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Myths and truths about wireless carriers

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by larry, Jun 29, 2004.

  1. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    I found this posted on another forum by someone else and thought I would post it here. Now I realize there will be some members here who will disagree with some of this but I actually think most of it right on target. Might make for interesting discussion.


    Myth: If you want coverage, go with Verizon:
    Truth: Verizon's strongest argument is its coverage in rural areas. In most major metropolitan areas, however, its service ranges from rather lousy to good. If you want coverage, sign up for a no-roaming plan with your provider.

    Myth: Sprint PCS has the smallest data footprint.
    Truth: Sprint PCS actually has a very large coverage area where data services can be used. While VZW, Cingular, and ATTWS only have data services in their major markets, over 99% of SPCS's network has data services.

    Myth: Cingular / AT&T's deployment of EDGE means its customers experience data speeds similar/faster to Sprint PCS.
    Truth: EDGE only benefits EDGE enabled phones, and only in certain markets where EDGE is available. Upon testing my two EDGE phones in NYC (6200 & 3200) , no noticeable increase in data rates occurred. Second off, EDGE works at different data rates- the 3200 was only capable of 40kbps, while the 6200 was capable of 112 kbps.

    Myth: Sprint ranks low in terms of network quality
    Truth: Sprint's overall network integrity bests mosts carriers. This is because Sprint oversaw the construction of its entire network, as opposed to creating a patchwork network such as AT&T or Verizon. While Verizon has ironed out most of its bugs, AT&T has not. As of April 2004, many of AT&T's "affiliate" networks still charged AT&T customers roaming rates (on accident) , and prevented customers from accessing next-generation services.

    Myth: Sprint ranks worst in customer service
    Truth: Customer service from all carriers is horrendous. Billing errors, screwups, accidental charges, and even failure to put down the proper plan has happened to me on every single carrier (except Sprint... so far.) Sprint PCS has actually taken strides to fix these problems, and now allows customers to manage their account online. I have personally found it to eliminate any mystery as to my bill.

    Myth: In-network (mobile to mobile) calling is something exclusive
    Truth: Every major carrier now offers in-network calling.

    Myth: Cingular offers the largest in-network (mobile to mobile) calling area.
    Truth: Most carriers now allow M2M calling minutes anywhere there's service when you have a no-roaming plan. (Such as Sprint with F&CA)

    Myth: It doesn't matter if my provider doesn't offer unlimited incoming SMS
    Truth: SMS, just like email, can become subject to SPAMMERS, as did happen to mine. Fortunately, it was only a small inconvenience, and my service provider blocked the sender. Had I not had unlimited incoming SMS, I would've paid dearly for it.

    Myth: I should never need to roam.
    Truth: You may never in fact need the ability to 'roam,' but, what plans like Sprint's F&CA allows you to do is use another network for voice calls (providing it's not the majority) if, for some reason, their network isn't operating, or gives you problems. (Hasn't happened with Sprint, happened a lot while on the road with AT&T.)

    Myth: Equipment replacement programs aren't worth it. I'll just buy a new phone!
    Truth: 3 million things can happen to your new phone, and you have to have had it for 18 months until Sprint will subsidize a new one for you. (Some providers, such as VZW, require 24 months!) If you lose it, you have to pay full price for the new phone, and the clock is reset on your rebate.

    Myth: With my GSM phone, I can take it to Europe and use it over there!
    Truth: GSM phones are locked on home networks. You'll have to pay international roaming rates for usage over there. Your best bet is to purchase a cheap prepaid phone over there.

    Myth: I can just stick in a SIM card from a european cell provider and keep my phone!
    Truth: Even on providers like T-Mobile, phones are locked to the network in your home country, and you cannot slip in a SIM card from T-Mobile in another country!

    Myth: I can simply switch providers and keep my GSM phone!
    Truth: All major providers 'lock' their phones onto their networks. You will have to pay to unlock your GSM phone, OR purchase an unlocked one.

    Myth: almost all cell phone providers have a service that allows me to send lots of pictures to my friends and family!
    Truth: Only SprintPCS and T-Mobile offer unlimited picture messaging plans. With other providers, you must purchase a 'picture pack,' which will not include data/airtime usage. Costs per message can range from 20 cents to 40 cents to send!

    Myth: CDMA has the best sound quality, GSM has the best sound quality, etc.
    Truth: Sound quality depends more on the phone than on the network. A good phone will sound good on any network, be it TDMA, iDen, CDMA, or GSM. There are certain CDMA phones that sound worse than TDMA phones (Sanyo 4900 vs. Nokia 3360) , and some GSM phones that sound better than CDMA phones (Sony Ericsson Z600.) For instance, my Toshiba VM4050 sounds better while on Analog (good signal) than my Sister's PM8200 (good signal) on digital.

    Myth: Cameraphones are being banned.
    Truth: Nextel dealers will try and pull this one on you- Cameraphones are flying off of the shelves, and Cameraphones are doing just fine. While many news stations try and sensationalize the 'bad side' of cameraphones, it's really more hype than anything.

    Myth: Cameraphones are pointless
    Truth: Most people who own cameraphones find them incredibly useful. I've printed 4x6 photos my Toshiba VM4050 has taken (and they look good, too!) , but the real winner is convenience. If you're going to buy a cameraphone, see how easy it is to upload, send, and share those pictures. Otherwise, the camera feature is pointless.

    Myth: Readylink is an an alternative to Nextel's Direct Connect
    Truth: Readylink is currently more of a 'small call' feature than a true walkie-talkie service. There's too much lag time / setup time to make it an alternative for professional usage.
     
  2. WirelessBeachBum

    WirelessBeachBum Soylent Green is People
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    Larry you are so much fun...it's too late in the month for me to spend time putting together a reply to this one....

    I'll have to get to it in a few days...when the commission cycle starts over.
     
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  3. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    LOL I figured I would get a reply from you on this one.
     
  4. AnthroMatt

    AnthroMatt Big Meanie
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    Sprint does not charge M2M calls as M2M when off-network. AFAIK only Cingular allows this.

    From Sprint:
    "With unlimited Sprint PCS to PCS CallingSM, you can make or receive unlimited nationwide calls between every Sprint PCS Phone while on the Sprint Nationwide PCS Network."
     
  5. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    Ok so there's one error. Any others?
     
  6. AnthroMatt

    AnthroMatt Big Meanie
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    Well, Cingular offers unlimited internet, 1500 text, and 200 pics for $20/mo. Not exactly unlimited...but pretty darn close.

    I am sure many would take issue with the network integrity comments, though I can't prove or refute them.

    AFAIK Verizon offers data services over 100% of it's own network (not the AC network). VZW (when using many Alltel sites) and Cingular and ATTWS also let you use data services while roaming. Sprint does not.

    CS is bad for all carriers, but Sprint does often rank lowest of the low.

    Sprint's F&C A plans are little different than Cingular or ATT's GSM plans as far as roaming is concerned, except you get the added benefit of analog backup on Sprint.

    It's super easy and cheap to unlock a GSM phone...that argument just doesn't fly IMO.

    I like Sprint as much as anyone, but that post is full of bias and it stretches the truth. Sorta like Michael Moore's movies (can I say that?).
     
  7. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    Yes it is biased towards Sprint that's for sure.
     
  8. AnthroMatt

    AnthroMatt Big Meanie
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    BUt hey, if it sparks discussion I'm all for it.
     
  9. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    That's why I posted it. :)
     
  10. Bugwart

    Bugwart Bronze Senior Member
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    RE: GSM international roaming myths in the post

    Most of the posters here are well aware of the different GSM frequencies used in Asia and Europe, as well as the fact that all GSM providers around here lock their phones. Most of us are also aware of the solutions.

    Based on many questions on this and other forums, such information is not widely known by the average cell phone user. If posts like this one help to educate the average user, they would, IMHO, perform a valuable service.
     
  11. ZaphodB

    ZaphodB Signal Go Down De Hole...
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    Cameraphones are banned where I work.
     
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  12. Matt

    Matt Twin girls!
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    Many military installations a/o contractor locations do not permit camera phones either.

    Of course, that is not true with T-Mobile. After being a customer for 90 days, call them and they'll give you the code free.

    The whole section on GSM locked phones is a bit misleading as GSM providers have different rules.

    If you get your TM triband unlocked (See above) it should work just fine in Europe. What you pay (int'l roaming vs. prepay) is a matter of choice. I'd guess if you rented a phone from a CDMA provider and took it to Europe, you'd have to pay int'l roaming as well if you took your US number.
     
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  13. BruceB

    BruceB New Member

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    Sprint still has a very small network. Alltel and Verizon are the biggest, Alltel uses Verizon's system and Verizon uses Alltel's. Alltel is the best carrier because of the free mobile to mobile that works in 97% of the US, whether you are roaming on Verizon or another partner carrier, and Alltel is the only one that gives you free mobile to home. Hands down, Alltel wins, sure we don't have cutesy phones but we have the best deal and best network.
     
  14. agentHibby

    agentHibby Iowa Cellular Guru
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    does Cingular M2M work in 97% of the US??
     
  15. AnthroMatt

    AnthroMatt Big Meanie
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    Alltel cannot be considered a national carrier though. Too many places have zero native Alltel service. They fall in the same category as US Cellular and others. If you happen to live somewhere that is served by Alltel they are great, but most of the country can't get Alltel. Sprint's network is much larger than Alltel's.
     
  16. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    Sprint's network is much larger than Alltel's. In addition Sprint also uses Verizon's and Alltel's systems for expanded coverage. Sprint and Verizon have similar coverage when taking into consideration pops covered. Verizon does have a bigger overall land coverage than Sprint but for most wireless customers this is not really a big advantage.
     
  17. Etorres777

    Etorres777 Life is good for now..
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    I'm going to go out on a limb here, but I think the person who wrote this originally has Sprint for some reason.. :rolleyes:
     
  18. Frito

    Frito Banned
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    It is very biased towards sprint. How can it say Verizon has lousy inner city coverage? I think its the other way around. This user obvisouly has never used Verizon or is just a Sprint lover regardless of service like some out there.
     
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  19. AnthroMatt

    AnthroMatt Big Meanie
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    Despite the obvious Sprint bias, the author never said that Verizon is lousy in every metro area...just that they can range from lousy to good depending upon what city you are in. That is completely true, whether talking about Verizon, Sprint, or any major carrier.
     
  20. WiggyFife

    WiggyFife still knows nothing!!!
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    Although I find this to be very pro-SprintPCS, I think this was an interesting find. Good Job. I still think VZW is the best in my market...
     
  21. Frito

    Frito Banned
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    Well I still disagree. I have been to MANY metro markets and have never realy had a bad Verizon call. As for other the other 2 cellcos I carry, I cant say the same thing, especialy for one of them. That is my exspeirnce.
     
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  22. AnthroMatt

    AnthroMatt Big Meanie
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    Bugwart made some good points...for someone unfamiliar with the intricacies of wireless it does provide a good foundation of information. Yes, it is biased in favor of Sprint, but it should provide a good launching point for someone to begin their own inviestigations of which provider might be best in their area.
     
  23. Gideon H

    Gideon H Quase Três Anos Com WA!
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    Actually camera phones are being banned from certain places: IE gyms, locker looms [in any place like YMCA, gyms, high schools] and in stores that do not allow photography, etc.
     
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  24. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    I agree. No carrier is perfect in every market and every carrier has a lousy market or two in which they need improvement. In Verizon's case they do have some places that they are lousy or at least not as good as the rest. Lake and Mendocino County comes to mind ;) as well as Northern AZ.
     
  25. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    Only Cingular triband and quadband phones are all unlocked, so you can take them to Europe and stick any SIM in them. For Europe/Asia/Africa traveling purposes, it makes no sense to unlock an American dual-band GSM phone since it won't work in those areas anyway.
     
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  26. scottb

    scottb Bronze Senior Member
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    Semantics, I know, but "myth" does not necessarily mean false. Just an observation. :)
     
  27. Etorres777

    Etorres777 Life is good for now..
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    I thought 'myth' was something that was made up of some knowledge that was known and is basically an assumption right? Or sorta?
     
  28. scottb

    scottb Bronze Senior Member
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    Sorta, as in this definition:

    "a usually traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon"

    or, ficticious as in this definition:

    "a person or thing having only an imaginary or unverifiable existence"
     
  29. Etorres777

    Etorres777 Life is good for now..
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    I was close :browani:
     
  30. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    Intersting....Thanks for the grammar classes. Now, where were we? ;)
     
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