Confusion About LTE Roaming? Read Sidecut Reports

Pardon us for a little horn-tooting here but I find it patently ridiculous that the wireless media today seems to think that the Verizon’s LTE phones won’t roam on AT&T’s LTE network meme is news. Readers of Sidecut Reports knew about this limitation way back in April, and in our May 2011 Verizon LTE Business Report this was part of our opening:

As with any pioneering endeavor, the 4G marketplace in 2011 is going to be strewn with wrong turns, false starts, faulty guesses and perhaps some altogether unworkable assumptions. Since all the networks from all the providers are still in their infant stages of rollouts, things that cellular customers take pretty much for granted these days — like the ability to roam onto networks other than your own provider’s for voice calls — will be missing from the early days of 4G services.

We then went on to say:

This early-days disconnect makes it critical that users fully understand the features, faults and limitations of each provider’s coverage, performance, device selection and billing implementations before signing one of those 2-year lock-in contracts.

Maybe we should have added a line about people who claim to report on this business for a living should spend some time learning about things like spectrum, frequency, and the ability for service providers to mesh new complex billing and administrative infrastructures, some of which aren’t quite ready for prime time just yet. Instead of just complaining that “providers should just make this work.”

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