Sep 282010
 

So you’ve read about the financial difficulties of running a newspaper because of competition from lazy, incompetent news aggregators that don’t check sources and don’t provide much critical value. Print media is struggling to find its way in the digital economy, even though their role of honest broker is one of the most important in all of media. Bloomberg gives us a good example of what we’re losing.

The premise of “Sprint Lures AT&T iPad Users With Portable Wi-Fi Hotspots” is that the introduction of AT&T’s tiered pricing for 3G data and the exclusivity of Apple’s contract has created an opportunity for Sprint. For only $59.99 (or $30 more than AT&T’s 2 GB/month data plan), you can have unlimited data back. Tell me what these statements would lead you to believe, or risk stupidity blindness by reading it yourself:

Sprint’s palm-sized Overdrive 3G/4G hotspot device allows users to connect to the lower-priced Wi-Fi-only iPad from anywhere the carrier has coverage.

Sprint Chief Executive Officer Dan Hesse has said the Overland Park, Kansas-based carrier has no plans to end unlimited data plans.

(Portland resident Bob) Morgan said he’s found the Overdrive to deliver 3G speeds where other carriers don’t reach, such as on 11,300-foot Mount Hood in Oregon.

You’d think that coverage would be universal across their entire network. Well, as “universal” as coverage gets on a network shittier than AT&T’s anyway.

Well, nowhere in the process of regurgitating the mindless drivel from the PR flacks at Sprint did it occur to Greg Bensinger that he should ask about the universality of this great deal. Because it only applies to Sprint’s 4G network, which makes for one of the most hilarious coverage maps in telecommunications. Seriously, see if you can discern one 4G coverage area on Sprint’s website when you zoom out to the U.S. view.  3G is capped at 5GB/month. This restriction is mentioned a total of zero places in the article. It’s not even implied.

Oh – and about those intentions of keeping data unlimited? If Sprint really had the balls required to steal customers from AT&T, they’d stop being grossly disingenuous with their media enemas and either open up their “unlimited” plan to include 3G or guarantee that 4G would be unlimited for life for those signing up. Because these great sounding proclamations about unlimited data sound an awful lot like AT&T and Verizon did last year.

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