The Dead Zone

CingularCingular is the largest mobile phone carrier in the United States with over 60 million subscribers. Despite it’s famous rollover plan, I didn’t jump on the Cingular bandwagon until October 2005. My clunky Nokia smart phone was in a bad need of a downsize, and since the Cingular had bought up AT&T (or was it the other way around?), I was forced to make the move.

And I bought a Razr.

But that’s beside the point. Cingular appealed to me for a number of reasons, number one being nationwide coverage. It was comforting seeing all that orange slathered across a map of the United States when the other cellular companies couldn’t compare. I liked the lack of roaming charges, since one month on post deployment leave with AT&T cost me over $400 is said charges. And I liked the idea of talking to fellow Cingular customers for free.

Keep in mind this was 2005, before every swinging Richard has “top fives” and family plans and nationwide and blah blah blah. Nowadays, Cingular, Sprint, and Verizon have the exact same plans. I know because I did the leg work. What it comes down to your choice of phone. That’s it. Since Cingular has the market cornered on the up and coming iPhone, I predict there will be a lot of gadget junkies making the move to Cingular.

I was on a gravy train with biscuit wheels, as some may say. Life was good. I was cutting edge. But trouble was afoot.

Cingular “coverage” isn’t as extensive as the company claims. They break down coverage areas into three categories: Best, Good, Moderate. To me, “moderate” still sounds pretty good. Apparently, I have “moderate” coverage in my apartment. What that means is my phone will only ring when it’s placed on the coffee table, at a 50 degree angle in relation to the sliding glass doors of my back porch, with one elbow propped on the couch and tinfoil sticking out of my f**king ears. Only then does a signal register.

But what’s this? As soon as I attempt to make or answer a call, the signal disappears! Oh rapture! Oh joy! I can’t even send a stinking text message! When I finally leave my apartment complex, a half a dozen voice mails and text messages pour in. No missed calls though, just the results of them. If it weren’t for the vibrate setting, this kind of information overload could get unpleasant fast.

I ask a new coverage category for Cingular be considered. I’d propose “Mars” or “Space” or something equally as distant sounding, but even there you’ve got these little ass robots sending signals all the way back to Houston. How about Antarctica? Black hole? Wyoming? If I looked at a color coded coverage map and saw my signal strength could be “Wyoming,” I’d reconsider my options.

Until then, I’m going with smoke signals.

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One Response to “The Dead Zone”

  1. pierce says:

    Good post. I still use Verizon. They don’t get very good coverage on base, but at least 1-2 bars where I need them.

    BTW, when your posts have no comments, it says “no cooments”. just thought you should know.

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The author.Born in the year of the Dragon, the author grudgingly accepts the fact he has too many interests and not enough time. A cyclist as long as he can remember, an avid yet inconsistent writer since age eleven, and a U.S. Marine since age twenty-one, the author also adds peak bagging, diving, snowboarding, and computers to his list of interests. Incidentally, he is aware of his inability to make a living from any but the Corps. The author accepts this as fact and remains optimistic. Feel free to drop him a line.

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