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Improved Cingular in NW Connecticut

Discussion in 'Northeastern US Wireless Forum' started by viewfly, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    A weekend trip up Route 7 through Kent and up to Falls Village gave me a chance to understand Cingular GSM coverage since the merger, and with my 6230 phone (with 64K sim). I can first report that the 64k SIM makes a big difference on how often my phone seeks for a new signal...I can tell by how often I hear the 'buzz' through my computer speakers.

    What I am amazed at is how much better this pure GSM phone is working for me compared to my 6340i.

    In Kent Falls, about a year ago, I could marginally get a signal (while observing some other guy doing well on his cell). Last weekend, I had at least 3 bars of GSM signal. I also must add that 1 bar on this Nokia gives a crystal clear voice signal.

    At Cornwall Bridge, I had full bars. Something I have never had before. Certainly there were no coverage areas along 7 and into Fall Village, but going to areas that I knew that I had some coverage..on TDMA or analog..I have much better coverage now with GSM.

    I certainly would encourage anyone to make use of the new GSM/Cingular/ATT phones for the 30 day trial: don't assume what was true before is the same now.
     
  2. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    viewfly, I am glad the 6230 is working out for you so well. It is definitely the best all around phone I have ever owned. Every feature on it seems to just work as defined.

    What do you like the best on the phone?
     
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  3. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    This phone has so much of everything, that it is easier to say what it doesn't have, but those that do not have it, may not appreciate the list. So here is my favorites:

    1. small size; fits into a man's pants pocket very nicely. Very light and thin (compared to flip phones).
    2.excellent audio (both ways). Some thing I'm on a landline.
    3. excellent radio freq. reception (GSM); seems to pick up marginal signals very well even with using the internal antenna). One bar seems as good as 7.
    4. Bluetooth, infrared, and cable + plus free Nokia software to transfer files,mp3,etc. (this is not fully appreciate by some; with my V551 I have to buy the software and cable, if I don't have bluetooth).
    5.Nokia software is always very good. I find things that I can do with it that is not on my Moto.
    6. GPRS is easily and fast. Has already been set up to send/receive with my Earthlink account. (however I can get aim to work, even though it is set up)
    7. I can change both the complete front and back faceplates in case of damage, including the camera lens cover.
    8. Loudspeaker (and microphone) work really well, even from the car phone holder...very clear.
    9. keypad has a good feel to it. not cheap.
    10. Well, not part of the phone, but the 64K sim makes a big difference
    11. so far the battery life has been good. Between cingular, nokia and the manual there are all sorts of difference lifetimes on this.
    12. electronic wallet
    13. Stopwatch, countime timers and an alarm (that works even if the phone is powered off).
    14. software to synch with my palm PC pda software (from Mobile Master in Germany)
    15. The phone seems very popular overseas, which means it has alot of support. It is not a special 'usa' brand.
    16. The removable MMC card means I can store lots of music, mp3 stuff
    17. FM stereo radio (but I don't have the earpiece yet); wish it had AM too


    I do wish it had a better screen (128x128) and the 0.3 Mpixel camera is ok, but could have been 0.5 or larger. But for it's size, it seems good, and the night scene does work pretty well. The video is really only a toy though. Also, I wish it were a quad...but they will come and I needed a phone now.

    Did I miss anything? For such a small phone, and good price, there is a lot jammed into it.

    Best,
     
  4. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    WOW, great review, thanks. Just about exactly how I feel about the phone. One question about the 64K SIM. I went to get one yesterday from the Cingular store (mine came with the 32K) and they basically talked me out of buying it. I am not convinced that they were correct though, what differences have you noticed with the 64K SIM?
     
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  5. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    There was a thread on this forum not too long ago, and I learned a lot from that. When I received my 6230 direct from Cingular in the mail, it came with a 64K SIM. The V551 was from the store, and at first they told me I didn't need one, I insisted, politely, then they gave in, with no extra charge.

    My observation and understanding was that my old 6340i or a 32K sim will search out for the correct network (assuming your not on it already (ie aTT or Cingular)) about every 6 minutes. I could verify this by the noise pickup from my PC speakers. If I was on the ATT network, or, I think, if it finds a stronger signal than what I had, it would switch, but in doing so, drop the call.

    The 64K goes for the stongest signal always, and doesn't drop the call. But I also think one needs to have a newer phone with Enhanced Network Selection (ENS) Handsets ( see http://forums.wirelessadvisor.com/showthread.php?t=5168&highlight=64K+SIM).

    I'm on weak ground here so if someone else wants to jump in , do so.

    Charylee, I remember that you bought your phone overseas, so I don't know if it is Cingular branded, and has the right ENS. See the forum notes above. I think the summary was ENS+64K is what you need; Any hybrid of that is not the same. I'm not sure if this can be done over the air.

    Whether any of this is totally true, I can't say. However, eventually it will be unnecessary. My observation is that my phone no longer 'buzzes' my PC speakers as often as before, and that also saves battery life. Frankly, I was surprised to get the 64K with my 6230, since I was a Cingular customer, and thought only ATT people would really need it. But I understand the 6 minutes scan thing and glad to be rid of it.
     
  6. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    Viewfly, thanks for very detailed explaination. My phone has actually never dropped a call, I don't know if it is because it always stays on Cingular Orange since Orange is the stronger signal in just about every place in Wisconsin that I need.

    I bought my phone from a Cingular affiliate in Malayasia. It is unlocked, Cingular branded and the US version. I was told that the ENS capable phones will say "ENS" right next to the model no. on the box and mine does not. I was also told that for the 6230, IMEI nos. starting with 3533******are non ENS, and those starting with 3550************ are ENS capable. Based on this mine is non EMS capable. To make this more complicated I have also heard that some phones are ENS "capable" and some are ENS "compatible", and all 6230s are ENS compatible. :rolleyes:

    I don't even know why I am looking into this, since I have absolutely no recption problems/issues with my phone but one can always make it better yet, right?

    The local Cingular store spent some time to check all the upgrades and assured me that my SIM had all the necessary upgrades. They were also very emphatic in telling me that the 64K will not make a difference and eventually will be unnecessary. Since I was looking to buy the 64K not get it in exchange for the 32K they just saved me the money.

    The saving battery life makes a lot of sense, how long does the battery last on yours? Mine last from 2-4 days depending on how much BT/GPRS tethering is used. I love the effortless way it talks to my IPAQ 2215.


    Oh well, I will just wait for the quad Nokia with all the great features of the 6230 and in the same size, and just get the that phone with the 64K. :)
     
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  7. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    According to what you say (IMEI label #), then I have the same phone as you do. ;) So I guess, be happy, don't worry. My battery so far lasts forever because every time I get into the car, I place it in the car holder, which has a charger. Plus I play a lot with it. When I settle down 'playing' I'll come up with a decent number. But a few days easily before it went halfway down the energy bar.

    Thanks for the input and info. It's a great phone, enjoy. I also find the 'go to' menu very useful.
     
  8. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    Charlyee,

    I googled around about ENS and 64K sim's and have come to the partial conclusion that no one knows anything clearly about this.

    My only observation is that I have stronger signals in many areas where I didn't before when my 6340i was in GSM mode. Perhaps some of it is the phone, but I assume that it was related to 64K sim allowing both Cingular and ATT as my home towers. One myth is that the 64K give more memory for addresses; the phone still limits to 255 single entries; the rest (1000) is taken in the phone's memory.

    I still have a functional 32K sim. Perhaps I can run some tests. What I've gathered is that the 6230 is not always ENS capable or compatible (??); the V551 all are...but I have not seen any difference between them. Also, it depends on your market area.

    Does anyone have a real answer to this, that is not just another rumor spread?
    For now, I'm not worrying about it. It will sort itself out, and my coverage is very good.
    Best,
     
  9. Fire14

    Fire14 Easy,Cheap & Sleazy
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    Here is something to mess with your brain. Over at the AT&T/Cingular forums we have an ongoing discusion with some of the Tech's & they are still trying to give us the straight answers to the ENS phones & the 64K SIM's, They can't even give us a straight answer as well. This is causing us all confusion on it.
    I am hoping that we hear something soon & will post what I can when i get it.
     
  10. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    Viewfly, I like this part of your answer the best :) . I also searched quite a bit and nothing real helpful showed up either. It is definitely a great phone and the "Go To" is quite unique and has been extremely useful for me.


    Fire14, Thanks, looking forward to what you can find out.
     
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  11. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    Fire14, as I said, my phone service seems much improved, part of which I attribute to the phone, the merger's progress, and the 64K SIM. Perhaps there is no 'ENS phone' but only ENS compatible or capable of using the 64K SIM?

    But, given all the confusion, even among the 'experts' I begin to wonder if this is a repeat of the 'Cingular Extend' software... ie, not all parts of the ENS/64K are working fully.

    The Cingular Extend was such a ridiculus failure...it meant absolutely nothing, some would have it, some not & no one with the 'Nation Preferred' or GAIT plans were ever charged roaming. It went on for years.

    I was in a NYC hotel with two Cing phones, same family plan and one said 'Extend' the other Cingular. The C/S told me clearly that one would be charged roaming. After going through the logic with her, she agreed just to ignore it. That was 2 years ago. My phones only say Cingular now, and have for about a year.

    So I wonder if a software/hardware glitch is causing the ENS/64K proposed plan to be not quite ready yet, and is the real reason that no one has a straight answer on this one.

    Just a thought.

    And concerning all of this, I have no complaints with my service, so as Charlyee and I agree... Be Happy, don't Worry :) But do wonder.
     
  12. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    Hey Charylee,

    FYI, after looking around to unlock my 6230, I found a web site were people post their IMEI numbers for unlocking codes (see 'Unlock Codes!' post under General Disscusion Wireless Forum ).

    Going through the IMEI's posted from UK and elsewhere vs the US, it seems that IMEI's starting with 3550**** are non USA (6230) and the ones with 3533*** are USA versions (6230b). Meaning of course the tri band selection for Euro/asia vs the US.

    So I think it has little to do with 'ENS' and Cingular

    Viewfly
     
    #12 viewfly, Jan 13, 2005
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2005
  13. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    Viewfly,

    Thanks for directing me to this thread. You know what you say makes sense. I got the phone on November 2, and from overseas, so if you and I have the same starting IMEI, then the reason could be that they are both 6230b.

    It might also be that the Eurasian version (6230) is ENS capable and the 6230b is not. Which would then make the relationship between the first 4 digits of the IMEI to the ENS capability true by default.

    Just trying to make matters more confusing...LOL

    PS: What is the manufacture date of your 6230b?...just curious
     
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  14. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    I can't see any date in the phone, behind the MMC or elsewhere. Maybe the box?? Made in China.
     
  15. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    Viewfly, try *#92702689#* .It shows Date of phone manufacture, Serial and IMEI numbers, Purchasing date, Last Repair Date. I got this from another forum. Mine says 092004.

    Thanks
     
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  16. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    Alright! My phone was made in December 2004, according to this number...about as fresh as you can get one...

    Thanks, Charlyee
     
  17. mendel

    mendel Junior Member
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    Nokia 6230

    I also think the Nokia 6230 is one of the best phones out there....

    yet "Consumer Reports" does not even mention it?!?!?!?

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    Even though I enjoy reading Consumers Reports for information, their ratings system lost credibility for me more than 10 years ago. Especially true on any high end products. They mostly go for the 'best buy' not the 'best'
     
  19. Rich

    Rich Bronze Senior Member
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    Hey viewfly, if you still need unlock codes for your phone let me know and ill post them.

    Overall I think this is bye far the best phone I've used in a long time, tough I could use some help trying to upload some songs into my phone. I recently purchased a cable from my local Cingular store and I can't seem to get the phone and my computer to sync properly. Everything is installed correctly on my computer, but the phone pops up with an error message when I connect the cable "Enhancement not supported," any ideas?? I though he sold me the incorrect data cable but according to Nokias website it's the correct one, I'm about to give up. :(
     
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  20. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    Hi Rich, I am glad you like the 6230. I also think it is the best phone by far. About uploading songs, I use BT, and it works everytime without a problem, so I am afraid I can not help with the cable transfer.....sorry
     
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  21. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    Hi Rich,

    Thanks, but I have my phone unlocked now, using the free downloadable calculator above.

    I currently use the Infared transfer, although a USB cable is the quickest. Do you have Nokia PC Suite 6.4 and the connections manager set up ? Other than that I can't help you. Do you have the Nokia cable drivers installed? You could try the serial cable too.

    Another suggestion would be to go to Circuit City and get a $12 MMC card reader for you PC (either external or PCMCIA). That way you can place the MMC directly into your PC and transfer songs that way. It will be really fast.'

    I eventually will get BT working and a cable too. If I make progress with that before you, I'll PM you.

    Best,
     

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