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Talk Mobile Carriers

Talk Mobile Carriers Week
The best things you said

Carriers can be the most expensive and frustrating parts of the mobile experience. They're responsible not just for routing our phone calls and data, but for many of us they sell us our devices and offer services. Are carriers the worst thing ever, a necessary evil, or not that bad?



Carrier Week Recap

Talk Mobile Carriers Week was one of our most contentious weeks of Talk Mobile yet, as carrier tend to be such a subject. We dove right in, tackling what carriers are doing right, what they're doing wrong, and how we can fix it all. Really it all boiled down to "give me the phones I want, don't make me pay too much for them, and give me my data free of encumbrances." Is that really too much to ask?

As always, your feedback is tremendously important to us and continues to help shape and refine Talk Mobile. Sure, we're in the home stretch for Talk Mobile 2013 at this point, but we still really want to hear what you think. To that point, there's a comments section at the bottom of this page for you to sound off. Tell us what's great, tell us what sucks - we want to hear it all!

From conception, Talk Mobile was about elevating the conversation. This isn't just the words that we bloggers put on the page, no, it's about you in the community too. We hoped and expected that Talk Mobile would be able to pull that off, but this Mobile Nations community stepped up beyond our expectations. Every time we recalibrate our expectations, you all blow them away.

We've picked out the best comments from the past week and have them presented below. If yours has been picked as a winning comment, keep an eye on your email, because we have some awesome prizes to send your way!

As in previous weeks, we've put together a quick survey to gather some quantifiable data about your thoughts and behaviors when it comes to carriers. And because we like you a lot, completing the survey will enter you for a chance to win a $100 gift card to Best Buy. Incentive? Bribe? Do you care? You can take the survey right here!

Talk Mobile 2013 Week Seven: Carriers

Day 1: Carriers: the lesser of all evils
Day 2: Why do carriers suck so much?
Day 3: Wherever, whenever: Why you can't just use any phone on any carrier
Day 4: Can we end carrier exclusives and bloatware?
Day 5: Net neutrality, VoLTE, and the future of carriers

Carriers: the lesser of all evils

If I move to a smaller carrier it would need to present itself in a big way. I need the coverage to be there for me. I don't travel a lot but when I pull my phone out I never want to see 0 bars. Speed needs to be there at least in major cities. Don't force my hand, give me choices on my handset. I think its tough for small carriers to target the mobile power users.ThaMunsta's thoughts on the requirements for a small carrier
Carrier first. Same situation still stands, if you don't have a signal/coverage then what good is the device?Paul627g's thoughts on picking a carrier

Day One Winning Comment!

Carrier is always greater than phone IMO. Otherwise it'd be like having that top of the line computer system, but stuck on dial up speeds. Sure you can do some cool things offline, but it limits your full enjoyment of that device.Synycalwon's thoughts on picking carriers before phones

Why do carriers suck so much?

If it would save money, sure. Ideally though, I'd prefer a subsidized plan, where the monthly cost goes down after the phone is paid off.DenverRalphy's thoughts on subsidized phones
If I could afford to, absolutely! But unfortunately we live in a world where smartphones cost more than laptops & tablets, which makes no sense at all!!!Jay Holm's thoughts on subsidized phones

Day Two Winning Comment!

Carriers need to get out of retail and focus on delivering the service they were created to provide. Let retailers sell and service phones and let the carriers provide the tubes. All of the subsidies and hidden fees and becoming overbearing. The true cost of what I buy from them continues to be obscured. Its like health care, the cost is just going to keep going up.nyc_rock's thoughts on broken carriers

Wherever, whenever: Why you can't just use any phone on any carrier

No. I travel maybe once a year... and when I do, Id rather have little to no service for pure serenity.Ryandroid86 thoughts on carrier compatibility
I usually get a prepaid sim from the local carrier of choice and run with it. It easier than paying those dadgum roaming chargeskingjames924's thoughts on international data

Day Three Winning Comment!

I'm not willing to pay more for what I believe should already be included in my phone plan. I can't help but think that I'm being up-sold for things that cost the carrier very little -- if any additional cost at all.int_architect's thoughts on paying for LTE roaming

Can we end carrier exclusives and bloatware?

I'm not too bothered by carrier apps now. Storage space isn't near as limited as it used to be, so the few MB's that's taken up by carrier apps are a non issue for me. I can hide them, or at the very least put them all in one folder and just forget that they're there.Kevin O'Quinn's thoughts on carrier restrictions
If I can't delete them, I simply toss all the carrier bloatware into a folder named "Junk". I absolutely hate all the garbage they stick on the phones. I never use them, and they take up more of my already restricted memory.Bobert_123's thoughts on carrier restrictions

Day Four Winning Comment!

My loyalty is to no one. I choose what suits my needs best, that's it. Which is why I have phones from all platform at home at the moment. This way I can find out which platform suits my needs better. Of course I do have companies that I like and prefer, but it just so happen that I have a few, and they cover pretty much all 4 platforms.Alex_Hong's thoughts on carrier, manufacturer, and platform loyalty

Net neutrality, VoLTE, and the future of carriers

Prioritizing messages and calls during emergency situations makes sense from a logistical standpoint, and I'm fine with that. But slowing down one site over another because their owners don't shell out cash to the cell companies is something I'm not okay with.thurask's thoughts on traffic prioritization
We can only trust carriers to be carriers...they will do what is in their best interest until enough of us band together and stand against it by choosing another carrier.aloomis76's thoughts on trusting carriers

Day Five Winning Comment!

For the price I pay, yes. If I payed more, no.130hp's thoughts on carrier satisfaction

Conclusion and what's next

Carriers play an important role in our mobile ecosystem, one that's easy to overlook but yet impossible to ignore. If it weren't for carriers, we wouldn't have the smartphones to begin with. They provide us with phone calls, text messages, raw internet data, and much more.

But yet, the relationship between carrier and customer seems to be all too hostile at times. Carriers are understandably always looking to pad their bottom line, but all too often that seems to come at the expensive of a customer-friendly feature or interference with our devices.

We all want a future where we can get along nicely with carriers, not worrying about how our data is treated or if we're paying too much for roaming or what apps have been installed on our phones. But getting there won't be easy, because unless enough customers can make their case, those that do care to vocalize are going to be in so small of a minority that the carriers just won't care.

With carriers week done and closed, it's time to move on to week 8: mobile creativity. We're going to look at photography, video, recording, podcasting, and mobile business. It's going to be another exciting, fascinating, and informative week of Talk Mobile discussions!

Now it's your turn. We want to know: what did you think of Talk Mobile Carriers week? Tell us what you loved, what you hated, what you want to see more of, less of, and changed. Whatever you want - we're listening, because the floor is yours.

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