4G mobile phones are still being labeled as ‘next generation’ but I am already looking forward to the following generation since my Motorola Droid Razr with Verizon service is not only bad – it’s mostly non-existent.
Verizon is one of the mobile giants in the United States. It’s unfathomable that despite the fact that I paid an extra fee for an international data plan so I could receive mobile data in addition to making phone calls ($1.99/minute charge!) and sending ($.50 each) or receiving ($0.05) SMS texts. I was forewarned that it might be ‘spotty’.
In Tokyo I rarely was able to receive a mobile network signal, in fact I was walking back from being out using Google Maps when I lost the network and consequently got a little lost. The only way I could use the phone was via the hotel’s wi-fi connection. Which really only worked in the hotel lobby (yes I will be staying somewhere else next time). Like so many of us I have become so reliant on the phone that the idea of being untethered in a foreign country changes the way I have to conduct business.
While, in Tokyo, I called Verizon and they were diligent about trying to help but in the end blamed the difficulties on the 4G phone integration in Tokyo. Attention Verizon customers – in Hong Kong the problem is worse. There is no mobile data network signal available. I was warned about this before the trip as well and knew that I’d need to entirely rely on Wi-fi. For a guy like me on the move constantly living in a Wi-fi world is a big problem. Trying to log-on to Wi-fi networks all over a city like Hong Kong is a big pain. It knocked out consistent use of Google Maps in Tokyo and sometimes in Hong Kong (but strangely sometimes I get Google maps but not a mobile data signal, something that I am trying to figure out.
I can always send texts and pay or receive them and pay, or even make phone calls, and pay. Notice any pattern there? Verizon should be embarrassed at the lousy service they offer that I paid for. It’s not what you’d expect from one of the largest and most well-known U.S. Corporations. Verizon had to know what they were getting into when they partnered with Google/Motorola’s technology. I’ve heard that iPhones don’t have the same issues. Man I am I tired of hearing that.
I have found ways to use Skype via Wi-fi to make phone calls to the U.S. for nothing or next to nothing. There are limitations as for instance I cannot use Skype to call some China phone numbers. I met an associate today who gave me a handsome but inexpensive (as he put it) HTC phone for my trip into China tomorrow including minutes for me to use. Of course it does not work in Hong Kong.
Would things like these aggravate you as much as they do me? Am I wrong to expect and demand better?