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beyond the Kuiper Belt, over the sea

How many countries?

March 31st, 2010 by Kit

Waiting in SFO at 4:40am on a rainy Wednesday, I see a billboard: Verizon advertising service in Mexico and 220 other countries. Aside from the weirdness of this claim given that they are a CDMA network and the world is GSM, so their phones won’t work in other countries, what 221 countries are they thinking of? There are 203 sovereign states in the world, according to the internet.

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  • Thomas

    Perhaps they’re recognising such states as Taiwan, and others who aren’t “officially” recognised? (If they really want to piss some people off, they could mean Chechnya as well.)

  • Verizon does in fact sell some dual CDMA/GSM phones — my sister has one. I think they have an agreement with somebody international (Vodafone?) to provide global service. Not all their phones do this, obviously.

    It looks like Verizon is counting Puerto Rico as a country, if that helps clarify their methods. Also double-counting Israel and Palestine?

  • Wayman

    This sign must be from the future, or an alternate reality — some world in which CDMA has become dominant, Belgium has divided into Wallonia and Flanders, Texas has succeeded, Vermont/Quebec have respectively succeeded and united, Palestine has achieved formal recognition, a full Kurdish state has formed from Iraqi and Turkish lands, … this is starting to sound like not such a bad world, despite the Verizon part. I wonder if Betamax is dominant there, too.

  • kit

    Yeah, i know that they have some CDMA/GSM phones, but it’s more fun to whinge.

    Interesting about their counting-methods, though! I mean, they do say “country” not “sovereign state”, and the former is much vaguer, so their claim wasn’t outrageous, just, well, vague.

  • kit

    “Seceding” even. /proofreader. But that sounds like a crazy alternate reality; I suggest you/we write some fiction set there.

  • kit

    And Transnistria! And Sealand!