Phone Rates

Phone Rates

Recently, there was an article about how bad the US/Canadian (cell) phone companies were compared with UK and Europe in general.

Years ago, I read about how Israel had superior cell phone coverage for next to nothing: countywide coverage for less than $10 a month. Low, low rates. There’s a simple reason for that. There are two counties in West Texas, combined, that are larger than the state of Israel. In one example, there’s no real coverage out there, like, not really enough people to justify coverage. In square miles, two counties are bigger than the whole country. For that matter, France is smaller than Texas.

This is about “nationwide” coverage. America, forget that, just my home state, Texas, is bigger than any of those European countries. So the coverage is going to cost more. There are still holes in the coverage, some of those West Texas counties, coverage is sparse. Used to be, there were holes cell coverage, too. Not so much, although some of the western counties don’t have much cell access off the main roads.

The comparison isn’t valid, European “country-wide” against just “statewide” here. A few years ago, we all ran into problems with “cell(1)” service in the Santa Fe area, the town itself was fine, but the neighboring canyons afforded no service, and that county was adamant about not permitting new cell towers for improved reception.

Looks like almost three UKs could fit into one Texas. While we do have population centers in Texas, we also have hinterlands full of sand, scorpions, and tumbleweeds — and not much else(2).

My buddies in the El Paso area long used a local cell company, and it was excellent, local service. About the same area size-wise as say, Bexar County. Compare that to a “country-wide” service in Luxembourg.

Size matters. Square miles, not square kilometers, yes, size matters.

    (1) Tecnically, it’s no longer cellular, as that’s an analog service, and phones are digital, but the outdated moniker remains the same.
    (2) Oil, now oil and gas, are mineral rights, under the soil. Different issue.