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AT&T/Sprint nationwide network

Discussion in 'Northeastern US Wireless Forum' started by Guest, Jun 19, 2002.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    AT&T/Sprint nationwide network

    Hi!

    I am a recent college grad. I currently live in Cleveland, and I have service through AT&T. I've never really had a problem with it, and I'm for the most part very happy with the service (I switched from Verizon because of the awful coverage I got at school).

    Anyway - here's my predicament. I'm not sure how much longer I'll be living in Cleveland, but as my graduation gift, my grandpa wants to buy me another year's worth of cell coverage. Since I will probably be travelling a lot in the coming months to visit friends and (hopefully) going on job interviews, I want to make sure I have a versatile plan that will work wherever I go and eventually land, with minimal if any roaming charges. I should also mention that I use my cell phone as my home phone, so I'm on it a lot.

    As I said, I currently have AT&T, but I'm considering changing to their $34.99 for 350/3000 minute national network plan. Can anyone here give me some feedback on that? Will I end up with lots of roaming charges on this plan, or is there a way to set your phone to only dial/receive calls when on their network (like Sprint)? As a side note, what is considered roaming? Often times, my phone will say "extended area." Other times it will say "Roam." Is there a difference when it comes to roaming charges? Right now, I don't deal with roaming because I have the regional midwest plan, but because I'll be travelling a lot in the coming months outside of the midwest area, I want to make sure I'm covered on all bases.

    And what's your take on Sprint's PCS network? Would you say it's more reliable than AT&T's or about the same?

    Basically, I'm really happy with AT&T so far, and I'd prefer not to change services since I already have an account and phone with them. But I'm just trying to get a feel for how their national coverage rates compared with the rest.

    Thanks for your help,
    Jessica
     
  2. MaTTK

    MaTTK Junior Member
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    I've drove from Roch. NY to Minneappolis, MN in 2000 and only roamed off Sprint between Chicago and Iowa. This year, I've been in San Fran, New Orleans, and Atlanta, and had excellent coverage everywhere.

    As long as you'd be in large to semi-large cities, I think either provider would be fine for you.

    Oh yeah, congrats on graduation.

    Matt
     
  3. Kenny

    Kenny Senior Member
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    AT&T's National Network plan, whereby you can use your minutes on their digital footprint is not too bad but take a look at their map (www.attws.com). Personally, I am very hesitant to use this plan because quite often when you are in the outskirts of town or in a weak area that is better served by say Cingular or Cellular One, your phone will read "Extended Network" -- this can create some roaming charges.

    In fact, right now I'm in the north end of Tampa and inside my hotel, my AT&T phone reads "Extended Network" -- not an issue for me since I have the One Rate plan, but could create some roaming charges if I were on the "National Network Plan."

    Verizon's America's Choice plan has the largest digital coverage which basically includes Sprint PCS and Alltel coverage. The issue is that Verizon's AC plan and coverage is not as good as AT&T's Midwest Regional plan, especially when you are in traveling in the greater Ohio or Midwest region. But then again, Verizon's AC plan has a broader and greater national footprint.

    Unfortunately, it'll be somewhat of a toss up. The true national plans from Verizon/Single Rate and AT&T/One Rate, are kinda expensive and don't offer any promo N/W minutes -- but they offer real nationwide coverage without any roaming charges. Then again, someone here on this forum will probably point to Cingular's national no roaming plans...
     
  4. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    For travelers Verizon and Cingular are the best choices. I would not even consider AT&T national plans since their in-network coverage is very limited. Voicestream GSM network has more coverage than AT&T in-network national plan so if you travel with AT&T national plan, roaming charges will eat your wallet before you open it. Basically the deal works out this way: if you are happy with AT&T's coverage, then you'll be happy with Cingular's coverage. With Cingular you will be using the same network as AT&T (and even probably the same phone), but without having to worry about roaming or long distance. If you get a Cingular nation plan, you will never get charged for roaming or LD no matter where you go in the US even if the phone says roam or it falls into analog.
    Verizon has an excellent plan and probably better signal coverage than Cingular from a national standpoint but there are some limited areas where you may roam.
     
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  5. ComicalMoodyDan

    ComicalMoodyDan Gold Senior Member
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    Even though you said coverage with Verizon Wireless in your home area was weak when you travel Verizon may just be better for you. Most of the country is included on the America's Choice Network with no roaming or long distance charges, however there are still some places in the country where you will roam but fewer places then there would be with AT&T or Sprint PCS.

    Also if you want something with Night and weekend minutes and no roaming charges period going with Cingular on a "Cingular Nation Plan" would be your best option. Cingular Wireless has the best truely national plan right now.
     
  6. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    These are the most popular plans:

    Cingular Nation:
    - 350 day minutes and 3500 N&W minutes for $39.99 + Free Internet
    - 500 day minutes and 3500 N&W minutes for $49.99 + Free Internet

    Verizon America's Choice:
    - 300 day minutes and 4000 N&W minutes for $35.00 (add $5 more for unlimited N&W minutes and mobile web)
    - 400 day minutes and 4000 N&W minutes for $45.00 (add $5 more for unlimited N&W minutes and mobile web)
     
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  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    OK, one question about Cingular...

    They're coverage map is a bit confusing. On their website, a blue line is supposed to indicate where you can use your Nights/Weekend minutes, and it is seems to only encompass the greater Cleveland area (which is where I live, for now).

    Are the N/W minutes applicable anywhere, or do you have to be in your "home" area?

    Thanks again. You guys are really helpful.

    -jessica
     
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Sorry to bug you once again.

    I have a Nokia 8260 through AT&T. My friend just told me I won't be able to switch it to Cingular, because AT&T uses different frequencies....does anyone know if this is true or not?

    Thanks!
     
  9. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    Jessica, it looks that is correct for the home plan. If you choose the National plan then this doesn't apply and you can use your N&W minutes anywhere in the US.

    AT&T usually locks their phones to their network but in the places where Cingular and AT&T share the network an AT&T will work with Cingular just fine although is better to unlock it first if you are going to be traveling.
     
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  10. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    << For travelers Verizon and Cingular are the best choices >>



    Cingular here in the West is GSM and their phones are single mode. You wouldn't be able to roam off GSM. Why would they be the best choice for travelers?
     
  11. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    Larry, we're talking about Cleveland where Cingular uses TDMA which covers the US just about the same as CDMA and Cingular and Verizon have the best roaming free plans. If a Cingular customer from Cleveland travels to CA or anywhere in the US, they would be using TDMA not GSM.
     
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  12. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    So then you're talking about Cingular wherever they're not "GSM only" right? What I don't understand about Cingular is that they play those stupid commercials here in Los Angeles that try to put down the other carriers network by insinuating that they have very limited coverage. But who are they to talk? They only have GSM single band phones which cannot even roam as much as SPCS or AT&T phones can. Isn't this false advertising? I can see them doing it in places where they are TDMA but they can't justify playing them in GSM only areas.
     
  13. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    That's true...I would think Verizon could more justifiably run a commercial like that. They don't run commercials like that here though. When they start offering the GAIT phones it would be of great benefit to those users in GSM markets. It would be of no benefit for us in the TDMA markets because there's TDMA coverage wherever there's GSM, but you don't necessarily get GSM coverage where there's TDMA.

    People should think about it this way so they don't get confused: Cingular covers the nation using BOTH GSM and TDMA all over the 50 US. Whether the coverage covers each state completely that's a different story [​IMG]. The difference is that in some areas they sell GSM phones only and in other areas they sell TDMA phones only. However, both GSM and TDMA systems are available in all 50 states nationwide by means of either their own system or a partner carrier. People who subscribe to them in regions where they sell GSM phones will be using the GSM network all over the US and those who subscribe to them in regions where they sell TDMA phones will be using the TDMA or analog networks all over the US.
     
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  14. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    What I don't like is the average person watching those Cingular commercials here in So. Cal are going to believe that Cingular GSM has much more coverage than the others when that's not nearly the case. They should only play those commercials outside of the West where Cingular is TDMA/analog. Somebody must have screwed up.
     
  15. Jack

    Jack Silver Senior Member
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    Jessica,

    I am from the Cleveland area and am very familiar with the plans and serivces in the area. If you could answer these questions I will be
    able to better assist you. You can also e-mail (address is in profile)

    Where in Ohio will you be using the service? (or Nationwide)
    What city do you currently live in?
    Where did you go to school?

    Any more questions feel free to e-mail me etc.

    Jack
     
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