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T-Mobile v. AT&T in NoCal and roaming

Discussion in 'Western US Wireless Forum' started by joycet, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. joycet

    joycet New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2007
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Pleasanton, CA
    My Phone:
    probably Blackberry
    Wireless Provider(s):
    was using Vodafone in Europe
    Help,

    I'm newly moved from Europe to the East Bay. I am planning on a Blackberry, but which provider? I need a phone that will work in Europe as I do go back there, so that leaves me with AT&T or T-Mobile. I also will travel all over the US for my job, so I need someone that has fairly good national coverage. According to Consumer Reports, in San Fran T-Mobile is better than AT&T. However, colleagues of mine in other offices and who travel say that T-Mobile is only good in major metropolitan areas and around interstates. When I roamed on my Vodafone contract here in the US, I had to use AT&T and I found it fairly consistently, but I have heard endless tales of woe from AT&T's terrible customer service (why cannot mobile carriers learn customer service? I know that's a different thread...)

    Suggestions? Any of you who have switched from one to the other? Any things I should think about? The features on US phones are kinda weak in comparison to European phones (we all had 3G over there standard) so I've already accepted that, but there may be things to think about on that front as well as my husband will be looking for a phone too.

    Thanks in advance for all help/suggestions!

    Joyce
     
  2. dmapr

    dmapr Silver Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    My Phone:
    Pixel XL
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Verizon Wireless; MTS
    I have both an AT&T and T-Mobile and in most places I find AT&T phone to have better reception. That being said, there are spots were AT&T has no signal and T-Mobile does, so if you want to experiment you can invest a little money in getting prepaid SIMs for both and survey the areas you go to. Generally speaking, postpaid coverage is better than prepaid due to extra roaming, but that will only apply when you travel, not in Bay Area, where prepaid will give you the exact picture of the coverage. Also, T-Mobile street level coverage map has been pretty accurate in my experience, while AT&T's is grossly overstating it's real coverage.
     
  3. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2003
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    My Phone:
    HTC Thunderbolt
    Wireless Provider(s):
    VZW, Vodafone D2, Solomo, Swisscom Mobile
    As dmapr said, the best way to try the two providers is by purchasing a prepaid SIM card from both of them and comparing them side by side.

    Also, if you travel internationally a lot, you may want to consider other options (like International Roaming SIM Cards) which offer you much cheaper per minute charges than what at&t and T-Mobile charge.
     
  4. joycet

    joycet New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2007
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Pleasanton, CA
    My Phone:
    probably Blackberry
    Wireless Provider(s):
    was using Vodafone in Europe
    Thanks to both of you for that. I had forgotten about the international SIMs, but that's a good idea. I may in fact try both phones, although I need to have a number fast for work (they don't give us phones, we get our own and get reimbursed) so I don't have a lot of time to experiment, but again, I appreciate you taking the time to get back to me.

    Cheers,
    J
     
  5. dmapr

    dmapr Silver Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2006
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    My Phone:
    Pixel XL
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Verizon Wireless; MTS
    You may get a pretty good idea about coverage in most visited places in a matter of days, while that probably rules out eBay it's still not a whole lot of money. Another option of course is to just get a contract with one provider, try it out for a week or two and if you're not satisfied, switch the number to the other provider. Also, atke a look at the general national coverage maps to see if one or the other has definite holes in some of the places you plan to be in.
     

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