The Underground iPhone Users Of Vermont Trying To Hide From AT&T

from the how-dare-these-people-want-to-give-us-money dept

It's no secret that Apple's new iPhone is quite popular across the nation, with competitors everywhere trying to figure out how to respond. There certainly have been some complaints about some of the limitations imposed by the iPhone, but people everywhere are trying to find workarounds. Tech.Blorge alerts us to the fact that a bunch of iPhone users in Vermont have had to go virtually underground to get and use iPhones. The problem, apparently, is that since AT&T has an exclusive deal to offer the iPhone, they don't want people using it primarily on roaming networks. Right now, you cannot get AT&T wireless service in Vermont -- and AT&T's contract threatens to cut off anyone who buys or uses an iPhone there. Of course, that's not going to stop some people, who are ordering iPhones from elsewhere and even setting up P.O. Boxes out of state where the 300 page iPhone bills can be sent. They know that they're risking being cut off but they just can't help it. For their part, AT&T insists that they will cut off anyone they find who lives in an area not served by AT&T wireless (which is actually a fairly large area), or anyone who uses more than 40% of their iPhone time on roaming networks. This, of course, is a bit ridiculous. These people want to pay money. They're happy customers or both Apple and AT&T -- and the company wants to cut them off. If expense is the problem, they should just charge them more for roaming, but cutting them off completely in the name of an exclusivity contract doesn't make any sense. It makes the iPhone and wireless service from AT&T less valuable, which is exactly the opposite of what the exclusivity clause was supposed to do.


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    Maychic.com/wealthology, Aug 17th, 2007 @ 4:48pm

    Underground iPhone Users Of Vermont

    This bumbling aged giant seems not get the fact that the customers' needs come first because without the customers they would be out of business. If they continue being unreasonable, people should boycott all their products and services and send them to where they belong: the gulag of Siberia
    Maychic

     

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      Dave, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 5:10am

      bumbling oaf

      at&t simply needs to be re-broken up again. this time into more than 50 pieces, and those pieces should be prohibited from merging back together t-1000 style, ever again.

       

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    Sanguine Dream, Aug 17th, 2007 @ 5:27pm

    I knew this would happen...

    Sounds like Apple's choice to go exclusive the AT&T is biting them in the rear.

     

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    Mark, Aug 17th, 2007 @ 5:28pm

    Seems like a good time

    To put http://iphonecommunity.us live and take it off parking. Anyone used that HTC Touch phone?

     

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      Avatar28, Aug 17th, 2007 @ 8:39pm

      Re: Seems like a good time

      Even better than the HTC Touch, check out this project.

      http://www.whoneedsaniphone.com/

      It's still technically in alpha state but even for that it works extremely well. I've been a member of the community and using it since the first alpha release. We just voted on a name for it. Looks like the new name will be "FreeStyl" (as in stylus free interface). I expect a possible beta release soon too. The nice thing about it is that it should work on ANY Windows Mobile 5 or 6 device.

       

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    Gai-jin, Aug 17th, 2007 @ 5:33pm

    You've missed the point.

    The point is, AT&T Plans are national plans, that don't charge roaming at all. The cost absolutely the issue. When you use your phone on someone else's network, AT&T has to pay for those minutes, and it's much more costly to them than when you're on their network. Since the user doesn't pay anything for roaming, they are costing AT&T more than they are worth as customers.

    Perhaps a better solution would be to offer a roaming plan, and let these users pay your typical $.45/min rate or so that roaming minutes typically cost. Either way, it's not at all about keeping the iPhone exclusive.

     

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      Mark, Aug 17th, 2007 @ 5:45pm

      Re: You've missed the point.

      It's been going on for a while. I worked in Tech support for OmniSky a few years back (lasted 4 years, was one of the last to be laid off :). Anyhow, we had agreements w/ the major players of that time for CDPD access. NY was split between Ameritech/GTE and ATT, as was a lot of other NE cities. We routinely saw 500$/month invoices per IP from ATT for roaming fees - while the customer paid a flat $59/month. Keep in mind that CDPD was only 19.2k, but much lower after forward encryption and such.

      We dropped many customers for abnormal usage patterns.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2007 @ 5:48pm

      Re: You've missed the point.

      "Perhaps a better solution would be to offer a roaming plan, and let these users pay your typical $.45/min rate or so..."

      so you punish the 95% of ATT customers who RARELY roam with a $.45/min rate because 5% of them want to use ATT services in an area that ATT does not yet provide their own towers to service to? interesting indeed.

       

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        Charles Griswold, Aug 17th, 2007 @ 6:11pm

        Re: Re: You've missed the point.

        so you punish the 95% of ATT customers who RARELY roam with a $.45/min rate because 5% of them want to use ATT services in an area that ATT does not yet provide their own towers to service to?
        If they rarely roam, then it's not much of a punishment, is it?

         

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        Gai-jin, Aug 17th, 2007 @ 6:25pm

        Re: Re: You've missed the point.

        No, I think the current plans work great for most customers. However, if someone REALLY wants to use an iPhone, on an AT&T account, but with all of their usage off AT&T network, let them. But make them pay for the roaming they use.

        If someone uses 50% or more of their minutes on the AT&T network in a given month, then they get to stay on the regular plan.

         

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      Mike (profile), Aug 17th, 2007 @ 6:54pm

      Re: You've missed the point.

      The point is, AT&T Plans are national plans, that don't charge roaming at all. The cost absolutely the issue. When you use your phone on someone else's network, AT&T has to pay for those minutes, and it's much more costly to them than when you're on their network. Since the user doesn't pay anything for roaming, they are costing AT&T more than they are worth as customers.


      Which is why I said: "If expense is the problem, they should just charge them more for roaming,"

      Not sure how I issed the point, since that's exactly what I said. However, since AT&T isn't doing this, it seems like it really is about exclusivity.

       

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      Anonymous, Aug 20th, 2007 @ 2:16pm

      Re: You've missed the point.

      AT&T is offering free roaming to anyone, if they do this, they should expect that people are going to take advantage of that and roam as they will since they aren't getting penalized with the fees, that is one of the major attractors to the AT&T service plans over many others for lots of people. Instead of charging everyone the flat $.45/minute for roaming, why not put a cap on roaming minutes, much like they do for free night and weekend minutes on some plans. Say, their 400min/month plan gets 1500 night and weekend minutes, 400 regular peak minutes and 300 text messages (I think, might double check) per month standard. Well, why not change that to have a cap on roaming minutes that is

       

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    Shane C, Aug 17th, 2007 @ 5:36pm

    Unlock phones

    How would this differ from "unlocking" the phone to be used on another network?

    If unlocking the phone is now legal, then the cell phone network can no longer dictate how, and where the phone will be used. If they can't dictate that usage then how can they "disconnect" someone for doing something they have no control over?

    Or is my logic broken here?

    Shane

     

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      Gai-jin, Aug 17th, 2007 @ 6:29pm

      Re: Unlock phones

      Shane --
      It is quite different from unlocking the phone. If you unlock the phone and sign up for service with T-Mobile instead of AT&T, then you're paying T-Mobile, and using T-Mobile's network. This usage doesn't cost T-mobile much, so they are making money off of having your account. The phone doesn't matter.

      If you sign up for AT&T service, but use only T-Mobile's network, AT&T has to pay relatively high rates for every minute you use on T-Mobile's network. So, anyone who's doing this is COSTING AT&T money, instead of making them money.

       

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        Mark, Aug 17th, 2007 @ 6:33pm

        Re: Re: Unlock phones

        Isn't T-Mobile just a MVNO in the states? I don't think AT&T would pay roaming rates to T-Mobile who's customers are roaming in T-Mobile (AT&T's) network.

         

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          Jonathan, Aug 17th, 2007 @ 7:20pm

          Re: Re: Re: Unlock phones

          T-Mobile isn't just an MVNO they are their own network operator so yes, AT&T would have to pay roaming rates to them.

           

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          Kris, Aug 19th, 2007 @ 7:13pm

          Re: Re: Re: Unlock phones

          T-Mobile is not an MVNO. It's actually a network which was VoiceStream Wireless, which was a part of Western Wireless, then bought by a group of people including the T-Mobile group.

          VoiceStream - GSM - became T-Mobile
          WesternWireless - CDMA - became part of Alltel

          I wish I was the guy running WesternWireless, he's gotta made a ton off the sales.

           

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      chazz, Aug 20th, 2007 @ 2:32pm

      Re: Unlock phones

      I think TMobile is the only other GSM network in the US and if I am not mistaken, they lease space on ATT towers, so their coverage won't be any better. An unlocked iPhone will never work on Sprint or Verizon because it has to be GSM.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2007 @ 6:40pm

    Happens in WV as well.

    Ive had 3 friends that drive into the city of charleston in west virginia to get service from AT&T not even for an iphone. Just a normal cell.

    All 3 of them have had there service cut off from roaming too much.

     

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    jake the snake, Aug 17th, 2007 @ 7:24pm

    ker pow

    the way I see it the people in vermont should do all the damage they can while they can. the company put themselves in this position. Let them find their own way out. Until then they can keep turning phones off. while customers keep turning them on.

    yay vermont

     

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    Alisha, Aug 17th, 2007 @ 8:11pm

    Three Cheers for Vermont!

    Stick it to AT&T, Vermont. Screw them.

     

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    inc, Aug 17th, 2007 @ 9:02pm

    I heard that the iPhone only works on the AT&T's Edge network as opposed to their 3G. I have an HTC8525 and while calls suck on 3G and I force my phone to use edge for calls, when I need to connect to the internet the 3G network is so much faster. I would hate to pay through the nose for shittier and shittier service. If the HTC can be hacked to work with other service providers I don't see why the iPhone can't. After all the end user can do whatever they want with it, even put it in a blender. http://www.willitblend.com/ So screw AT&T, I'm tired of companies acting like they own paying customers especially with the have a use monopoly on something.

     

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      Brock, Aug 18th, 2007 @ 7:54am

      Re: EDGE/3G

      GPRS is the original at&t data network. EDGE is the current data network. UMTS is the high speed data network, not yet available in all markets.

      3G is a generic term used for the collective voice and data networks.

      So you don't actually make phone calls on the EDGE or UMTS network...only the data uses those.

      The only thing generally associated with the voice side of wireless that's actually the data side for an iPhone, is the Visual Voicemail

       

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        Charlie, Aug 21st, 2007 @ 5:45am

        Re: Re: EDGE/3G

        You are right on some points, but not all. GPRS and EDGE are data only technologies that overlay the traditional GSM network, which uses TDMA as an underlying technology (but NOT the TDMA protocol that AT&T used prior to GSM).

        UMTS is a new standard that replaces GSM, Universal Mobile Telecommunications System. It uses W-CDMA as the underlying protocol and supports voice and data.

        So what the user should have said is that the 3G network sucks for voice and that he uses the 2G/GSM network, but we all got the right idea. For the record I prefer voice calls on the UMTS network with my 8525. Of course something is wrong with the phone and I can faintly hear TDMA interference when using the GSM network for voice or data (and since GPRS and EDGE use GSM that is correct).

         

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    :HAn., Aug 17th, 2007 @ 10:49pm

    I have been ticked off about Apple not supporting DUN on the iPhone. However, the more I think about it, the more I wonder if it's even necessary. Everything I would want to do on my laptop while n the road, I can do on the iPhone directly anyway. Maps, email, web... thats about it. I can live without DUN easily if I use an iPhone. In fact, I will be happy not to have to carry my laptop around with me anymore, as it just isnt as important for me to have during travel anymore.

     

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    krum303, Aug 18th, 2007 @ 12:17am

    Roaming rates and MVNO's

    First off, as stated above, T-Mobile isn't an MVNO. They own tons of their own towers/spectrum and proved that even more so a year ago when they outbid every U.S. carrier for 3G spectrum. (although they haven't launched it yet.) AT&T does have to pay them for roaming on T-Mobile towers.
    Plus, with T-Mobile, 100% of your usage can be on a roaming partner's network and they will never cut you off. My brother-in-law knows this from experience as it is one reason he signed up for T-Mobile with a Seattle number and has used it for almost seven years in Alaska with no problems at all. What's confusing is that I read that AT&T recently purchased the remnants of Cell-One and Dobson Wireless which I thought provided service in the North East including Vermont. I may be wrong on this but that would give them towers/spectrum rights in that state and the whole point would be moot. I still believe Apple would make much more of a profit making unlocked CDMA and GSM versions of the iPhone opening up their possible purchase base to over 194 million in the U.S. alone and over 2 billion worldwide according to gsmworld.com. Seems like less of a headache than providing the device to an exclusive carrier. Just my 2 cents. =)

     

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      Scott Emick, Aug 18th, 2007 @ 12:48am

      Re: Roaming rates and MVNO's

      Alltel doesn't terminate for 100% roaming either. And unlike T-mobile which I also have, Alltel allows me to Roam on Verizon and Sprint even in my home area. T-mobile doesn't seem to let me roam at all in my home area, even where they don't have coverage.

       

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    Tazzi, Aug 18th, 2007 @ 7:25am

    AT&T

    Screw the Fascist Pigs at AT&T. I do lust after the iPhone, but not if I have to have an account with the NSA loving Anti-Freedom, Anti-American Fascist Pond Scum called AT&T !

    YAY Vermont ! Stick it to the Man !

     

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    AskTheAdmin, Aug 18th, 2007 @ 7:47am

    @#2 Touch is cool but its no iphone

    First of all... WHAT? Why would ATT be so stupid as to alienate customers instead of making a premium customer out of them charging more as the artile suggested? Something else has to be going on here. Has anyone gotten the ax for roaming more than 20 percent of the time yet?? Inquiring minds would like to know! Thanks from your friends over @ AskTheAdmin

     

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    Happymellon, Aug 18th, 2007 @ 9:07am

    Biting them in the ass...

    This sounds like something that was going to be a problem at some point anyway. If people that roam pay less than the operator for them roaming, then it would only be a matter time time before something comes along and offsets the cost making it unworkable. One other thing not mentioned is that they also have the choice to renegotiate the contracts on roaming with the other operators, I'm assuming it would only be T-Mobile since they are the only other GSM operator(?).
    I guess they'll have to wait until T-Mobile offers their "iPhone Killer" before they'll both be in a situation that makes sense to bring the cross charges closer to the real world charges.

    Come on miniOne/p168/open moko

     

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    Derek Kerton (profile), Aug 18th, 2007 @ 10:18am

    Some Finer Points

    Well, you (commenters) all seem to have some decent insights, but many of you miss some important finer points about the industry, so here's a relevant primer:

    - Apple's Exclusive: Anyone who says Apple is nuts to offer an exclusive to AT&T is right only on the most superficial level. I mean, duh, it's better to have more carrier partners, more distribution, more customers. So if that's the depth of your thinking, it should have occurred to you that you're missing something. That something is: Apple got a HELL of a deal from AT&T. They got CONTROL, they got to use their iTunes store to move content to a phone, they get a share of recurring revenues. If you know the industry, you would know that this is unprecedented, and it's something that Nokia, Motorola, or Samsung have NEVER gotten. But you don't get something for nothing, so Apple had to offer the exclusive to AT&T in return for a boatload of benefits. All in all, it is a great deal for Apple. Without that level of control, the iPhone would have ended up looking like...the Motorola ROKR. That is precisely what happens to a good idea in the era before the iPhone. I'm not sure why 95% of the bloggers and fanboys out there don't get this.

    - AT&T exclusive: it's funny but while the fanboys wonder why Apple agreed to an exclusive, the telco-heads wonder exactly the opposite: "Why did AT&T give Apple so much control?" And the reason is: this is the first device (ever) that will actually make a customer quit VZW, T-Mo, or Sprint, to move to AT&T. AT&T gave up control in order to compete with the market. I love it. Finally some gutsy competition in the industry. And it's working.

    - Roaming: True that T-Mo runs its own network, as do most of the national cellcos. But that doesn't mean they run their 'entire' network. For example, T-Mobile is relatively weak in California, so they use AT&T towers and base stations for much of their coverage here. Turns out, AT&T uses T-Mo in other places, making a reciprocal deal. The deals these carriers make are not at the 45 cent a minute mark, but much lower...and confidential. In high-density urban areas, carriers will steadily be deploying their own equipment to reduce the roaming usage. So while the concept of MVNO is relatively new, many carriers have been partially MVNOs for some time.

    - More Roaming: now, in more rural markets, like Vermont, it doesn't really make sense for 5 carriers to each deploy a network to cover some farms. Especially in hilly areas where it is more expensive to deploy. Thus, these areas frequently have fewer networks, which then provide roaming to the national carriers. Dobson, mentioned already in the comments, was one of the 'bigger small' GSM carriers in the US. Because of a specialized roaming deal, AT&T customers would invisibly shift over to Dobson when in their coverage area, and AT&T would absorb the costs for their nationwide customers. This was an uncomfortable expense national carriers needed to absorb if they wanted to claim national coverage, and put a lot of ink on the coverage map. But companies like Dobson have always known their value in filling out the map, so they charged a relatively high inbound roaming rate - and were also charged the same high rate by AT&T for their regional customers who roamed into the city. This turns out better for small carriers since they end up getting way more inbound roaming revenue than they spent in outbound roaming. What's more, unlike nationals, regionals often pass their high roaming fees on to the customer, so it doesn't cost them at all. Sick and tired of these expenses, wealthy nationals are slowly buying up the regional carriers. Dobson just got bought, but you can see Sprint has been buying their affiliates for years.

    - More Roaming: There's roaming, and then there's roaming. If you take your AT&T phone to Canada, it will likely tell you that you are roaming, and your phone will display "Rogers", a Canadian GSM carrier. That's full on roaming, and the charges will show on your bill as roaming use while on the Rogers network. But these US rural roaming deals don't look that way. The carriers "virtualize" it. For example, an AT&T user roaming onto the Dobson GSM network would never see Dobson on the phone, nor on the bill.

    - So it turns out, in the dog eat dog world of business, the regional companies are actually sticking it to the nationals. There is little competition in the markets they serve. They can say to AT&T, "There's only one GSM network deployed in my region, and I own it. So either you pay me a high roaming rate (expensive), or you can try to build your own (very expensive). Oh..you could also pay me a Billion to sell (not cheap)." Now, I'm not expecting you readers to feel sorry for AT&T, but now at least you can understand why they don't sell their service in stores in these regions, and don't want you to buy an iPhone, and take it to these regions.

    And, no, Mike didn't miss the point, he just wasn't as verbose as I.

     

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      Anthony Taylor, Aug 18th, 2007 @ 10:59am

      Re: Some Finer Points

      At last, a response from someone with all their faculties intact!

       

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      proto, Aug 20th, 2007 @ 4:09pm

      Re: Some Finer Points

      "Apple got a HELL of a deal from AT&T. They got CONTROL, they got this, they got that, blah, blah, blah. . .

      The important point is that they DIDN'T get my business. I will never again be a customer of AT&T. And I will warn all of you: sign up with AT&T and you will be sorry! You are far better off with ANYBODY else as a provider. Hell, you're better off to build your own phone company than to try to get any kind of reasonable service out of AT&T.

       

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        Charlie, Aug 21st, 2007 @ 5:53am

        Re: Re: Some Finer Points

        Unless its Verizon. I left them for AT&T and have a phone that isn't locked down and does what I want. AT&T has some crazy terms of service, but they generally don't enforce them. Beyond that, so did Verizon. Of course I was an early owner of a Motorola V710.

        Verizon would never allow the iPhone. They want control, control, control. If you transfer a ringtone or music to your phone without using their network (and paying $3) your not a customer they want.

         

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        Ted, Aug 5th, 2008 @ 10:52am

        Re: Re: Some Finer Points

        So you hate AT&T. Big deal. Most people have a bias for/against a carrier, so it comes out as a wash. I hate Verizon & T-Mobile. I've had all three as my carrier, and I can tell you, at least here in Atlanta, AT&T is better than the others in customer service and coverage. Your mileage will vary, of course.

         

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    Wesha, Aug 18th, 2007 @ 11:44am

    How to get an iPhone without a contract:

    1) Buy an iPhone
    2) Send it off to a friend in Vermont
    3) Get contract terminated because of "roaming overuse"
    4) ???
    5) PROFIT!!!

     

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    Greg, Aug 18th, 2007 @ 2:56pm

    I think the greater issue here is just how in the hell AT&T doesn't have a non-roaming cellular network in Vermont. How did that happen?

     

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    NOIZ, Aug 18th, 2007 @ 7:15pm

    FCC

    You have all missed the gorilla in the room, the FCC. I believe tariffs prevent carriers from selling service to customers unless their billing/service address is within the carriers coverage area.

    Carriers expand their non-roaming coverage area beyond their own infrastructure via reciprocal agreements with other providers so they can cover metropolitan areas and major interstates.

    VT is hardly the only rural area of the country with this issue.

    I've never heard of any specific roaming usage rate that would cause a carrier to drop a customer. It's certainly plausible that a consistently high roaming percentage +50% indicates the user does not actually live in the coverage area.

    I also don't remember hearing such hue and cry over previous cellular exclusivity agreements.

    Apple has always been about exclusivity, they have never licensed any of their products/technology to other manufacturers. It's how they protect quality and price point.

     

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    bryan Barnes, Aug 19th, 2007 @ 9:46am

    Same with South Dakota

    You can't get them in S. Dakota either. There is no AT&T in Sioux Falls SD but I was able to get four bars and complete service when traveling there. Everyone there said they cant get them locally though.

     

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    bryan Barnes, Aug 19th, 2007 @ 9:46am

    Same with South Dakota

    You can't get them in S. Dakota either. There is no AT&T in Sioux Falls SD but I was able to get four bars and complete service when traveling there. Everyone there said they cant get them locally though.

     

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    steve, Aug 19th, 2007 @ 1:54pm

    half of vermont doesn't have any service whatsoever. and why doesn't at&t just decide to make those who roam more than 40% of the time pay a roaming fee for that time? it makes money AND keeps customers...

     

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    Mark Buckman, Aug 19th, 2007 @ 5:00pm

    Oh, how the mighty molest adn abuse their customer

    I am honestly amazed that AT&T still lurks in America's business culture. Why Apple would choose to partner with this dinosaur is beyond me. I am a fan of the iPhone, but would never enter into one of their masochistic contracts to save my life.
    Now the NEO1973, with OpenMoko, shows much promise; I just hope the consumers will give it a well deserved chance.

     

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    PNess, Aug 20th, 2007 @ 4:40am

    stupid

    this is stupid since there is multiple roaming agreements betweent the carriers.

    i am sure they hardly pay that much per minute, plus for every minute ATT roams on XX-Network someone roams on their network from XX-Network. so its not even that big off a loss for ATT since i am sure they have more roaming fees coming in then going out

     

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    GoblinJuice, Aug 20th, 2007 @ 8:35am

    Vermont. Underground.

    There's a gay joke in there. Somewhere. =D

     

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    identicon
    Alexei Sergei, Aug 20th, 2007 @ 2:09pm

    Listen to this radio broadcast

    Find out why the iphones are being bugged...listen to the live stream - http://www.infowars.com/listen

     

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    identicon
    Patrick Ray, Aug 20th, 2007 @ 2:13pm

    Simple solution

    Let Vermont seceed from the union like they keep threatening to and then charge these people international roaming fees.

     

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    Brad, Aug 20th, 2007 @ 2:23pm

    Same in North Dakota

    North Dakota also doesn't recieve AT&T service. But when talking to a radio service owner (also sells Verizon) he explained to me that since the State of North Dakota is not very populated that the Public Service Commission refuses to let more that two carriers into the state at a time. Reason: As I understand, If one carrier does not service the state properly they can revoke it's license and bring in another one. Maybe other states have the same issue's.
    In the state of North Dakota Verizon and Alltel have agreement to use each others towers.

     

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    GFahey, Aug 20th, 2007 @ 2:38pm

    FCC needs to do something

    Am I the only one who thinks the whole cell phone service/phones exclusive to only certain providers is almost criminal?

    I am sooo tired of seeing endless iPhone news/articles/reviews dangled in front of me! Sure, I want one but, to me it's like saying only people in certain areas can buy a Mac! Every freakin' bill by every freakin' provider looks like an IRS audit. It takes hours to go through. I mean, why can't we jut have it like we do with computers and ISP's?

    You buy a certain computer and then can choose whoever offers the best deal around. Buy an iPhone and all providers have the same coverage but, compete by offering better deals. I know, I know, it's not that simple but, really, isn;t that the whole point? Isn't technology supposed to makes our lives simpler? I'm in Maine and can't get an iPhone. Because of where I live I have to choose between fair and good cell phones. They all suck too. Yet, I pay the same as someone who uses ATT and has an iPhone. I hate it. I for one think the only hope is Google. They will offer free phones to use their air. EVERYWHERE!

    As it is now, the ridiculous plans/coverage/phone deals in rural areas suck big time. Meanwhile, Google sees this and is getting it's camel nose under the tent while ATT and others insert their thumbs into warm, moist places. They are not innovating anymore and someone (Google?) will capitalize (literally)on this complacency and overtake them all like coy fox who waits patiently and makes his move. I've had it with all the absolute lunacy that the cell phone era has brought upon us. Ugh. Time for the FCC to make some big noise and fix the mess that companies like ATT have squeezed out of their collective rectums. How's that! ;-)

     

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      identicon
      Volker, Aug 20th, 2007 @ 3:32pm

      Re: FCC needs to do something

      You know this is the only country in the world where people pay for incoming calls and text messages on their mobile phones?

      How's that feel?

       

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        Derek Kerton (profile), Aug 20th, 2007 @ 7:51pm

        Re: Re: FCC needs to do something

        Misplaced anger:

        RE: "You know this is the only country in the world where people pay for incoming calls and text messages on their mobile phones? How's that feel?"

        It feels good, because did YOU know that the US is the only country in the world where people pay (on average) 7 cents per minute of mobile use? It's roughly double that in other developed countries.

        Furthermore, the "free" incoming minutes in other countries are not so free. The caller pays between 15 and 30 cents per minute for the priviledge of calling a mobile phone.

        Nobody has cheaper cell phone voice use than USA customers. Hate the telcos if you must, but know your facts too.

         

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      HockeyCzarina, Aug 22nd, 2007 @ 1:24pm

      Re: FCC needs to do something

      Isn't there legislation coming out that is supposed to change to where you can buy a phone and then use any carrier coming to fruition here in the next few years (or is that wishful thinking?)

       

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    identicon
    Volker, Aug 20th, 2007 @ 3:30pm

    You know what's funny. I cancelled my ATT (Cingular) service about 7 months ago. In part because of this, and what strikes me as surprising is the fact that when i cancelled, i told them that i was willing to pay a larger monthly fee (for 2 contracts), if they gave me the phone at the new customer price (100 dollars cheaper). I WAS WILLING TO PAY 60 BUCKS MORE A MONTH! and let this be a note, i used to work for Cingular, in their Top Tier Data department. And these assholes are just plain stupid. They're customer retention department sux. I threatened to take my business elsewhere even by canceling my two current lines prematurely (paying 150 for each), and they still didn't give a shit. The funny thing is, after canceling my lines and going to verizon, i got a better deal in the long run.

    PWNED

     

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    identicon
    Timtimes, Aug 20th, 2007 @ 3:52pm

    AT&T Works for Bush Administration

    From installing complicated and illegal spying apparatus in San Francisco (at a minimum), censoring Bush critical lyrics on a streaming video concert (Pearl Jam?) it would appear that AT&T are adopting an e coli conservative approach to their business. If a majority of people don't like it, then too bad. They're enough of a monopoly that they know WE THE PEOPLE won't be able to do squat about it. They've always had poor customer service and predatory practices. Don't believe that? Who could morally continue charging 'grandma' five bucks a month (or whatever) 'rent' on a phone for DECADES?

    As an aside, I think the Iphone is sweet. My Yuppie kids have two of them, so I've gotten a good "hands on". While my kids may be politically deaf, I am not and I will not buy an Iphone until I have the option of using a different carrier than AT&T.

    Enjoy.

    Enjoy.

     

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    identicon
    chu, Aug 20th, 2007 @ 7:09pm

    other GSM networks

    Don't forget Rural Cellular, soon to be a part of Verizon. Their GSM network earns roaming $$$ from AT&T in Maine (and elsewhere).

    And you guys are wrong about plan designs in the US. One carrier - US Cellular (small market CDMA only, rural provider, 5-6 million subscribers) offers free incoming text, pic messages and a plans with that have the option for free incoming calls.

     

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    identicon
    Vermont is living in the 1600s, Aug 20th, 2007 @ 8:00pm

    VT deserves it

    This is laughable and I don't feel bad. All the environmentalists, tree-huggers and progress obstructionists can thank their cell tower hating ways for this one.
    The iPhone is just the beginning of what you will lose access to. Next is electricity, clean water and gas. Vermont is living in the 1600s and doesn't deserve the iPhone.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2007 @ 5:59am

      Re: VT deserves it

      good thing you don't let facts nor reason get in the way of your hatred towards VT....

       

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      identicon
      VT phone home, Jul 21st, 2008 @ 10:00am

      Re: VT deserves it

      @Vermont is living in the 1600s -

      Yet, this is why people love Vermont. It is one of the only "unspoiled" states in the country. Burlington happens to be an amazing city that mixes this Vermont charm with a thriving business scene. Some of the best things (and people) come from Vermont.

      It is not that Vermont does not have cell coverage. Just about everywhere there are people in Vermont, there is coverage (even for AT&T phones). So, there really is no reason why AT&T cannot expand their network to Vermont.

       

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    identicon
    Free Nature Photography Wallpaper, Aug 21st, 2007 @ 12:40am

    Not fair

    I swear everything at&t touches is bad....

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2007 @ 10:47am

    Wow, all these comments and not one from Vermont yet... well, I guess that makes me the first.

    First off many people have incorrectly stated that T-Mo is the only other GSM provider in the US. They are the only other "nation wide" GSM provider in the US. There are quite a number of much smaller "local" cell phone co's in the US who also use GSM. For example I'm quite happily using my GSM Cell here in Vermont, sold to me by my local Cell Provider RCC Wireless (under the business name Unicell).

    It looks like Verizon is going to be buying RCC at some point this year, which should result in an interesting shake up of the local cell market as Verizon is NOT a GSM provider and reports indicate that they'll be forcing all RCC customers on to their network, which almost assuredly means that they'll be selling the GSM network to one of the nationwide majors which uses GSM. In other words it's looking like in a somewhat short time frame either AT&T or T-Mo will be up and running in Vermont.

    As to why AT&T isn't here yet... it's a long and involved story that has much to do with an partnership/no-compete agreement that RCC and Cell-One (which begat Cingular, which begat AT&T) signed in the ancient days of the cutting edge StarTac. AT&T's current coverage in Vermont is all provided through RCC's network already. I'm pretty sure that AT&T has significantly cheaper roaming rate here than say T-Mo does because of the terms of the old partnership contract.

     

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      Vermonter, Aug 22nd, 2007 @ 9:55am

      Re:

      I'm a Vermonter and we can't even get a cell phone signal at the house. We laugh at the iPhone commercials. My stepdaughter lives in California and when she comes home to visit, her AT&T phone is useless anywhere in the state. It won't even pick up a roaming signal. She whines and we chuckle to ourselves.

      Now when we go to the big city, Burlington, our RCC cell phones mostly work. Mine sits in my car turned off 99% of the time. I turn it on if I'm in the car and need to call someone, which is rare.

      Yeah, it may be the 1600s here. We can't get cable or DSL at the house either (thank god for DirecTV). And you can forget about even getting a pizza delivered. Turns out we like it this way.

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2010 @ 4:49pm

        Re: Re:

        You know that sounds just like us! I live in Vermont and we can't get pizza delivered and we don't have cell service we dont have cable we do have DSL though:)

         

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    identicon
    rj, Aug 21st, 2007 @ 12:05pm

    ATT

    Hey I have an idea! How about ATT getting their act together and offer service in Vermont?

     

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    identicon
    mo sikka, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 4:51am

    Breaking the Vampire AT&T's stanglehold on the iPh

    Anything to remove AT&T's stranglehold on the iPhone! I recently had a horrible experience trying to get ATT wireless service. The telesales person took down the wrong mailing address, the phone got returned, and they didn't even bother calling me to see if I still wanted it (or, God forbid, to apologize). I had to speak to 7 (I kid you not!) customer service/sales/telesales reps before I could even get the money for the phone back. Some of them couldn't even find my order, event though it was open in front of me on my computer screen and I kept hollering the order number to them. I immediately went over to Verizon, where ordering online was a cinch, and no problems with service so far. ATT sucks as far as I am concerned, and I WILL NEVER BUY THE IPHONE AS LONG AS THE EXCLUSIVE CONTRACT WITH ATT REMAINS. Anyone agree with me on this?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    mo sikka, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 4:51am

    Breaking the Vampire AT&T's stanglehold on the iPh

    Anything to remove AT&T's stranglehold on the iPhone! I recently had a horrible experience trying to get ATT wireless service. The telesales person took down the wrong mailing address, the phone got returned, and they didn't even bother calling me to see if I still wanted it (or, God forbid, to apologize). I had to speak to 7 (I kid you not!) customer service/sales/telesales reps before I could even get the money for the phone back. Some of them couldn't even find my order, event though it was open in front of me on my computer screen and I kept hollering the order number to them. I immediately went over to Verizon, where ordering online was a cinch, and no problems with service so far. ATT sucks as far as I am concerned, and I WILL NEVER BUY THE IPHONE AS LONG AS THE EXCLUSIVE CONTRACT WITH ATT REMAINS. Anyone agree with me on this?

     

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    vermonter, Sep 9th, 2007 @ 3:04pm

    I live in central vermont and there is zero at&t coverage for about a 45 minute drive in any direction. as much as i would an iphone i dread the days when people are driving around causing accidents while talking on the phone, if you held a phone to your head while driving in my town i think everyone would stare at you with a curious expression.

     

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    identicon
    Renee, Feb 12th, 2008 @ 10:07am

    I have an iPhone in Vermont

    I have and use an iPhone in Vermont. I have not been threatened, or cut off by AT&T. I have not been charged extra, and nothing has changed. My bills come to my home address, which they know is not in their coverage area. They have not hassled me at all. It should be noted that I was a good customer in Illinois for a decade, where I initiated my iPhone contract, but I figured that when I moved here that my roaming would kick me off. It hasn't. It doesn't even show up as roaming. It shows up as in contract minutes. 6 months and running now.

     

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    identicon
    Alex, May 28th, 2008 @ 9:56am

    I have an IPhone In VT

    I have an iphone on the unicel network in Vermont on a prepaid sim card.

     

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    identicon
    joshuaj, May 30th, 2008 @ 1:51pm

    I just got the ax

    Just got a letter from AT&T stating that I roam too much and can either terminate my contract with no penalty or get on a plan that I pay roaming...

     

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    identicon
    Bob Marley, Jun 15th, 2008 @ 4:35am

    Iphone

    when will we be able 2 use Iphones in vermont?????????

     

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    identicon
    VT phone home, Jul 21st, 2008 @ 10:02am

    The latest news, blog posts, and chatter about the iPhone coming to Vermont: www.iphonevermont.com

     

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    identicon
    Ted, Aug 5th, 2008 @ 10:56am

    Vermont

    Sorry to be blunt, but who cares? Vermont is a tiny little socialist enclave of New England that would be better served if we sold it to Canada, or better yet, granted them their "independence" to become a sovereign nation.

    AT&T hasn't bothered to set up shop until now because it hasn't been cost effective to do so. From the Vermont posters, it sounds like the coverage they do have sucks ass anyway.

     

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    identicon
    nickysam, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 2:54am

    Embarq, an offshoot from Sprint, tested the service in Gardner, Kansas, saying it was their smallest facility. The secret test ended earlier this year, though no dates were given for when it started or stopped.
    --------------
    nickysam

    Vermont Treatment Centers

     

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    identicon
    Georgealex, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 3:23am

    I am from vermont. This passage is about the iphone connection. There are networksYet, this is why people love it.
    ------------------------------------
    georgealex
    Vermont Treatment Centers

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Georgealex, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 3:24am

    I am from vermont. This passage is about the iphone connection. There are networksYet, this is why people love it.
    ------------------------------------
    georgealex
    Vermont Treatment Centers

     

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    identicon
    shabby, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 3:33am

    Me too from Vermont. The passage is about the iphone coverage here. People love iphones.

    shabby

    Vermont Treatment Centers

     

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    identicon
    r784, Oct 8th, 2008 @ 8:11am

    att cuts you off

    Ive had my phone cut off for off network usage, I have changed were I live they change their contracts. so now I loose my phone. so much for the advertised nation wide coast to coast coverage

     

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