The Wireless Carriers have me confused

Richard Charpentier Notes from Rich 1 Comment

A few posts ago I talked about free Wi-Fi in RV parks.  One reader commented the following:

After finding “free” WiFi being less than satisfactory, I have had a Verizon air card for many years. Then I found an even better deal at Millenicom. 20GB for $70 a month using Verizon networks.

The comment surprised me a little, but not too much.  I know there are 3rd party companies out there who resell network time and bandwidth using the networks of one of the large carriers.  Over and over again on Facebook I’ve seen people I know recommending a socially responsible wireless carrier that donates money to good causes.  And often folks write how much better the coverage is with this company…..and I find myself snickering.  The reason I snicker is because the company doesn’t own its own network, it uses the network of the large, non-socially responsible companies.  So, while these folks are thinking they’re supporting great causes the fact of the matter is most of their money is going back to the carrier they are bashing.  It’s funny.

Anyhow, I was a little surprised by the comment the other day because I’m in the market for a better solution to my own network connection while on the road.  I’m a Verizon Wireless customer, and I have been since I left my position back with AT&T over a decade ago.  So, customer for 10+ years.  What’s my data plan look like?  10GB a month for $80 a month.

The plan offered by the guys leasing network time / bandwidth from Verizon?  $70 a month for 20GB.

Uh huh.

No contract either……..

I’m not currently snickering on that front.

So, how is it a 3rd party rep company can get me a better rate?  That’s what is confusing me.

Now I know that carriers resell their network.  It was a big push back in my own wireless days.  Get affiliates!  All of those “pre-pay” companies out there?  Yeah, they’re riding on Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon.  Then they resell the service and folks think they’re on somebody else’s network when they’re not.  Do you know how expensive it is to build a national network?  It’s extremely cost prohibitive to break into that market.  The phrase we’re looking for is regulated oligopolistic competition.

I’m coming so close to breaking out the “economist” hat here.  Once upon a time I was working toward my doctorate in economics for those of you who didn’t know.  For those of you who did know that… could you let me enter the dismal science?  🙂

I’ll be making a call to Verizon tomorrow.  My phone plan is overdue for an upgrade.  My data plan still has a clock on it.  But seriously, I’m going to switch data plans if I can’t get the equivalent.

Someday (if someone reminds me) I’ll tell you all about tariffs and all the other fun stuff in the communications industry.  For now, just a put off and wanting a refund on a ton of data usage payments.

For all my readers, apparently it would be a good idea to check out 3rd party data rates.

Comments 1

  1. It goes the same for landline DSL. It ticked me off that AT&T was going to impose a cap on my DSL connection, primarily out of principle. I looked around and found a provider that, for the same price, resold me an AT&T DSL without any caps.

    It is good advice to shop around.

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