@ CES: Is mobile broadband a myth?

LAS VEGAS — The only thing missing from the Consumer Electronics Show is connectivity. Trying to find a signal of any kind during this geek fest has become more frustrating with each passing year. Today has been no different. In fact, it seems to be even worse. While AT&T Mobility made all kinds of noise about 4G this morning at its developer conference, my AT&T devices were barely holding on to a 2G signal. Sure, the event was deep inside the bowels of the Palms Casino Resort, but that just begs the question: If AT&T’s coverage sucks there, why did it choose to hold an event for press, analysts and developers there?

4G of any technology flavor sounds awesome, but I’d be happy with some consistent 3G at this point. Each of the big four carriers are pulling out all the stops this week to convince everyone here and the world over that they finally have the answer to our mobile communication woes, but I’m not buying it. They haven’t even figured out how to adequately cover Las Vegas, especially when 120,000 people descend on this city for CES at the beginning of every year. Service is what counts most in this space and when I’m not getting service that I already feel like I’m overpaying for, I feel ripped off. It makes me wonder if this industry can ever really deliver on the promise of “mobile broadband.” Until mobile broadband means I can actually make calls and connect to the Internet during CES, put me down as a non-believer.

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