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Cingular & the 850MHz band

Discussion in 'Northeastern US Wireless Forum' started by snozle, Jul 24, 2005.

  1. snozle

    snozle New Member

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    I just purchased the Sony Ericsson k750i phone over in England. The phone is Tri-band without 850.

    I live in bergen county NJ and I am a Cingular wireless customer. I was wondering if Cingular uses the 850 band much in this area.

    Also, I've heard that cingular uses all of T-Mobile's towers and that T-mobile uses 1900 exclusively, is that true?

    If Cingular doesn't use all of T-mobile's towers and T-mobile uses 1900 and not 850 then I guess I will either switch to T-mobile or sell my new phone (which I hope is not the case, its a sweet phone).

    What should I do? I have noticed a reduced signal in some areas.
     
  2. Yankees368

    Yankees368 Compulsive Signal Checker
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    Cingular now uses ATT more than T-mobile in this area. It is true that T-mobile is 100% 1900. If you stick to major areas, 1900 on ATT will serve you just fine. The only downside is reduced indoors coverage without 850.
     
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  3. snozle

    snozle New Member

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    Thanks for your reply, however I heard that Cingular is phasing out their 1900 service and focusing more on 850, do you know if that is true.

    I think i'll switch to T-Mobile, I like their unlimited data plan for $5, Cingular's data plan is horrible.
     
  4. Yankees368

    Yankees368 Compulsive Signal Checker
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    I have not heard of Cingular phasing out 1900, though it is a good thing to have 850 when needed. As for T-Mobile, you will be stuck will att 1900 native coverage. Also, they do not have EDGE, so you will be stuck with slow GPRS.
     
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  5. snozle

    snozle New Member

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    Cingular's Data seems to crawl, I used to have nextel's and it was much faster. Also Cingular charges you $20/month 4 unlimited data T-Mobile is only $5/month.

    Is EDGE only for video streaming and other speed-requiring services? Because I don't use that at all.

    I know 850 has better building penetration but does T-Mobile have a more extensive 1900 network than cingular?

    If Cingular has just as much 1900 coverage as T-mobile plus 850 then i'll stay with them, but if T-Mobile has more 1900 coverage I guess I'll switch to them
     
  6. Yankees368

    Yankees368 Compulsive Signal Checker
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    I might be wrong, but if you have a phone with EDGE, the web browser uses that instead of GPRS.

    It is impossible to tell if t-mobile has a more extensive nextwork than Cingular. You have to find out for yourself in areas where you will use it.
     
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  7. budney

    budney Resident Headbanger
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    Their are a few reasons you may be experiencing slow data speeds. One is network traffic. Another one, is your phone its self capable of using EDGE or just GPRS, looking at Phonescoop your phone looks to be only capable of using GPRS. Also if you still have a old 32K sim you may be using T-Mobile's network still in your area.

    Simplely EDGE is a faster version of GRPS, so it is used for everything dealing with data.

    It doesn't matter if the network is 850 or 1900, and if Cingular has the licences for both frequencies the answer to your fourth Question is YES! . Cingular's network in NY/NJ is much better then T-Mobile's from what I have heard on these forums. And it wouldn't surprise me from what I experienced a couple of years back.
     
  8. Yankees368

    Yankees368 Compulsive Signal Checker
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    The NY/NJ Cingular network is simply the old ATT network with t-mobile covering some holes. Suprisingly, I think Cingular just added 850 to the old 1900 ATT system here. About time.
     
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  9. snozle

    snozle New Member

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    I have the V3 Razr and it does not appear to be able to use EDGE, I guess that solves that inquery.

    Thank you for the insight, however even if Cingular's combined (850 & 1900) network is better than T-Mobile's in the NY/NJ area, I need to know who has the better 1900 network because my new phone doesn't have 850.

    Also, I heard Cingular is in favor of 850 for the future and will be expanding their network accordingly. T-Mobile is only 1900 so they would expand with 1900 only I guess.
     
  10. Yankees368

    Yankees368 Compulsive Signal Checker
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    This is true, Cingular is paying more attention to 850, where as for right now T-mobile is 100% 1900. You might be better off with T-mobile for now.
     
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  11. budney

    budney Resident Headbanger
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    I am very well aware of that. :) But how can Cingular just add 850 to the network when they didn't have any 850 licences before buying AT&T. I think AT&T had the 850, but was using most of it for TDMA customers.
     
  12. Yankees368

    Yankees368 Compulsive Signal Checker
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    Well ATT is the only cingular network here, and they have always had the 850 lisence, correct? So if thats true, ATT just never bothered to update to 850, and Cingular finally picked up the slack and did it.
     
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  13. budney

    budney Resident Headbanger
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    OK I am a bit confused, what phone do you have? If you have the Razr you do have 850, but no EDGE (Like you said). But the k750i dosen't have either.
    Cingular should have both 850 & 1900 and deploying both as they expand and improve exsisting coverage. T-Mobile will continue to maintain their 1900 network. Improving coverage & upgrading is very slow going with T-Mobile. I was in NY/LI about two years ago (with a Nokia 3390 1900 only) and wasn't impressed with T-Mobile's coverage along with many others on these boards. To this day I still hear many of the same complaints with the network. While AT&T/Cingular have continued to improve their network in NY and surrounding areas.
     
  14. Yankees368

    Yankees368 Compulsive Signal Checker
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    I think that things are starting to turn around for T-mobile here. Just this month, T-Mobile installed a new tower about 1/2 mile from my house. I can't imagine what they had to go through to get this tower approved (It's in the corner of a town park as well as next to many houses and a shopping center). Maybe they are finally improving the LI network.
     
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  15. snozle

    snozle New Member

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    Sorry about the confusion, I have the V3 RAZR, but I just bought the k750i in the UK 2 days ago. I think I will go with T-Mobile, yankees said that that they would be a good choice for now and their contract term is only 12 months. I hate the 24mo contracts.

    When I was in the UK I bought a prepaid sim from Virgin Mobile and I put it into my old phone (RAZR) and it's roaming on T-Mobile so I guess i'll carry that around for a while to see how T-Mobile's coverage is around me.
     
  16. Yankees368

    Yankees368 Compulsive Signal Checker
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    LOL, the RAZR is your old phone. I wish i could have a razr. Im stuck here in Sprint land with chunky sanyos. :D
     
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  17. snozle

    snozle New Member

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    Lol, well my dad needed a new phone so I agreed to give him the RAZR and he got me the k750i because I'm kinda a geek and I like all of the features. 2MP camera is awesome. Only problem is that i'm probably going to have to switch to another carrier, I hate 24mo contracts!!!!
     
  18. budney

    budney Resident Headbanger
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    That is good to hear. No doubt they will improve service it just seems to take them longer then most carriers. :)

    :cool: That is what I was going to recommend you do. Their is nothing better then to try a carrier out for your self. Good luck, hope T-Mobile works well. They are a great deal if they do. :)
     
  19. Yankees368

    Yankees368 Compulsive Signal Checker
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    lol, no question there. Every other T-Mobile site around here is back from the day of omnipoint. Now thats old!
     
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  20. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    Cingular uses former AT&T towers and has the option to roam on T-Mobile's network. Usually, your phone will prefer Cingular's network and will use T-Mobile only if you lose Cingular's signal which can happen in some odd areas in Bergen County.

    No, that is not true. Cingular acquired both 850 and 1900 from the AT&T Wireless buyout.

    It is hard to tell which one has better 1900Mhz coverage. That depends on your particular needs. Both are weak, and specially in Bergen County, both T-Mobile and Cingular have sweese cheese coverage. However, overall North NJ, Cingular is a bit stronger than T-Mobile in the 1900Mhz band. However, unless you are near a highway, T-Mobile is really weak in NJ. I'd say if you want better coverage stick with Cingular since it gives you the option to connect to T-Mobile towers whereas with T-Mobile you'll only be using T-Mobile's towers. Two networks is better than one if you ask me. Now, if you had a phone capable of 850Mhz, then definitely Cingular is overwhelmingly better than T-Mobile. Cingular advantage is in the 850Mhz network, but without 850, Cingular is just a stronger "T-Mobile" in NJ.

    Not quite correct. Although Cingular in NYC/NJ uses the old AT&T network, T-Mobile is simply a roaming partner for Cingular. T-Mobile is not just there to cover some holes, but to allow old Cingular customers (pre-merger) to continue using their phones without significant interruption. Also, Cingular did not add 850 to AT&T's network. AT&T had already added 850 months prior to the Cingular acquisition. That was in the plans already. After the acquisition, Cingular has been adding MANY new towers to the North NJ area. Coverage has improved greatly since the acquisition. Much faster than T-Mobile would do it because Cingular has much more customers. So don't hold your breath on T-Mobile adding a new tower if you find they don't work in your house. I've been waiting for over 2 years for that to happen and I am still waiting. They are very slow adding new towers in this area.

    The only way you can answer that question is by getting a T-Mobile phone to try it out in the areas you need. It is very much likely you will see reduced coverage on T-Mobile due to the fact that they can't roam on Cingular. However, since Cingular can roam on T-Mobile, you are already able to use T-mobile's network if necessary.

    Cingular is expanding BOTH, not just 850. Every new tower that Cingular puts up has both 850 and 1900. There is no such thing as a Cingular 1900-only or 850-only tower. They have both in each and every tower in NYC/NJ.

    Again, this is incorrect. Network expansion is done on BOTH bands due to capacity contraints and for roaming revenue capabilities.

    AT&T enabled 850Mhz in NYC 4 months before Cingular bought it.
     
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  21. Yankees368

    Yankees368 Compulsive Signal Checker
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    I dont know if a lot of that goes for my area. My friend had recently tried cingular and ended up giving it back in 2 days. When cingular coverage went down to nothing, his phone would not let him on the T-mobile network. Now i'm not sure about the 850 issue around here, but i'm pretty sure they just got it going around here. It would explain a lot. What other carrier would be swaping out old 1900 pannels for newer shorter ones (I know for a fact that it is not Verizon, as they are doing that as well) So now that site has 2 bands running. Sprint wouldnt do that, neither would Nextel. That leaves the ATT site and T-mobile, but T-mobile has their own tower down the street. To me, it would seem like this is Cingular adding 850.
     
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  22. snozle

    snozle New Member

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    Bobolito, thank you for your thorough response. I have come to the conclusion that it would be a stupid move to switch to T-Mobile simply because I like the phone I have.

    My local phone store lent me a T-Mobile Sim card to try out for a few days and so far it's far worse than cingular in my area.

    I also talked to a T-Mobile employee and she said that T-Mobile is starting to expand into the 850 freq (although I don't see how that is possible if PCS can only be run on 1900)

    I guess I will sell, or return my Sony Ericsson k750i if allowed, and buy the Sony Ericsson s710a. It's a sacrifice, but it makes a lot more sense. It has both 850 and EDGE technology.

    Does anyone have any other suggestions as to another phone that I should get that is similar in functionality to the Sony Ericsson k750i? I like the 2MP camera, but I don't think there are any on the US market (most i've seen were 1.3MP).

    If no comprable phones are out, do you know if any are slated to come out soon with comparable features? What i'm mainly looking for if i'm staying with Cingular is:
    -Quad Band
    -Unlocked
    -EDGE (not 100% necessary but would be nice)

    Thanks for the help everyone
     
  23. COtech

    COtech Bronze Senior Member
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    She must have meant T-Mobile is adding roaming agreements with 850 MHz carriers, like with Dobson in northern Minnesota (already in place, working before its announcement).

    COtech
     
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  24. Matt

    Matt Twin girls!
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    That's correct. T-Mobile does not own any licenses in the 850 band. They only own 1900. There is the official 850 roaming in MN as noted above, and a few unofficial areas as well. I've heard there will be more later this year.....
     
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  25. NYCDru

    NYCDru Sprint Newbie
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    The motorola v551 has these features as well.
     
  26. budney

    budney Resident Headbanger
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    Thanks bobolito for the post.

    snozle - The v551 has the features you want (like NYCDru mentioned).
     
  27. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    I recommend the V635. Although the V551 is also a good choice at a lower price.
     
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  28. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    Those new panels are not necessarily adding a new band to the tower. That could be a change in configuration. But if you are in Long Island, I guarantee you they are not adding 850. Like I said, they already have BOTH bands in every tower in all areas of the NYC market since last year. I've seen them swap panels here and it isn't necessarily they are adding 1900 or 850. What they are actually doing is making enhancements, coverage pattern changes, or other configuration changes to the site.
     
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  29. Yankees368

    Yankees368 Compulsive Signal Checker
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    Strange...i wonder what they could be changing.
     
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  30. NYCDru

    NYCDru Sprint Newbie
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    Adding more capacity, using newer more efficient pannels. Adding more/better switchiing equipment? Who knows?
     

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