TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: NYT's Friedman Calls For Better Wireless Access

Re: NYT's Friedman Calls For Better Wireless Access

Dean M. (
Sat, 06 Aug 2005 22:07:01 GMT

I agree Friedman is probably making too much of the US lagging in cell
phone coverage. However, what is true (only from my personal
experience and that of some friends though) is that one particular
kind of cell phone service -- GSM -- has coverage in major US cities
which is worse than in major European cities. From the journos
perspective, whether or not there are good reasons for this is
probably irrelevant.

I'll bet that Friedman has GSM (possibly even T-Mobile which I hear is
very flaky in Manhattan), and has found coverage much better when he
travels to London, Paris and Brussels! And that's what really spurred
the article he wrote:-)


On Thu, 04 Aug 2005 08:59:21 -0700, Mark Crispin
<mrc@CAC.Washington.EDU> wrote:

> On Wed, 3 Aug 2005, wrote:

>> A New York Times columnist, Friedman, calls today (8/3/05) for
>> better wireless access in the United States. He says many foreign
>> countries have better systems than we do and they will have the
>> competitive edge on the US as a result.

> Tell him to take a look at a map and consider the differences in
> geography and demographics. It's pretty easy to have good wireless
> coverage in densely-populated postage-stamp sized countries,
> especially when not encumbered by zoning ("you are NOT going to put
> that tower where I can see it!").

> It is also advisable to consider geography. Japan is no slouch when
> it comes to wireless, yet there are numerous dead zones in big cities.
> Any honest coverage map of Japan will show that there is no coverage
> at all in the sparsely-populated mountainous interior of Japan; the
> coverage is in the big cities which are all on the coasts. I know
> from personal experience that you lose service as soon as you get a
> few kilometers from the urban core.

> I also know from personal experience that there are numerous dead
> zones in London.

> Now, if two relatively small island nations have problems, consider
> wireless coverage issues in a large continental nation, and you have
> the situation faced by Canada, the US, and Mexico.

> -- Mark --

> Science does not emerge from voting, party politics, or public debate.
> Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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