Mobile Phone as a Utility? To Every home? Too Expensive you say? Really? While we pay an average of $71 / month in 2012.
In one survey, 46% of Americans with mobile phones said their monthly bill was $100 or more, and 13% said their monthly bill topped $200 per month. The average individual’s cell phone bill was $71 per month last year, a 31% increase since 2009, according to J.D. Power & Associates.Oct 18, 2012
So don’t we think that is enough income to allow mobile phone providers to provide coverage at every home and business?
Compare this with Landline phone service which does reach every home and business:
(A bare-bones landline service typically costs about $20 to $25 a month.) Cell phone bills can vary widely by location, provider and, of course, your own personal use. But the average cell phone bill in the U.S. runs about $50 to $60 a month.
How about this?
Many residences and small businesses don’t have mobile phone coverage. Many rural roads don’t have mobile phone coverage in spite of the fact that there are power / phone lines running along those very roads. Rather than using big expensive towers, with high speed connections back to the home office that a large tower probably needs, smaller residential areas and rural roads could leverage phone lines / power lines that go there already.
What if there were a very small cell tower on the top of many power poles? Powered by the transformer already there and connected to a phone line – DSL link – to provide connectivity to the phone network? Those would be very cheap, require no new infra structure or rights of way and so be much cheaper to deploy into residential areas.
Such a scheme might even encourage the phone company to provide fibre internet, which they have been dragging their feet on for decades. The high speed fibre internet, which is provided in most developed countries except the US, would allow a faster uplink between these small cell “towers” and the phone network.
These are already for sale for businesses:
WilsonPro provides solutions for small businesses to extend coverage areas for mobile phones.
So, making coverage complete for all residences and businesses is possible and affordable, if we make it a priority.
With a scheme like this, we don’t have to guess which are the real trees. You likely wouldn’t see the Cell Phone towers in your neighborhood unless you looked carefully on the power poles.
If these large towers are the cheaper way to provide coverage then by all means use them, but don’t use the excuse that large towers are too expensive to deny coverage to smaller areas. There is an affordable solution.
To make this happen, we have to make mobile phones as a “Utility Service” a priority.