marcobruno1978 saidInteresting comparison to wireless technology in Africa... perhaps the quality has to do with the lesser amount of traffic or does it have to do with higher overall network investment or just better engineering design?
It's two things:
1) The infrastructure is newer. Africa never had the money to implement wired networks, so they leapfrogged a lot of older technology and have less of a legacy/compatibility problem than N. America and Western Europe do.
2) Standards are dictated by governments -- so there's a level playing field where companies compete on price and customer service, as well as a recognition that the federal government has a role to play in ensuring a high quality communication infrastructure (i.e. selecting tower locations to ensure coverage). In the US, we have incompatible technology platforms, fewer government standards, and tower locations are at the mercy of local governments and homeowner associations, which is good for the carriers, cause they can create walled gardens -- you can't use a CDMA phone on a GSM network and vice versa -- and even within a single technology, network interoperability isn't mandated, it's at the mercy of the carriers. This is one of the downsides of unregulated capitalism in a market that requires gigantic capital outlays -- and this lack of government involvement is why the US is so far behind on wireless infrastructure (as well as why we're falling behind on Internet infrastructure, both wired and wireless). Of course, Republicans think everything is fine when it's just "left to the market" -- as we slowly become the technological laughingstock of the world.