actual time? I’m thinking maybe Brutus moved to a city in the Central Time Zone with lower taxes.
The time should be correct now.