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Sprint Vs. T-Mobile

Discussion in 'Sprint Forum' started by badtux, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. badtux

    badtux New Member

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    T-Mobile is ticking me off. It appears they're oversubscribed both where I live and where I work, and I just randomly lose connectivity -- I suddenly go from 3 bars to "..." (searching for carrier) as their GSM tower fills up and their equipment randomly decides "hmm, that guy's been using me a lot, I'll kick *HIM* off!". It stays "..." even when I walk outside, even though I'm supposedly within the "4-bars" area of not one, but *two* T-Mobile towers (one on top of a short tower atop a storage company, one on top of a taller Santa Clara Power utilities tower). Same deal at work, I'm supposedly within the "4-bars" area of two different towers, but it'll just go "..." for a long time even if I walk outside. But if I go to my phone's "Carrier" menu option and tell it to search for carrier, I pick up the Cingular signal just fine. Too bad T-Mobile won't let me roam to Cingular in this area.

    My understanding is that CDMA degrades rather than just kick you off, i.e., voice clarity drops but you can still connect. True? It also appears that Sprint is running 1900Mhz CDMA so they may not have much better building penetration (certainly not equivalent to Nextel's iDma 850Mhz which from what I can tell will penetrate everything except concrete bunkers), but I don't think building penetration is the problem, I didn't have any penetration problems with Cingular (which runs 1900Mhz GSM around here). I think the problem is that T-Mobile simply oversold their capacity here :-(.

    I don't want to switch back to Cingular because they're too proud of their network and want to charge too much money (sorry!). Verizon is proud of their network too. Sprint is the only other major carrier serving my area, and has good pricing. Do you think it'd be worth it, signal-wise, to dump T-Immobile for SprintPCS? Anybody out there use Sprint in the SF Bay Area who can comment? (Esp. if you are in the GooglePlex or Sun Santa Clara areas).
     
  2. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    Location:
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    My Phone:
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    Wireless Provider(s):
    Alltel, T-Mobile, Sprint, Centennial
    Can't comment on Sprint in that area. But Nextel penetrates buildings better because it is on the 800 frequency, much like most of Alltel is. But in your are they would probably be all 1900 for capacity. It has been my experience that at low signal CDMA does better then GSM. This very well could just be how the network is built, but still, I had the same problems with T-Mobile in my area. If you travel a lot, Sprint will work nationwide in more places currently then T-Mobile or Cingular will (because GSM isn't built out very well). There are trial periods, I would definately try out Sprint and see how the service is....
     
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  3. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Have you seen this happening on more than one phone in the area? Maybe it's a phone problem because a GSM network will not just say "Searching for Service" when they are at capacity. YOu will still have strong service but when you make a call it will say "network busy".
     
  4. badtux

    badtux New Member

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    The phone shows a strong Cingular signal (yeah, I unlocked it and popped a neighbor's Cingular SIM in it to see what would happen). I dunno what the problem was, but T-Immobile is history now. Now I get to deal with Splint and their 1960's notion of "customer service", which apparently consists of, "we'll answer calls during banker's hours and promise the world while delivering only tiny improvements."

    Seems the idiot order taker (who was staring at my T-Immobile bill while entering my name and address info) left out my middle initial, and when T-Immobile's number hit Splint's systems, they spit out the number reassignment because the names didn't exactly match, meaning that a customer service representative then went in and cancelled the old order and re-entered it by hand, except she re-entered it *wrong*. Now all of Splint's systems are out of sync -- the web management thingy doesn't know about me, the Vision thingy doesn't know about me, I finally got the tethered DUN working after a technician turned it back on because apparently the CSR who re-keypunched my order didn't bring it over from the original order, and apparently there is a battle over what my sprintpcs EMAIL name is supposed to be also. Gah. What a mess.

    This has all been complicated by the fact that Splint's "customer service" is only open for limited hours. I work Silicon Valley hours, and frankly haven't run into a shop that didn't provide 24/7 support in years... look, my employer provides 24/7 support even though we have maybe 100 employees total, and it's just the *standard* for technical support in today's modern high technology industry. But I guess Splint still is stuck in 1960... I wonder if they hired the old AT&T Wireless people to run their IT systems and customer support department? :confused:
     
  5. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    Wireless Provider(s):
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    Yeah...Sprint's CS is the worst in the biz. My top 5 list would go like this.....

    VZW #1

    T-Mobile #2 (although I haven't dealt with them in a while, Alltel's slowly improving....)

    Alltel #3

    Cingular #4

    Sprint #5
     
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  6. badtux

    badtux New Member

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    I have to agree with you on T-Mobile's customer service. When I moved over from Cingular to T-Mobile (based on their cheap data rates and the desire to get EMAIL on my cell phone), my phone was active within 2 hours. When I upgraded to a PDA phone, the guy popped my SIM out of the old phone, popped it into the new phone, activated my upgraded data service on his terminal, and said "There you are!" and that was that, I turned it on, stylused around, got on the Web, and It all Just Worked(tm). Utterly amazing. Technology that Just Works. Wow.

    It's just a shame that T-Mobile couldn't deliver the network where I live. Now that they're no longer doing roaming with Cingular here in the Bay Area, their coverage has gone into the toilet. Sprint, on the other hand, is showing 5 bars consistently here in my home, where T-Mobile showed 2 bars max (and that's on a good day with my good Motorola flip-fone, which has an external antenna unlike my T-Mobile PDA phone). But T-Mobile only has one antenna serving this neighborhood (there's another on the other side of Sun Microsystems but it's too short to really reach here due to airport height restrictions), while Sprint has four on all sides (including two on the same towers where T-Mobile has theirs, plus two more on the other two sides of this neighborhood), basically saturating the area. It just got to the point where I couldn't deal anymore, and getting the faster EVDO vs. EDGE is just a bonus there (EDGE is about the same speed as a high speed modem, in my experience... certainly not a "real" 3G service).

    So wish me luck with Splint customer "service" tomorrow... sigh...
     
  7. SmArTeStChIlD421

    SmArTeStChIlD421 Silver Senior Member
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    Location:
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    My Phone:
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    Wireless Provider(s):
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    Sprint's customer care may suck but their coverage area is impeccable....however verizon has the best customer care above all.....i called them when i was deciding on my first phone to get some information and they were so helpful....all of the other companies i called didnt have comparable customer care to them......i had a few problems with T-Mobile (thats what i ended up getting) but it was nothing that they couldnt fix in 10 mins or less......i got boost mobile after tmobile which uses the nextel network which i love but will begin deconstruction in 2010 :( i got my mom to transfer to sprint (she was on a tmobile family plan with me) because it would be cheaper for me to call her
     
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  8. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Sprint can have it's problems like the ones you are experiencing when you first start your service and customer service can be a pain, but once you are through that you should have smooth sailing.
     
  9. badtux

    badtux New Member

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    Well, Sprint finally got everything working, it appears. My phone-as-modem works, my power vision works, I can log onto the management web site, etc. Phew!

    Some comments:

    1. I have the Treo 700p. I am *so* glad to get back to the Palm UI, which is 9000% better than the Microsoft UI because it can actually be used one-handed (my previous device was an HTC Wizard, which was great hardware but ran Windows Mobile 5 which required two hands to operate). The underlying PalmOS sucks, of course, it can't even play mp3's consistently well, but if Microsoft was not so arrogant they could learn a lot by looking at the PalmOS UI and understanding why it's so superior to Microsoft's insofar as usability is concerned. But all Microsoft is concerned with is "pretty". Bah. Windows Mobile 5 is an infinitely superior operating system not to mention being very "pretty", but it is buried underneath the world's worst handheld device user interface. Since all I want is a telephone and a PDA to handle email, appointments and phone #'s, not a handheld computer, the 700p is superior to the Wizard for me.

    2. The *least* number of bars I have is 3 bars, and that's in my bathroom, buried in the center of a 12-apartment block. I generally have the full 5 bars, even here at work on the 1st floor of a two-story metal building that is notorious for poor cell phone performance (the only other phone I've ever gotten the full 5 bars on is a Nextel phone, which runs on 800mhz and thus has better penetration).

    3. EVDO is *FAST*! If I use the Sprint Connection Manager and turn on the HTTP compression, I can get up to 800kb/sec HTTP performance. I could never get more than 150kb/sec with GSM/EDGE tethered T-Mobile.

    All in all, I'm satisfied with the telephone service. And at least the customer service *did* solve all the problems, eventually. I wish I could say the same for my Internet provider at home!
     
  10. SmArTeStChIlD421

    SmArTeStChIlD421 Silver Senior Member
    Senior Member

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    Wireless Provider(s):
    Sprint
    yeah....unfortunately thats the way it works with most companies they either:

    A) Have a lot of problems setting up in the beginning and once they're fixed they're the greatest thing that has ever happened to you

    B) You have lots of problems throughout service but they fix it in 10 mins usually.

    its ok though cuz where would we be without our cell phones
     
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