Based on my admittedly unscientific research, this is an AT&T problem. That makes it a Ford, Microsoft and Pandora problem. Yet, other than standard consumer complaints (like mine), we do not talk much about it.
This should matter not only to the companies affected, but investors, consumers and even the federal government. The ability to reliably transmit data, particularly in mobile environments, for both business and pleasure matters to the economy. It's increasingly becoming our collective livelihood in many regions and spaces.
In fairness, I understand that it's possible I am not being completely fair to AT&T. This is likely a complex problem that goes beyond my understanding of wireless networks and data transmission. I can be a geek, just not in this particular area. I invite readers to provide an education in the comments.
That said -- it doesn't really matter much if I am being fair or not or if AT&T deserves a tongue-lashing for lackluster service. I might be missing several layers of technical complexity that lets AT&T off of the hook and keeps Ford, Microsoft and Pandora from hating them.
I'm a consumer. As consumers, we do not think much about technical obstacles when we're paying a couple hundred bucks a month or more for a collection of things we want to use seamlessly and on-demand. Our response: Figure it out.
That's what the companies mentioned in this article, their peers and the feds need to do. Step in and demand that AT&T and any other telco that, all too often, renders a whole host of platforms and applications useless figure it out.
At the time of publication, the author was long MSFT, NOK and P
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.