Light Reading

Chuck Blasts Big Apple Service

Light Reading
LR Mobile News Analysis
Light Reading
11/28/2002
50%
50%

Senator Chuck Schumer's call for a drastic improvement in cellphone services in New York City -– America's largest wireless market -– may have caused some consternation for carriers, but it had certain equipment providers licking their lips in glee.

Senator Chuck's assertion that the service received by the Big Apple's 10 million-plus mobile phone users "is the worst in the entire country" was backed by a list of nearly 200 "dead zones" in the city and a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Michael Powell.

The letter lays out a five point plan for improving coverage and service. Schumer wants operators and the FCC to work together to provide prospective cellphone buyers with a more extensive description of the sort of coverage they can expect to receive and a map of the dead zones before they get locked into a contract.

"The only way to increase competition and provide incentives for these companies to improve service is to increase the flow of information," Schumer says in a statement. "Consumers should know as much as possible about what they are spending their hard-earned dollars on. And if the service turns out to be sub-par, there shouldn't be any barriers to switching providers."

Schumer also calls for the FCC to work with the carriers on the thorny issues of number portability and charges for calls that don't get connected or are dropped in mid-conversation. Number portability – the ability to keep the same phone number when you change providers – is seen as key to allowing consumers the greatest flexibility when choosing operators. However, it’s a headache the operators don't really want. Schumer chastised the FCC for repeatedly extending the carriers' deadline for implementing number portability. The current deadline is November 24, 2003.

However, the real reason Schumer's plan gives vendors cause to cheer is his call for operators to actually upgrade their networks. Rather than build up their internal infrastructures to support this huge number of customers, cell phone companies have aggressively marketed a system that is flawed and inadequate for the number of subscribers it needs to support, Schumer says. Almost all cellular networks can only handle 25 to 30 percent of their customers making a phone call at any one time, and the FCC does not currently put specific requirements on network quality or capacity.

Schumer calls for operators to focus on improving in-building coverage and asks why New York State, which has collected a $1.20 911 compatibility monthly fee from every cell phone subscriber's bill during the past 10 years, has not used the money to create a functioning location-detection network.

All of this was music to the ears of LM Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERICD) CEO and president Kurt Hellstrom (see Ericsson's CDMA Dreams). "We need more senators like him," he quipped when asked about the Senator's plan at the Swedish's company technology bash in New York on Monday.

However, it's not clear at the moment, what affect – if any – Schumer's name-and-shame dead zone campaign will have on the carriers.

On a personal note, I should add that I live in one of dead zones named by Schumer, and I don't actually find the service there too bad. However, our offices are in the Tribeca area of NYC and it is no surprise to see all the dead spots named around this area. I constantly get dropped calls in this part of town, and I've tried various different providers. The service is, quite frankly, appalling.

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung www.unstrung.com

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Flash Poll
From The Founder
The New IP is actually bigger even than business. Like another hugely important tech that Light Reading is digging into right now, the New IP has the potential to change the world by fundamentally advancing what it is possible for people to achieve with communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Power of Five Convergences in OceanStor OS

3|4|15   |   6:24   |   (0) comments


OceanStor OS is Huawei's brand-new storage operating system. While inheriting the consistent high stability, reliability and performance from the company's previous storage products, OceanStor OS abounds in new converged storage features. Specifically, the new storage operating system achieves "five convergences" to lift storage convergence to a higher level.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
4K Brings Extreme Video Experience

3|4|15   |   8:10   |   (0) comments


4K video is a hot topic in the video industry. It will certainly bring an extreme video experience to end users. At the same time, however, it will also pose a big challenge to operators. Check out this Huawei 4K experts' discussion about how operators can achieve success in 4K video service.
LRTV Interviews
DT's Virtualization Vision for Europe

3|4|15   |   10:23   |   (0) comments


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders talks virtualization, cloudification and standards with Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg at Mobile World Congress.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE's Wireline at MWC 2015

3|4|15   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Light Reading speaks with Jane Chen, ZTE's Senior VP of Wireline Business, about innovations in her product line at Mobile World Congress.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE at MWC 2015

3|4|15   |   4:24   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dick Chen of ZTE USA gives Light Reading an overview of what's new at ZTE's pavilion at Mobile World Congress 2015.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson CEO Talks Telco Data Center Tech

3|4|15   |   05:45   |   (0) comments


At Mobile World Congress, Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg discusses telco data center technology, business models, small cells and more.
Between the CEOs
EXCLUSIVE: Cisco's Chambers on Reinvention

3|3|15   |   8:24   |   (1) comment


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders talks transformation and virtualization – including Light Reading's independent testing of the vendor's virtualization solutions – with Cisco CEO John Chambers at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
LRTV Documentaries
The Three Cs of MWC15

3|2|15   |   2:33   |   (1) comment


My visit to this year's Mobile World Congress is going to dominated by three Cs – cloud, cells and coffee.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Shares Its Vision of the Future of Mobile Networks Innovations

2|26|15   |   2:30   |   (0) comments


Mobile broadband is changing our lives. It's reshaping the Internet, industry, and society. It allows us to freely connect with one another anytime, anywhere. At this year's Mobile World Congress, Huawei will share its latest insights and newest ideas and technologies that will shape the future of MBB. They will showcase their end-to-end MBB solutions that will ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerate Digitizing, Boost Digital Business

2|26|15   |   6:14   |   (0) comments


A new digital revolution is leading us to a better connected world. Together with millions of digital partners, Huawei will help CSPs to build their digital service ecosystem and aggregate a wide variety of digital services. In this video, we find out how Huawei is going to help CSPs implement digital operations.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Secret Recipe to Enabling Hyper-Growth Industries

2|26|15   |   3:38   |   (0) comments


With a number of successful cases on network capability exposure, Huawei is going to share the secret recipe to enabling hyper-growth markets with a step-by-step approach.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE 2015 Is Bigger & Even Better

2|25|15   |   03:13   |   (4) comments


This year's Big Telecom Event (BTE) in Chicago is going to provide more opportunities than ever for networking, getting to grips with key industry challenges and opportunities and, equally as important, having some fun.
Upcoming Live Events
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Net neutrality, broadband services and the current outlook on data consumption, as presented by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Hot Topics
Internet Pioneers Decry Title II Rules
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/2/2015
Wheeler: We'll Enforce Title II 'Case-By-Case'
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/3/2015
Verizon Takes Radio Dot to Detroit, VoLTE Overseas
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/27/2015
FCC Adopts Title II Rules
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/26/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Check out Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he had to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.