Thursday, April 20, 2006

Cellular insufficiency

I am increasingly frustrated with the insufficiencies of American cellular phone service. Why can I not:
  1. Send SMS (text messages) from my Cellular One mobile phone (Simply Speaking plan) to my children's ACS Alaska Cellular phones? During the years we lived in Sweden, we routinely communicated via SMS with friends visiting in other European countries, China, and even Africa. Why can't an American cell phone send an SMS across the room when a European cell phone can SMS with any other European, Chinese or African cell phone -- even if they are offered by different manufacturers or plan providers and separated by an entire continent?
  2. Routinely receive cell phone calls when I can originate calls from the same spot? It's pretty frustrating to listen to voice mail and find that someone tried to contact me while I was in good cell phone coverage and the phone never rang.
  3. Dial once instead of three times? With my current cell phone, while travelling, I must dial the number, dial the number again, and then dial MY number.
  4. Pay only for calls I originate? Why should I have to pay for people calling me? Especially if I don't want the call, why should I have to pay for it? Our European cell phone account actually was CREDITED a fraction of the call's value when someone called.
I know, this is a bit of a rant. I'm just a bit disgusted with the way the system works. There is no technical reason for any of this; there are only policy reasons; or at least, so it seems to me. This seems like a perfect place for some Federal Communicatioins Commission regulation to me.

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