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ATT in central NJ?

Discussion in 'Northeastern US Wireless Forum' started by rapture, May 21, 2002.

  1. rapture

    rapture New Member

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    Althought on ATT website it shows that ATT doesnot cover zip 08854, my local wireless dealer told me that ATT actually shares tower with Cingular around my area. I had Cingular for a year and it worked fine, so now I'm wondering if ATT's signal would be as good as Cingular? How's is it anyway? Also, when I use ATT as ld carrier for regular phone line, I remember they charge all sorts of misc charges, tax and fees and eventually bring your a bill much higher than the actual usage and monthly fee. Does this happen to ATT wireless as well?

    I'm considering ATT because the local dealer is running a promotion, if u sign up an ATT 1 year 39.99/mo reginal plan, they will send you a $120 rebate check by the 8th month. Which means I will get that plan for 29.99/mo. Seems like a good deal.
     
  2. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
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    With taxes and other regulated charges, the bill is no more than an extra $5 on a 50 to 60 dollar plan here in California.
     
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    08854? amazing. I too live (and work) in Piscataway.

    My girlfriend had AT&T last year, but she had trouble with their CS and billing people who were seemingly below average in intelligence. They were open 24/7 though. She has Cingular now (as have I for years) and we like Cingular's CS better but her AT&T phone did work just fine from here... in fact, I live at the north end of town and I am often "roaming" on AT&T's towers (though I go half a mile NW to South Plainfield and I'm back on Cingular).

    As far as coverage, AT&T was fine here in Piscataway. If you want them to get the billing right, you're probably better off with Cingular, based on our experience. They kept goofing up on what was local vs roaming and they were charging 0.60 for extra minutes when her plan was supposed to be 0.30... It was quite a headache and she managed to get out of her contract a couple of months early and switch to Cingular. Now she's having trouble with Cingular but we're pretty much convinced it's her stupid Nokia 7160 (the one with the slide) causing the trouble.

    I should note that a friend of mine who lives here also has AT&T and she noticed the quality degrading during April (as did I on Cingular) with lots of echoing... But on my phone it seems to be better now (as long as I don't call the 7160). Cingular told me they were erecting more towers here (and apparently there is a brand new one on Rutgers campus where I work). So apparently the future looks promising for TDMA in the area. I'm curious when we'll see GSM around here from AT&T or Cingular, but I guess we'll have to wait and see.

    -E
     
  4. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    Both AT&T and Cingular use the same towers in this area. Actually, Cingular owns the south half of NJ and AT&T owns the north half of NJ. For those who live in the Middlesex area they'll notice their phone may change the display from one block to the next because that is the borderline between both AT&T and Cingular. Even though Cingular says they don't include the north jersey area, I live in North Jersey and I am a Cingular subscriber so I believe people to the south of the AT&T/Cingular border can subsribe to either company. Both companies have agreements with each other so that when a customer from one company travels into the other company's area they're still covered. So bottomline is either way you go you are buying the same signal with a different name so if Cingular signal is weak in a particular spot, AT&T will give you the same signal strength. In fact, you can even cancel your service with one company and subscribe to the other without changing your phone.

    Someone told me that both AT&T and Cingular are planning to roll out GSM here in NJ but I heard that Cingular GSM coverage in the north jersey area will be covered by Voicestream starting this summer. I don't know what they are planning for the southern half of NJ but I've noticed they've been filling up coverage holes in their TDMA network since 2000. As for me, I rather keep my TDMA phone for the time being. I hesitate to rely on new technologies until they mature and any issues are corrected.
     
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  5. rapture

    rapture New Member

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    exactly how do you switch from one company to another without having to change the phone number?
    Please tell me please tell me!!!
     
  6. rapture

    rapture New Member

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    oh, I see, "without changing your phone" ... oh well [​IMG]
     
  7. Jack

    Jack Silver Senior Member
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    Can'd do it yet- Number portability is supposed to hit the end of the year (or so they say)

    Jack
     
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  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Now what I am wondering is... When Cingular starts offering GSM in the area, will I be able to get a phone that does GSM and TDMA? It seems like such phones must be in the works, since AT&T is trying to deploy GSM in the NYC area also, and you'd have to be insane to get a GSM-only phone from a provider who is just rolling it out who has a great network of TDMA in place all over the country... Hell, I'd love to see a phone that's TDMA/GSM/CDMA/AMPS all in one, with the ability to program my own preferred providers (preferrably supported by the service provider and not just a hack). It would be quite nice to be able to tell the phone to prefer whoever I can roam on for free but still have the option to use a completely different provider in the case of an emergency or whatnot.

    My girlfriend is now totally impressed by Nextel because some of her coworkers at her new job have it... but the idea of having an iDEN phone that can ONLY talk to Nextel just plain worries me... my wireless is my only phone, and I want it to be the only phone I ever need, period. Thus far, the most I've ever had to do to make a call on my Cingular TDMA phone is go outside or take a few steps to a better signal spot... the call quality might not be perfect, and TDMA might be lesser technology than GSM or CDMA, but it's worked great for me, especially now that Cingular has begun deploying new towers and my signal has boosted in a few places where it was weak...

    When this number portability comes about, will I be able to get a number that's in AT&T's area instead? Cingular only offers Perth Amboy numbers, which is not local to the landlines in the area where I live and work... While I don't want a landline, others have them and need to pay a toll to call me because I can't get a local number... pretty assinine. AT&T offers "Dunellen" numbers which is what Piscataway has for its landlines. That was the only bummer when my girlfriend switched from AT&T to Cingular. So anyone considering the switch and concerned about getting a new number should also take this into consideration...

    not only do your contacts need to learn a new number, but they may be paying more (or less) to call your new number, which is a reasonable concern for a personal-use phone. Nearly every time I visit a Cingular corporate store or get CS on the phone I harass them abotu getting more local numbers... the 908 and the 732 numbers are all Perth Amboy... But most people seem to not comprehend the concept of unlimited local calling (on our landlines) and/or think that area code means anything at all with regards to the cost of a call...

    okay, enough of that. [​IMG]
     
  9. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    I always asked myself the same question: why isn't there a phone that can do all protocols (TDMA, CDMA, GSM). Maybe they'll have to make the phone bigger to fit more components, but who knows?

    Cingular is testing out GAIT phones which will use both GSM and TDMA digital protocols as well as analog. They are doing this to help smooth out the transition. They claim these phones will seamlessly switch between TDMA and GSM without the user knowing.
    Click here to read it from Cingular website.

    So I actually think its a great idea as far as coverage is concerned because of signal redundancy. Let's say you are in a particular spot where the nearest GSM tower signal is weak but there may be a stronger TDMA signal available or viceversa. Is like almost duplicating the amount of towers available for you to connect.
    At one time I used to have an 800Mhz only phone and I went to Boone, NC for business and my phone was plain dead because there was no TDMA network in the 800Mhz band. I could only pick up Verizon's analog signal (because the phone couldn't do CDMA) prompting me to pay with a credit card because they had no roaming agreement. If that phone was dual-band, I would've been able to pick a 1900Mhz TDMA carrier in that area. So the ability to pick up several types of networks with a single phone is an advantage that greatly reduces the possibilities of your phone becoming a paperweight.

    About the area codes issue, I was a bit dissapointed back when I signed up with Cellular One (now Cingular) and they told me that my area code was going to be 908 (Perth Amboy) and not 973 where I live and work. My friends all had either AT&T, Sprint or Voicestream and they were suprised to hear my cellphone area was 908 while they all had 973 area codes. But pretty soon, I learned that it wasnt a big deal to have a 908 area code. First of all, all my friends AT&T, Sprint or Voicestream phones using area code 973 had exchange numbers that belonged in cities like Newark, Morristown, etc. where a land based phone caller would have to pay toll anyway from my town. In fact, it costs the same to call a Morristown or Newark 973 numbers or a Perth Amboy 908 number or even Middlesex 732 area code from my town using a land phone. The only issue was that people had to dial 10 digits to call me instead of 7. People seemed to have the impression that by dialing more numbers it was going to cost them more. Now that we all have to dial 10 digits anyway even in the same area code it doesn't make any difference to me whether my area code is 973 or 908.

    Whether anyone calls my cell phone 908 number or any of my friends 973 numbers from my town using a land based phone they'll pay the same per minute toll and will have to dial 10 digits anyway. The fact is there are no local exchanges for cellphones in my town so no matter whose cellphone you call its a toll call regardless and it costs the same. After all, now that Cingular will be selling service in the Tri-state area, they will have to have 973 area code numbers available to their new and existing customers. If they ever install local exchanges for my town, I would be the first one to change my current 908 number to a 973 that is local to my town. However, in the meantime, there's no point in doing that. The question is would they want me to switch to GSM if I ask them to change my number or would they be able to change my number without changing me to a GSM phone? Until GSM coverage is as dense as TDMA, I rather stay TDMA.
     
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  10. Jack

    Jack Silver Senior Member
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    I wonder about the multi service phones myself. If we had a phone that was TDMA/GSM/CDMA then that would give us the best coverage

    Jack
     
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  11. Kenny

    Kenny Senior Member
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    Cingular will be offering the Nokia 6340 (Info Link) which is a GAIT phone -- meaning, it will be capable of handling Analog, TDMA and GSM. This should be offered very shortly.

    The problem is that cellphone carriers subsidize heavily on the cost of the phones as an incentive to get people to sign-up for service. So instead of paying $400, we only pay for example $150. Carriers would be reluctant to offer such subsidized pricing if the phone you're using on say AT&T could be easily switched over to Verizon.
     
  12. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    JAck, that would of course have the best coverage because if you don't pick one tower you can pick up another....the problem is that the carriers have to have roaming agreements for this to work.
     
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