I don’t mean a stuffy nose, even though I have that going on right now, I’m talking about network congestion. As customer of Always Troublesome Technology and a former Blackberry user I would get this “Congestion!” message and the call would fail. Well after many Blackberry failures (I believe part of my problems were the actual phone) I let it go and picked up the cheapest iPhone I could get after much cajoling from a pretty Nia Long looking lady at the Airwaves Totally Trashed store (but I digress). The iPhone is a smarter phone than the current crop of Blackberry devices and Android fans say the phones that run that OS are even smarter, which brought me to this article
and that little message I used to get about congestion. I haven’t seen the congestion message on the iPhone, it just hangs up or backs out of whatever application I’m in. I’m not in agreement with the article though. 2010 is NOT the Year of Congestion as far as I’m concerned we’re entering the 3rd year of it as it was three years ago that the first iPhone came out. That’s not to blame the iPhone but it’s introduction in my opinion made companies like RIM (Blackberry) and HTC and Motorola et all ramp up their game to make phones do more stuff. The service provider marketing departments did all that they could do get a smartphone into all of our technology hungry little hands. Now most of us are wired ALL the TIME, which means the networks are busy all the time, which means the technology supporting it all needs to be updated/expanded/tweaked all the time or at least that’s what you would think.
Now Absolutely Tumultuous Telephone is “working "quickly and aggressively" on network enhancements” according to Mark Siegel, spokesman of the above mentioned company. There’s going to be upgrades to towers and their 3G network, there will be special focus on upgrades to areas that have high traffic like SF and NYC, so on and so forth but before the article even get’s to this discussion there’s a little piece of arrogance that sent me right into orbit. Here it goes:
'Playing around the clock'
"What’s driving usage on the network and driving these high usage situations are things like video, or audio that keeps playing around the clock," said Ralph de la Vega, president of AT&T Mobility.
"And so we’ve got to get to those customers and have them recognize that they need to change their pattern, or there will be other things that they are going to have to do to reduce their usage.”
Whether those "other things" include higher rates for whatever data usage is deemed excessive is not known.
So we’ve all now bought into the idea that our phones are for work and for play, no longer just a communication device. We shell out $100-150 a month for the pleasure of using the network as we see fit and now and it’s a problem that we, the customers have to recognize? We have to change OUR behavior?
The provider got what they asked for: zillions of users, spending zillions of dollars, translating into fat pockets for their execs. Yet Service Provider, you didn’t want to be held accountable for taking those zillions of dollars and investing it into what you created. That’s not the customer’s problem, that’s your problem. The idea, thought, or whiff of a scent of an upcharge for high network usage is appalling and arrogant and is a complete disservice to all of us who keep your wallets fat. Fix your network, make it so fast and seamless that your customers can brag on how good they got it, how much work they get done, how clear their calls are and how clear their videos. Fix it to the point that the next time and average jane user like me can write something complimentary about you.