Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Positive Attitude About Wireless Providers

I'm not a journalist. I just write whatever comes to mind or what I think is cool about mobility. I've been bitter about the gatekeepers. You know, the wireless providers. ATT. Verizon Wireless. Etc.

So, I'm gonna try to be more positive from now on. Think about it. It's only in the last ten years where such wireless telephony reached mainstream.

It was in around 1999 when I first got my first cell phone. It was a Samsung phone through Sprint PCS. For $75 a month, I got 1,000 minutes. It was unheard of. I had seen it in the Wall Street Journal. It was a crazy cheap deal as far as I knew.

And what ever most other people using? Beepers. That's right. Beep, beep, beep, or vibrate. And texting at the time meant using numerical substitutes. Remember how to spell out "hello"? 07734.

But thinking positively about wireless companies started this weekend while I was jogging and listening to an audiobook. "Children of the Night" by Dan Simmons, published in 1993.

1993. Cell service was in its infancy. Beepers. Yeah, there was a lot of that around. Everyone on the campus of UCLA had one. Some had two. Anyway, there was a scene in the book when the protagonist and her friends were trying to run from danger, the electricity was cut, and, likely the phone line as well.

As it got more exciting, I started to run faster but I also thought "why didn't any of them carried a cell phone". The plot happened around the fall of Communism and the Ceausescu regime in 1989. So, landlines ruled. Ah...I also thought "dude, Hollywood movie makers and suspense writers have been totally screwed by mobile services because bad guys can no longer cut phone lines. The good guys can use their cell phones. And maybe the authorities can even track them through the cell signals like in 24".

I know it's weird to appreciate what ATT, Sprint, and T-Mobile in such a manner but it happens to be true. Even after Katrina when telephone lines were knocked out, mobile cell towers were brought in to quickly restore communication.

So, hurray for the wireless guys.

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