03-09-10 12:16 PM
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  1. Samuel Adams's Avatar
    The idea that consumers should not enter into any agreement with companies whose policies they find unfair would only work if there was true competition in the mobile market. Currently there is not true competition in the mobile market because the mobile phone companies collude to create the same or similar policies at the same time, leaving consumers who desire cellular service with no choice but to abide by those policies regardless of how consistent they are with the consumer's own utility of the service within his legal rights.

    The axiom of consumer choices maximizing utility and promoting competition excludes the scenario where he does not make a choice at all (i.e., "just don't sign up, no one is holding a gun to your head").
    03-08-10 03:03 PM
  2. amazinglygraceless's Avatar
    If hooking a router to your mobile phone and sharing its data connection is wrong on some moral level, then hooking up a router to your home internet connection and sharing its data with other devices would also be wrong on that level, and it isn't.
    No, it isn't. Two totally different systems and infrastructures. The cost and
    "policy" is based purely on the different cost differential between the two.

    Cellular service is more costly to implement, deliver and maintain than land
    lines. The cost is passed on to the rate payers. Plain and simple.
    03-08-10 03:06 PM
  3. amazinglygraceless's Avatar
    The idea that consumers should not enter into any agreement with companies whose policies they find unfair would only work if there was true competition in the mobile market. Currently there is not true competition in the mobile market because the mobile phone companies collude to create the same or similar policies at the same time, leaving consumers who desire cellular service with no choice but to abide by those policies regardless of how consistent they are with the consumer's own utility of the service within his legal rights.
    ... and your proof (actual not some nebulous rhetoric) is...

    Without backing up that statement it is purely baseless.
    03-08-10 03:09 PM
  4. Samuel Adams's Avatar
    And I would argue that it is not more costly, but it is far more profitable because of policies like these. Like I said, one little software - not even firmware - update to Iphone users alone to tell their phones to use wifi instead of 3G when wifi is in range would solve this horrifying 3G strain "crisis" and be done with it. They might not even need to build more towers... But they're not going to do that particular software update, because if they did and customers saw how many megabytes of data they use when they are not covered by wifi, they would almost all want to switch to pay-per-use plans. As someone on one of these forums has already said, routing all data through 3G first on 3G/wifi dual-capable phones, itemizing the 3G usage on people's bills, and getting them to agree they need unlimited data plans is one of the biggest Billion dollar bamboozlements of the consumer of our times.
    03-08-10 03:16 PM
  5. syb0rg's Avatar
    ... and your proof (actual not some nebulous rhetoric) is...

    Without backing up that statement it is purely baseless.
    I seem to remember T-Mobile introducing the first truly unlimited plan, Then AT&T and Verizon following suit, and now the three of them are at each other throats when it comes to pricing...

    Seems like fair competition to me.

    and the end user is winning by getting lower prices....

    I'd like to see "there is no competition" proof as well.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    03-08-10 03:20 PM
  6. Samuel Adams's Avatar
    LA Times article June 17, 2009 reporting investigation by the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department of cell phone companies for collusion regarding policy and pricing changes of SMS that occurred in "lock step"... is my basis for that statement.

    Remember that collusion is the alternative to price wars, and in the US we are not having price wars - the US has the highest cell phone bills of any country in the world.
    03-08-10 03:20 PM
  7. syb0rg's Avatar
    And I would argue that it is not more costly, but it is far more profitable because of policies like these. Like I said, one little software - not even firmware - update to Iphone users alone to tell their phones to use wifi instead of 3G when wifi is in range would solve this horrifying 3G strain "crisis" and be done with it. They might not even need to build more towers... But they're not going to do that particular software update, because if they did and customers saw how many megabytes of data they use when they are not covered by wifi, they would almost all want to switch to pay-per-use plans. As someone on one of these forums has already said, routing all data through 3G first on 3G/wifi dual-capable phones, itemizing the 3G usage on people's bills, and getting them to agree they need unlimited data plans is one of the biggest Billion dollar bamboozlements of the consumer of our times.
    Then your beef would " charge more for tethering" to encourage people to use Wi-Fi/DSL and discourage HSPA tethering.

    sounds like a double standard to me...

    [your first post] I dont want to pay for tethering, [this post; quoted above ]but i want it so that people are forced to use Wi-Fi when available.

    and for the record book i have my 9700 set to Wi-Fi preferred for data services.... can you ATT phone do that?

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Last edited by mjneid; 03-08-10 at 03:26 PM.
    03-08-10 03:23 PM
  8. syb0rg's Avatar
    LA Times article June 17, 2009 reporting investigation by the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department of cell phone companies for collusion regarding policy and pricing changes of SMS that occurred in "lock step"... is my basis for that statement.

    Remember that collusion is the alternative to price wars, and in the US we are not having price wars - the US has the highest cell phone bills of any country in the world.
    Cricket is currently 25$ for unlimited Talk and Text.... and i'm paying 71$ per month for unlimited talk/text/data/tether.... sounds fair to me... and i don't have to have a stand alone ISP at my house.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    03-08-10 03:24 PM
  9. Samuel Adams's Avatar
    Then your beef would " charge more for tethering" to encourage people to use Wi-Fi/DSL and discourage HSPA tethering.
    Um yeah I know how to change the settings on my phone and most phones...

    But help me understand what you are saying here in the part I quoted from you?
    03-08-10 03:28 PM
  10. amazinglygraceless's Avatar
    The flaw in your argument is that not all users have 3G or WiFi making it a moot
    point (read: 8100, 8310 and many other users)

    As to the rest, you are making a lot of suppositions with nothing to back them up.
    How do you know what "almost all users" would do? Are you somehow privy to
    the infrastructure management strategies of all the various carriers?

    Your opinions are yours and I respect them. What I don't do is accept them as
    fact. It's on you to prove that out.
    03-08-10 03:28 PM
  11. syb0rg's Avatar
    Um yeah I know how to change the settings on my phone and most phones...

    But help me understand what you are saying here in the part I quoted from you?
    Your original post was a rant on how you want AT&T and similar companies to not charge for tethering. and you liked it unto using wi-fi and allowing other to use that signal.

    then you turn around and say that you wish that apple would encode a patch that would limit iphone users to wifi when they are in reach of that signal, so you have two things going on here

    1 : i want to tether my blackberry for no extra cost
    2 : i dont want all of the HSPA bandwidth being used on iPhones (and other data phone)

    they are contradicting each other. if you tether, you use more bandwidth. bottom line. Computer use more data that mobile browsers... all the flash that is used would bog down a network. so if they allowed no cost tethering how slow would AT&T network really be?

    doesn't make sense to me.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    03-08-10 03:47 PM
  12. Branta's Avatar
    Remember that collusion is the alternative to price wars, and in the US we are not having price wars - the US has the highest cell phone bills of any country in the world.
    It is probably not true that USA has the world's highest cellular billing. It is almost certainly not true if you make the comparison against a standard like "hours worked at national average pay" as the leveller for different national costs of living and exchange rates.

    However your comparison should also take into account the different patterns of cellular usage and availability of different services around the world. Do you simply mean "highest total currency spend" or "highest cost per unit of usage" ...etc. Some users commonly use a cellular phone even when a landline is accessible. In other cases landline is the system of choice and cellular is used only when necessary - and there seem to be many reasons for this difference in user behavior, some as simple as quality of service, others more complex cultural or business based.
    03-08-10 03:52 PM
  13. Samuel Adams's Avatar
    Why would what I write not be my opinion? Did I say that everything I write here must be accepted as a fact by all who read it?

    I made a statement of opinion that collusion by cell phone companies limits consumer choice and hurts competition. I was asked to back that up, so I referenced the fact (not my opinion) that cell phone companies are being investigated by our government for collusion on the basis that that collusion limits consumer choice and hurts competition. The goal of the Federal Trade Commission is to ensure competition in the U.S.

    If I had unlimited time, I would cherish nothing more than to painstakingly back up all my other opinions by pointing you all to the information that helped me develop them, and then outlining my logic in how I synthesized that information, but I don't see why I should have to qualify my interpretation of facts as my opinions. Of course they are my interpretations. How do you reach the conclusion that merely by expressing my interpretations and views, that I am forcing each and every reader of them to accept them?

    PLEASE don't answer that.
    03-08-10 03:53 PM
  14. pkcable's Avatar
    It's interesting that you would bring up the internet as provided by your cable company, because at one time your cable company also sent a cable line to your house and did not care what you did with it after that, you could split the line and connect as many TVs as you wanted, or as the signal could handle, but then they started scambling channels and requiring converter boxes to get certain, and now all channels. It's probably only a matter of time before they do the same thing to the internet.
    03-08-10 03:54 PM
  15. Samuel Adams's Avatar
    Your original post was a rant on how you want AT&T and similar companies to not charge for tethering. and you liked it unto using wi-fi and allowing other to use that signal.

    then you turn around and say that you wish that apple would encode a patch that would limit iphone users to wifi when they are in reach of that signal, so you have two things going on here

    1 : i want to tether my blackberry for no extra cost
    2 : i dont want all of the HSPA bandwidth being used on iPhones (and other data phone)

    they are contradicting each other. if you tether, you use more bandwidth. bottom line. Computer use more data that mobile browsers... all the flash that is used would bog down a network. so if they allowed no cost tethering how slow would AT&T network really be?

    doesn't make sense to me.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    I think I see. I am saying they should allow tethering. People cried "but they need their profits, man up, it's capitalism" or "it costs so much more to add all that additional strain to the already strained network". To the first I replied that competition depends on consumer choice assuming he makes a choice (and that collusion wrt policies limits those choices and therefore hurts competition), and to the second I replied that the cell phone companies could singlehandedly solve both real and imagined crises of strain on HSPA networks AND allow for the additional bandwidth due to tethering, simply by implementing a software update that would route dual-capable phones' internet use first through wifi and then through HSPA.
    03-08-10 04:00 PM
  16. Samuel Adams's Avatar
    It's interesting that you would bring up the internet as provided by your cable company, because at one time your cable company also sent a cable line to your house and did not care what you did with it after that, you could split the line and connect as many TVs as you wanted, or as the signal could handle, but then they started scambling channels and requiring converter boxes to get certain, and now all channels. It's probably only a matter of time before they do the same thing to the internet.
    Actually when cable was new, cable companies were told to cease and desist charging rentals on their boxes under the Sherman Antitrust Act. The companies said "ok, we will but not right this second because only we can make the technology to descramble our signal", to which the courts said "fair enough, but you will eventually need to stop charging people monthly rentals of your boxes, OK?" and they were all "OK! will do!" and this was decades ago and we are still renting cable boxes.
    03-08-10 04:07 PM
  17. syb0rg's Avatar
    I think I see. I am saying they should allow tethering. People cried "but they need their profits, man up, it's capitalism" or "it costs so much more to add all that additional strain to the already strained network". To the first I replied that competition depends on consumer choice assuming he makes a choice (and that collusion wrt policies limits those choices and therefore hurts competition), and to the second I replied that the cell phone companies could singlehandedly solve both real and imagined crises of strain on HSPA networks AND allow for the additional bandwidth due to tethering, simply by implementing a software update that would route dual-capable phones' internet use first through wifi and then through HSPA.
    The fact that there are phones out there that are dual capable of both HSPA, and Wi-Fi should have a forced Wi-Fi routing option is a little one sided. I do not have a stand alone ISP at my house. I refuse to pay for the internet when i can tether for free and have it included in my price of my plan. But my surrounding neighbors do have wi-fi and from time to time my Onyx will pick up on their signal and kick over to UMA which i am not thrilled with. I do not want the hosting Wi-Fi family to have any type of access to my phone. But when i am at work and i want the UMA for speed and call quality i want my Wi-Fi signal on.... and to force data and voice communications over wi-fi would imply the customer wants to do that.

    I for one do not want the FCC, T-Mobile, AT&T or another "big brother" telling me what i need to connect to. if i want HSPA i want HSPA if i want UMA i want UMA i don't want anyone saying you need UMA when i in fact want HSPA. or vice versa

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    03-08-10 04:08 PM
  18. Samuel Adams's Avatar
    The fact that there are phones out there that are dual capable of both HSPA, and Wi-Fi should have a forced Wi-Fi routing option is a little one sided. I do not have a stand alone ISP at my house. I refuse to pay for the internet when i can tether for free and have it included in my price of my plan. But my surrounding neighbors do have wi-fi and from time to time my Onyx will pick up on their signal and kick over to UMA which i am not thrilled with. I do not want the hosting Wi-Fi family to have any type of access to my phone. But when i am at work and i want the UMA for speed and call quality i want my Wi-Fi signal on.... and to force data and voice communications over wi-fi would imply the customer wants to do that.

    I for one do not want the FCC, T-Mobile, AT&T or another "big brother" telling me what i need to connect to. if i want HSPA i want HSPA if i want UMA i want UMA i don't want anyone saying you need UMA when i in fact want HSPA. or vice versa

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Well duh, do you really think I would advocate for MANDATORY switching that the user cannot change, and your HAVING to use wifi after all I've said about consumer choice? No, with both HSPA and wifi available, you should have a choice based on your particular needs and situation.
    03-08-10 04:15 PM
  19. Samuel Adams's Avatar

    I for one do not want the FCC, T-Mobile, AT&T or another "big brother" telling me what i need to connect to. if i want HSPA i want HSPA if i want UMA i want UMA i don't want anyone saying you need UMA when i in fact want HSPA. or vice versa

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Right now they ARE telling you what you need to connect to, by making the choice of HSPA for you. Right now smartphone users cannot choose to have their phone connect only through wifi and not pay for data if they don't want to. But that's a subject for another forum.

    Just rest assured, there are choices being made for you, and the game is to make you think that you are making those choices yourself (like in My Big Fat Greek Wedding). You get slammed with insane overage fees the first month you have your cell phone, you therefore CHOOSE, of your own free will to go to a higher rate plan out of mortal fear of ever again having those overages [ETA: combined with the intense desire not to live like a socialist pauper who has to - gasp - restrict his consumption in order to fit his budget]. Now you are free to talk, now you are in control, even if you are paying hundreds, even thousands of dollars more per year than you would have if you had just budgeted out your or your family's minutes and usage better. No one is holding a gun to your head, though. You CHOSE that unlimited plan because you are an astute consumer who may not be rich, but can at least afford not having to budget your minutes like some... I don't know what. Not free person.

    Everything is sold to cell phone users as "freedom". Being restrained in how much you can talk feels awful, so you go up a notch. That feeling of freedom, of having made your own choices by picking the plan that best suits you and then talking all you want without fear of overages, it was planned out in a boardroom and it is how cell phones are sold - they use that very idea to sell you the product. Watch any cell phone commercial.

    Also the idea that it's all extremely high-tech and costs them a lot to provide is another thing they want to make sure their consumers can repeat back. I wonder how they manage to make their profits, given how expensive it is?

    1) policies to protect their profits (e.g., mandating 2-year contracts, mandating data plans for smartphones, charging a lot for SMS, charging the receiver of incoming calls, making changes to their policies at the same time, prohibiting tethering)
    2) rigging things so that people are pushed toward unlimited plans
    3) it may not be as expensive as they would have you believe.
    Last edited by Samuel Adams; 03-08-10 at 07:22 PM. Reason: ETA: that was an opinion.
    03-08-10 04:22 PM
  20. syb0rg's Avatar
    Right now they ARE telling you what you need to connect to, by making the choice of HSPA for you. Right now smartphone users cannot choose to have their phone connect only through wifi and not pay for data if they don't want to. But that's a subject for another forum. Just rest assured, there are choices being made for you, and the game is to make you think that you are making those choices yourself (like in My Big Fat Greek Wedding). You get slammed with insane overage fees the first month you have your cell phone, you therefore CHOOSE, of your own free will to go to a higher rate plan out of mortal fear of ever again having those overages. Now you are free to talk. Everything is sold to cell phone users as "freedom". The feeling of freedom, of having made your own choices by picking the plan that best suits you and then talking all you want without fear of overages, it is how cell phones are sold - they use the idea of freedom as a consumer to sell you the product.
    If i walk into my local T-Mobile store and say i want to buy a 9700 at full retail price, i do not have to get a Data Package. I can opt for wi-fi only services. and disregard all HSPA/EDGE based BIS/BES data communication.

    If i go onto Craigslist.org and/or ebay and buy a 9700 i can activate it and use it for wi-fi only services. and disregard all HSPA/EDGE based BIS/BES data communication.

    it's all with the wording of contracts, might want to read them. They do including "choices"....

    and as far as "fear of overages" between my wife and i, we have no home phone, we use 1,000 minuets plus a month. 500 minuets a pop.... it has nothing to do with fear of going over... it was we were going over, and i needed to save money....

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    03-08-10 04:27 PM
  21. Samuel Adams's Avatar
    It is probably not true that USA has the world's highest cellular billing. It is almost certainly not true if you make the comparison against a standard like "hours worked at national average pay" as the leveller for different national costs of living and exchange rates.

    However your comparison should also take into account the different patterns of cellular usage and availability of different services around the world. Do you simply mean "highest total currency spend" or "highest cost per unit of usage" ...etc. Some users commonly use a cellular phone even when a landline is accessible. In other cases landline is the system of choice and cellular is used only when necessary - and there seem to be many reasons for this difference in user behavior, some as simple as quality of service, others more complex cultural or business based.
    It's the highest in currency total, it is not highest per minute cost. We have the highest total bills per month AND the highest consumption. I posit that our high consumption is a direct result of the process of going over on a basic plan, CHOOSING an unlimited plan, and then talking a heck of a lot more because hey, by that point it doesn't matter, you've got an unlimited plan. The carriers have orchestrated it to work this way based on average first months' consumption figures.
    Last edited by Samuel Adams; 03-08-10 at 07:33 PM.
    03-08-10 07:31 PM
  22. thenooge's Avatar
    so, i started tethering today. am i to understand that since i'm on t-mobile and have unlimited data with my 9700, i can tether all day and not worry about some phantom charge like the boys with at&t do? nice!
    03-08-10 08:54 PM
  23. Artemis68's Avatar
    the smartphone package at ATT/VZW is just for BB internet or whatnot, not tethering. Says so in the TOS. Just because they are selling internet service for one device doesn't mean that they should make that internet open to OTHER devices (like tether thru laptops). That's dumb.

    You DO have a choice. Write a letter to the company and/or switch to someone who will let you tether, like T-Mobile.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    03-08-10 11:39 PM
  24. jiggyb's Avatar
    While I don't agree with everything the OP is saying I do have his back. I agree with him far more than anyone else here. It seems to me that most people are a little too quick to stand up for the big corporations. The way people are making them out to sound like fair, almost innocent players in this game is just pitiful and I think the CEO's of said companies would be laughing at you guys all the way to the bank.

    I also can't believe whoever said that it is hands down the consumers fault to sign something with out reading it first. I agree that you should be bound to your contract but I would hardly blame somebody for complaining about some sneaky bs thrown in their contract that short of paying a lawyer to read could be overlooked.

    I am a carpenter. I work very hard and very honestly for my money. I wish I could get half of the sympathy you guys are handing out to these huge corporations that are out to screw us at every turn. It doesn't matter how well my contract is written up, people assume a hard working blue collar guy is being greedy and unfair, but not VZW, not ATT... I don't get you people.

    And PS, my daughter has asked a few times why this website likens itself to a horrible drug that ruins most families it touches. So while I have no idea what the OP's original post name was, I wouldn't throw the term family friendly around. You can take away a few trigger words here and there but to think that shelters the youth from the negativity that goes on here is just silly.
    03-09-10 12:30 AM
  25. GlitchZero's Avatar
    It's the highest in currency total, it is not highest per minute cost. We have the highest total bills per month AND the highest consumption. I posit that our high consumption is a direct result of the process of going over on a basic plan, CHOOSING an unlimited plan, and then talking a heck of a lot more because hey, by that point it doesn't matter, you've got an unlimited plan. The carriers have orchestrated it to work this way based on average first months' consumption figures.

    Wow I wish you knew how wrong you were. Try spending a week in Canada. You've got your minimum $25 for 500mb data plan (there is no unlimited data plans here, so chuck that out the window), your minimum $15 dollar voice plan (included: no SMS, MMS, and about 50-100 minutes / month), and then you have your systems access fees ($7.95ish for most), and then the icing on the cake, 13% of all that in taxes. And that's the bare bones smartphone plan. We pay just as much as your 'unlimited this, unlimited that' that most have through retentions to begin with, and we get half the features! So who's really paying more?

    Your average Canadian smartphone user (note: not iPhone user) is sitting around $60-$70 (once all features have been added, see iPhone plans) before SAF's and taxes (iPhone plans, $70-$80 with your unlimited texting, evenings and weekends, etc.). Also, our 3 year contract phone pricing is the same as your 2 year (ie. 9550 in the US - $199 / 2 year contract. 9550 in Canada - $399 / 2 year contract, $199 / 3 year contract.). We're paying more for longer. As many people have already stated, you've consistently posted opinion as absolute fact, with no proof whatsoever.
    Last edited by GlitchZero; 03-09-10 at 03:33 AM.
    03-09-10 03:16 AM
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