01 November 2007

US (Mobile Carriers) halting advances in Mobility

Far be it for us to pick on another business sector unless there is a significant impact on ours. Well today I am mad and getting madder about the US Mobile carriers.

What's the problem?

Advances in mobile technology especially in the area of Mobile Data Services is enabled by technology. It is adopted by consumers if they see a benefit. That benefit is driven by usually two factors - Keeping competitive (my phone is cooler) or convenience/functionality. Classic examples are the iPhone for the former and Blackberries for the latter.

Unfortunately this means that we need contracts that are competitive and don't discriminate. Phones last for about a year. In my case I am probably pretty hard on my devices but still - each year I need to change to accommodate both drivers. Not so fast say my providers.... Sign here for a 2 year contract and oh by the way you may not have an equipment upgrade. I pay extra now for that facility so that all the people on my contracts can upgrade and get new phones every year.

Still... I see people with old phones using them because of the two drivers: They are afraid of their contract and they are afraid to change. This makes the US market a laggard in adoption of advanced mobile data systems.

Thanks - AT&T, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, Verizon et al for keeping us as Luddites.

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