Mobile phone service providers - shop=mobile_phone or shop=telecommunication?

For shops that primarily sell mobile phone service (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile), both iD and suggest shop=mobile_phone. However, the wiki page for this tag seems to indicate that it is for businesses that primarily sell phones, not phone service. shop=telecommunication is a newer tag used for TV & internet service providers, and seems to be a better fit for phone service providers. The wiki page for the latter even has a photo of a T-Mobile shop.

Should I tag new shops according to iD/nsi suggestions, or should I prefer the newer, more accurate tag? Should iD/nsi be updated to suggest the newer tag?

This is something that’s been discussed multiple times in relation to NSI and I don’t see Brian changing it any time soon, if at all unless something seriously changes with the tagging or something. If you want to read through a few of the discussions related to it there’s issue 2900 (I think that was where we first made the discussion to use shop=telecommunication). There’s also pull request 2913. Where it was sort of rehashed. If you do a search on the issue tracker for shop=telecommunication there’s some other results, but I’ll skip linking to them.

All that said, you’re free to use whatever tag you like regardless of what the preset is. But if your going to use a newer, more accurate tag I’d at least suggest doing a proposal for it and going through the proper processes to have it approved. Otherwise there’s an almost zero chance anyone will be adopted anywhere. Including in the NSI or iD Editor.

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I guess someone opened an issue about it a few days ago that I missed in my first comment #7505.

shop=mobile_phone is only established because it was the first tag to be documented (as with many, many similar cases in OSM). In reality it’s not a good fit because at least in Europe, you can get both landline (DSL, cable) and mobile services in the same shop, and tagging those with shop=mobile_phone is somewhat misleading.


It’s not any different in the United States. Most mobile phone stores here sell internet, either through a physical router or wirelessly, as an addon. I don’t think that magically changes the nature of the thing though. Just like it wouldn’t change a supermarket from being a supermarket just because they have a pharmacy or sell gasoline on the side. It’s still a supermarket and we still tag it as one. To quote the Wiki Use shop=* to mark the location of a shop and the products that it sells. " Use shop=* to mark the location of a shop and the products that it sells." Does that fit most of all of the objects currently tagged as shop=mobile_phone? I’d argue yes. Of course there’s going to be exceptions. The problem is that the OP is requesting 90% of the places currently tagged as shop=mobile_phone be changed to shop=telecommunication regardless of what the facts on the ground are. The shop tag isn’t for what industry a business is in. It’s for tagging what is primarily being sold at a shop.

I’m not saying the OP is completely wrong that some are miss-tagged, but in-order to determine what is primarily being sold at the shops you’d have to take it on a case by case basis. You can’t just whole cloth say that all telecommunications companies should be re-tagged because they mainly sell services without any evidence and then expect the wider community to just accept it and re-tag thousands of objects without question. Should some of them be-retagged? probably. Should all of them be re-tagged just because “telecommunications” or whatever? Heck no. As I said in the issue, at least Vodafone would probably benefit from two different entries and sure some others would to, but it should be determined on a case by case basis regardless.

In the US there are some stores that focus almost exclusively on just phone. Even though they may also carry wireless hot-spots, I would still consider them to be a shop=mobile_phone. There are others that would be shop=telecommunications because they sell everything from broadband service to cellphone plans. The store type varies by carrier and location. Most department and bigbox stores usually only have employees selling phones and accessories from the major brands and carriers.

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I’m actually surprised to hear you can only get a phone directly from a carrier (and bound to a contract) in the US. In Europe, phones are easily available in retail, and you would only get one from your carrier if you’re bad at making financial decisions.

It really depends. We can buy pre-paid phones from department stores perfectly fine, but they aren’t on contract. There’s also big box retails like Walmart where you can buy phones on contract, but that’s the rare exception. I assume it has something to do with how the FCC classifies and regulates telecoms here. American’s are notorious for making bad financial decisions :sweat_smile:

Like @IanH said though, even if somewhere sells wireless hot-spots we still call it a mobile phone store if their primary business is selling phones. The only places that we would classify as telecommunication shops are physical shops for cable/internet providers like Comcast. But those cases we call them cable companies, no one uses the term “telecommunications” outside of super pedantic industry wonks. At the end of the day tags are supposedly be based on widely used and understandable terms. If it were me, I wouldn’t have gone with shop=telecommunications in the first place, but that’s what we have to work with.

I assume most/all people would agree that both shop=telecommunications and shop=mobile_phone are valid tags depending on the circumstances. So the main thing now is figuring out which specific companies are or aren’t tagged correctly. If no one wants to do that though, then we are kind of stuck at a dead end here :man_shrugging: