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  1.    #1  
    I've noticed on here and with the Verizon iPhone stuff that you Americans seem to have a network and stick to it. Comments thst people can't get a certain phone because a certain carrier doesnt... carry it.

    In Europe, or at least the UK, switching carriers is commonplace - infact I've never renewed my contract and have switched every time.

    Just wondering why that is?
  2. #2  
    Brand loyalty is a disease over here. People stick to brands like they were sports teams. The mentality is something like this: I bought this brand, and I am a smart person, so this brand must be the best, and every other brand is crap.

    However, when it comes to cellular carriers, there can actually be good reasons to stick with a certain carrier. US carriers are very different from one another, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages which a person much weigh in order to choose the best carrier for them.

    Sprint is the best for me, for example, because I don't really care what device I have, they have excellent coverage everywhere I am likely to go, and they offer the cheapest plans, considering they include all the features that other carriers charge for a la carte, like GPS navigation and messaging plans.

    Also we have competing technologies over here, with both CDMA and GSM, and there are advantages/disadvantages to both of those as well, which can impact carrier choice. In the EU, free-market competition was thrown aside in favor of a unified standard, thus GSM has no competition in Europe.

    If all of our carriers used one network technology and they had similar pricing structures, there would probably be a lot less brand loyalty to cellular carriers.
    Touchscreens are a fad.
  3. #3  
    i dont think it has to do with brand loyalty in the traditional sense. Personally, i dont feel loyalty to sprint, but I enjoy the cash i save as a sprint customer. Secondly, I would like to cash in on the perks awarded for sticking through with the contract. thirdly, I would like to avoid early termination fees.

    If verizon offered sprints fair pricing, i'd switch in a heartbeat...

    I think the ETFs encourage people to stick around more than anything. Whrn you end your contract, you're left with a depreciated phone that you (probably) can't take with you to your new carrier.

    This is why americans stick with their carriers.
  4. #4  
    Do the European carriers subsidize the phones? If not, that's probably the answer. The US carriers subsidize the phones and lock you into contracts long enough to recoup the subsidy.
  5. #5  
    Nothing to do with brand loyalty in general.

    @the OP, none of our carriers are compatible enough to easily switch between without purchasing a new phone. The 2 CDMA networks won't allow you to activate a phone from one carrier to the other. The 2 national GSM networks only share the same frequencies at 2G speeds. So even if you buy a phone "unlocked" off contract in the US you are still stuck with a certain character. The only exception is if the phone has the ability to operate 3G frequencies for both ATT and T Mobile.

    So you are locked down regardless, which has created a certain amount of lack of competition for business. The carriers keep raising the prices and changing terms because you can't just jump to another carrier.

    Then you have the carrier subsidized phones, since the only advantage to buying unlocked is to not being under contract, but you now pay more for the phone and in most cases as I said above most likely can't activate your "unlocked" device on another network.

    -- Sent from my Palm Pre using Forums
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  6. #6  
    Still, after your 2-year contract is over, it is quite easy to port your number over to a new carrier and take one of their subsidized devices. So switching carriers in the US is a fairly easy thing to do, as long as you are outside of your contract.

    I've been outside of my Sprint contract for... 9 years? Not sure when was the last time I took an upgrade. But I could easily take my number to AT&T or Verizon, and get me a nice new smartphone at a cheap price to go along with it, if I wanted to. But until AT&T or Verizon make an effort to beat the deal Sprint is giving me, then I have no reason to switch.
    Touchscreens are a fad.
  7.    #7  
    Thanks for the replies - helped clear up a curiocity somewhat.

    Quote Originally Posted by hrminer92 View Post
    Do the European carriers subsidize the phones? If not, that's probably the answer. The US carriers subsidize the phones and lock you into contracts long enough to recoup the subsidy.
    Yeah phones are subsidesed, free phone and £35 a month for 18 months! I've often been offered great deals to switch carriers at the end of a contract so invariably taken that option.
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by kevr1990 View Post
    Yeah phones are subsidesed, free phone and £35 a month for 18 months! I've often been offered great deals to switch carriers at the end of a contract so invariably taken that option.
    Are the monthly plans that the different carriers offer fairly similar? Also, how many major carriers are there to choose from?
    Touchscreens are a fad.
  9.    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by Syndil View Post
    Are the monthly plans that the different carriers offer fairly similar? Also, how many major carriers are there to choose from?
    Pretty much similar really. Major carriers in the UK are O2, T-Mobile, Orange, Vodafone and Three. To be honest there is little difference at all between all five which I guess makes it easier to switch.

    The best example of a unique selling point is Orange who offer 2-for-1 cinema tickets to customers every Wednesdsy. It's these deals that really differnciate the carriers, rather than the actual plans/service.
  10. #10  
    Just as I suspected. I wish we had five major carriers competing with each other in the US!
    Touchscreens are a fad.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by OldSkoolVWLover View Post
    Nothing to do with brand loyalty in general.

    @the OP, none of our carriers are compatible enough to easily switch between without purchasing a new phone. The 2 CDMA networks won't allow you to activate a phone from one carrier to the other. The 2 national GSM networks only share the same frequencies at 2G speeds. So even if you buy a phone "unlocked" off contract in the US you are still stuck with a certain character. The only exception is if the phone has the ability to operate 3G frequencies for both ATT and T Mobile.

    So you are locked down regardless, which has created a certain amount of lack of competition for business. The carriers keep raising the prices and changing terms because you can't just jump to another carrier.

    Then you have the carrier subsidized phones, since the only advantage to buying unlocked is to not being under contract, but you now pay more for the phone and in most cases as I said above most likely can't activate your "unlocked" device on another network.

    -- Sent from my Palm Pre using Forums
    What he said.

    In Canada we're slightly better but much worse off in other sense. The "Big 3" that now uses the same standard and the "newcomers" that use another so it's much easier to port phones, since for the most part we're all HSPA now. But because the CRTC (our version of FCC) is basically run by the telcos, the Big 3 just collude like no tomorrow. Just look at how they increase prices or adjust "local calling areas" (i.e. boundaries where your particular area code can consider local, step out of that and you'll get charged long distance) and you get the picture.

    In Hong Kong there was 6 (now down to 4, a few got into mergers) carriers, and we're getting plans like 5 bucks for 1000 anytime minutes. There are no unlimited plans, because even their cheapest plan is practically unlimited. Phones weren't allowed to be locked, either. Now THAT's utopia.
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