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ATT or Nextel

Discussion in 'Northeastern US Wireless Forum' started by Lisa, Dec 19, 2001.

  1. Lisa

    Lisa New Member

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    I dropped my Sprint PCS phone in paint and my year is up. I think it's time for me to shop for new phone and service, since I spend most of my time reconnecting from dropped calls. I live in Alexandria VA, and work in D.C. My calls gets dropped about ten times traveling on I395. I also can't get any signal in my house, homedepot, the gym,etc... in other words, inside any buildings.
    I am looking for good service, mainly inside buildings. Any suggestion????? I've been told Nextel but I've also was interested in AT&T.
     
  2. Tommyboy

    Tommyboy Member
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    Lisa,

    I can't comment about your specific area but I would recommend AT&T before Nextel. I've heard a lot of complaints about Nextel service. I have AT&T and haven't had any problems to complain about. All carriers will drop calls and do have bad areas but my experience with AT&T overall has been positive. They have very competitive rate plans and the reception is good.

    Good Luck on your search for a new carrier.

    Tom
     
  3. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
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    Tom, wouldn't it be safe to say that service insides building should still be considered a "perk"?

    The one thing that erks me about this is when posters retort: "Well, I see people inside my building all the time and they are on their cellphones." I don't know what to say except to recommend they ask those people who their wireless carrier is.

    The only thing I can think of in terms of technical difference is that 1900MHz is known to be a frequency that doesn't penetrate buildings (The shorter the wave, the less its potence in distance and penetration.)
     
  4. Tommyboy

    Tommyboy Member
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    Kevin,

    You bring up a valid point about the buildings but there are so many factors that come into play when trying to make a call in a building, as you well know. Does the building have alot of windows or no windows? What's the materials the building is made out of? What's the location of the nearest tower? On what floor are you on? The higher the floor you might be able to avoid obstructions that can interfere with the signal.

    I personally don't understand why anyone would be concerned with not being able to make calls in their own house because you should have a phone within reach anyway but I guess that's a personal preferance.

    But yes, the 1900 mzh frequency won't work as well in buildings but it will work.
     
  5. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
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    I've got to admit I understand the "calling from home" thing. I have even told my wife: "Since we have all these 'night & weekend' minutes to burn, please use the cell phone particularly when making long distance calls. We need to save money anyway we can. Why have this service (nights & weekend minutes) and then turn around and pay for a long-distance call (on the landline) we could have made free of charge if we used the cell phone." She is finally coming around and I'm noticing my landline bill is dropping.
     
  6. Tommyboy

    Tommyboy Member
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    I didn't think of it from that perspective.
     
  7. dobby10

    dobby10 Senior Member
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    I would recomend Nextel over ATT. I have never heard anyone having problems with it, other then coverage. The coverage is great in major Metropolitain areas. DC it would be good in. Also if this is a phone you are going to want to keep for a while or as long as you can, ATT is not a good choice. This is because they use TDMA which is a dying technology and ATT is slowly switch over to GSM. So in my prediction of no more then 2 years they are going to be asking you to switch to GSM and a TDMA signal may be harder to get.
     
  8. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
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    Dobby, from what I have been reading (see GAIT link on my WLinks page), there will be a period of overlap so that users will not have to immediately drop their phones. Have you heard something different?
     
  9. dobby10

    dobby10 Senior Member
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    Oh.....I didn't mean it that way. There will definatly be a period of overlap. But once GSM has started and all the bugs worked out of ATTs system, I am sure they will be sending out flyiers and inserts in bills. Talking about the denifits of upgrading their phone. After another 2 - 3 years after they start GSM 100% TDMA will be no more. (Just my predictions)
     
  10. CellguyNY

    CellguyNY Junior Member
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    I would have to agree with dobby on this one about Gsm versus TDMA, they are definetely dying out. I would also recommend Nextel over ATT because of the direct connect feature which is the main advantage when you are in a building, but the problem with this is that you have to know alot of people on the Nextel circuit to use this feature and if you don't Nextel can be very expensive since there plans range from as low as 39.99 to as high as in the 120's some where, but Nextel tends to be scarce with cellular minutes but abundant with direct connect minutes, but if you know more users on just regular telephones I would suggest a CDMA over a TDMA because the Wave lengths can sometimes be stronger in buildings and with that i would recommend Verizon as a good choice of service for some minutes with your money, but this would be if you lived here not if you lived in VA which I don't know I would ask around to see who has the better service around there.

    CellguyNY
     
  11. dobby10

    dobby10 Senior Member
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    Like to give you the new deal today: $40 for 500 anytime and 3500 night and weekend!!
     
  12. Guest

    Guest Guest

    << Tom, wouldn't it be safe to say that service insides building should still be considered a &quot;perk&quot;? >>



    Argh! Dude, you shouldn't even be thinking such a thing. Wireless phone manufacturers and providers market these devices and services as something that can be used anywhere; just look at the ads and the commercials. &quot;Anywhere&quot; includes inside buildings. I know there are some buildings that can't be penetrated, but even so, it is a perfectly reasonable thing to expect that service be available inside a normal building as well as outside of it.



    << The one thing that erks me about this is when posters retort: &quot;Well, I see people inside my building all the time and they are on their cellphones.&quot; >>



    Which goes to show that people are taking the notion of &quot;anywhere&quot; wireless service seriously--and that, for the most part, it is something that can be taken seriously. At least for now.



    << The only thing I can think of in terms of technical difference is that 1900MHz is known to be a frequency that doesn't penetrate buildings (The shorter the wave, the less its potence in distance and penetration.) >>



    And there's the problem. As time goes on, wireless providers are moving towards technologies (digital, higher frequencies etc.) that make it harder for users to use their phones anywhere, even as the ability to cram more users onto each cell increases. At this rate, in a few years every human being will have a wireless phone, but will be unable to use it unless he stands right next to the tower.

    Encouraging people to view in-building service as a &quot;perk&quot; doesn't really put much pressure on the providers to reverse this trend, if you see what I mean.
     
  13. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
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    Anonymous, nice post. But you put way too much emphasis on my postings. They nearly infer that I could have any impact on wireless firms.

    Read any authoritative articles (I consider mine &quot;grass roots&quot;) and they will tell you that the original intent of cellular was to provide mobile users communications links to landlines. The carriers would love (salivate over the opportunity) to build out their network more--that way they could get even more subscribers. Much more than just little-ol-me or the lack of interest from the carriers is negative public opinion regarding placing towers in highly populated areas and the various levels of government preventing the carriers from placing the towers where they need to be in order to provide &quot;anywhere&quot; service.

    Regarding &quot;anywhere&quot;: I think the ads say &quot;anytime,&quot; not anywhere. And you look very closely at not only the ads but the boxes theses phones come in, many times the pictures are outside. (Although, recent Verizon ads have show families calling each other on their phones in their own homes.) But we have to separate marketing pipe dreams (distortions and exaggerations of truth) from reality. The reality is that posters here and elsewhere know that cellphones do NOT work everywhere.

    Though I feel like a broken record and am really getting tired of beating Sprint to death, they again are an unfortunately example of marketing &quot;stretches of truth.&quot; Recenly a state agency took Sprint to task over one of their ads. Without admitting any guilt, Sprint agreed to change their ads to say that their service worked in 200 major metropolis areas. (I can't remember what the original said, but it was a doozey.)

    Bottom Line: Don't take ads as a statement of fact.

    the dude, Kevin
     
  14. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I have Suncom which uses TDMA 1,900 MHZ and it works quite well indoors I rarely get &quot;Roam&quot; or &quot;Parter&quot; on my phone. Infact its the only provider I have seem that picks up good in my house. Also it does fine inside malls, shopping centers, and etc. So I would have to disagree that PCS doesn't do as well indoors as Cellular from my experience with Suncom if anything its better.
     
  15. ComicalMoodyDan

    ComicalMoodyDan Gold Senior Member
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    I'd have to recommend AT&amp;T myself. I can't comment on your service area either but I do have Suncom in TN and they are a part of the AT&amp;T Wireless network and from my expereince they have really good local coverage and I am very happy with them so far. I have heard good things about Nextel on these boards but they are more targeted towards business there plans are kinda expensive and there phones won't roam so its pretty much there network or no signal. AT&amp;T and Suncom phones are tri-mode which means they operate in Digital, Digital PCS, and analog modes so you're likely to pick up a singal anywhere there is some type of wireless coverage. However on a side note depening on your service plan roaming may or may not cost you. I think AT&amp;T has some pretty good rate plans right now also.
     
  16. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
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    Addressing the anonymous post above TNDan's post:

    It sounds like SunCom has been successful in getting cell sites built where you are; that is very encouraging news. My reference was a technical one. It is well know that the higher the radio frequency, the shorter &quot;life&quot; (if you will) it has. That well-known fact is the reason that more cell sites are needed to support 1.9GHz (aka 1900MHz).

    I had a relative working inside Cingular's offices in Northern Calif. For obvious reasons, all the employees had Cingular phones (1.9GHz GSM only). My relative, being a contractor, had a personal Verizon (CDMA) tri-mode phone. (Here in Calif. Verizon is mostly 800MHz for both analog and digital.) From the accounts my relative relates, the Verizon phone had no problem getting signal inside the Cingular complex. However, Cingular phones did not penetrate the business buildings. The Cingular users had to step outside to use their cell phones.
     
  17. ComicalMoodyDan

    ComicalMoodyDan Gold Senior Member
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    Thanks for the info Kevin. Hmm there is one thing I am wondering though do you think TDMA penetrates buildings better then GSM does? I use to have Cingular Wireless back when it was BellSouth Mobility DCS and I had the same problem many times calls would get dropped indoors and the phone just wouldn't pick up a signal. I've noticed with my Suncom phone though it does fine indoors, AT&amp;T in many area uses Digital PCS and people don't seem to complain about it indoors as much either. From Cingular Wireless though I seem to hear more issues about indoor coverage in there GSM markets and in my area Cingular has been around longer then Suncom so you would assume naturally they would have better coverge longer time to build out there network but thats not true Suncom while its a newer provider to the area I think only 2 years old seems to have much better coverage. What do you think is it possible TDMA Digital PCS just penetrates better then GSM? Or is it just the GSM carries in america aren't building up enough towers?
     
  18. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
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    Hi Dan,

    Please note that my earlier post was for &quot;anonymous.&quot;

    To answer your question, (in my understanding of the technology, which has been wrong before) no I don't think the technology is at issue here, it is the broadcast frequency. GSM carriers (to my knowledge) operate only in the 1.9GHz range. ATT is actively changing their technology to GSM. Presently, they use TDMA in most markets and have licenses in both the 800MHz and 1.9GHz ranges for wireless transmissions. Today's phones are designed to auto-switch between whatever bands it needs and the towers auto-handoff to service the call-in-progress. It is transparent to the user unless they happen to glance down and notice the indicator switching between digital and analog modes.

    I'm not sure if I covered all that you asked. Let me know.

    In the meantime, maybe some of the other regulars here will either confirm or confront my posting. Eventually, it all comes out in the wash.
     
  19. ComicalMoodyDan

    ComicalMoodyDan Gold Senior Member
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    Thanks, you did Kevin and oh by the way the Anonymous user above me was me. It was before I signed up as member.
     
  20. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
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    Dan, its great to have you with us. Look forward to more posts from you.

    Have a great weekend (or, if you get this Monday) a great week.
    kevin
     
  21. ComicalMoodyDan

    ComicalMoodyDan Gold Senior Member
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    Thanks! :) You too Kevin.
     
  22. NikolasTesla

    NikolasTesla New Member

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    Attention: All of those dissatisfied with the incompetence of AT&amp;T -

    I will not stand for this treatment anymore and neither should you. Lets hit them where it hurts. Your dollars are your votes...who are you voting for?
     
  23. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
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    Who mentioned anything about dissatisfaction? I am very satisfied with them.
     

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