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Who has the fastest data network

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by stedesco, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. stedesco

    stedesco New Member

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    Hey Guys,

    First I want to say I am researching the cellular "world" and came across this forum...you guys have done an excellent job helping ppl with questions, and problems...ALOT better than the actual companies themselves..which is why I am here!!!

    Questions:
    I am looking to change service providers, and now that PDA's have such great qualities I am trying to figure out which carrier/ or network is the fastest. I am looking to change from my BB on Nextel's network. What I would like to do is be able to surf the web via PDA...nothing too extreme, but Nextel is very slow and takes forever to just load a page. What networks have the quickest speeds? I came across G3, however I see that it has limited coverage at the current date. I believe there is a carrier that offers G3 and another system...does someone know who that carrier is. I travel a lot and am in some of the city's it covers. I will just list my questions

    1) What network is quickest? (EDVO,EDGE etc) I would like to compare apples to apples so its important that coverage is almost equal. I am not looking to plug my laptop to my PDA, just surf from the PDA itself in a mobile I.E browser.

    2) Who has the best coverage (cell) in the South East region?

    3) Are there other PDA's that use the same email technology as B.B? I just learned the push vs. pull process and never had a problem getting email on my Blackberry via Nextel. It was always a pretty simple process to get my email.

    Thanks for all your help!!! Sorry for "dumb" questions but I searched everywhere and couldn't get a straight non-bias opinion. Just trying to find the quickest web surfing network!

    THANKS TO ALL FOR YOUR TIME AND HELP
     
  2. Jay2TheRescue

    Jay2TheRescue Resident Spamslayer
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    Cingular operates 2 networks. A 3G network and an EDGE network. Their coverage is very strong in the southeast. EDGE is deployed throughout their whole network and I get data speeds equivalent to ISDN lines on that network. The 3g network is currently being built out right now and would not be available in rural areas (this is where you would use EDGE). The 3G data network will get data speeds equivalent to a DSL line.
    If you bought a 3G device from CIngular it would utilize both of these networks, using whichever one was stronger in your particular area.
    -Jay
     
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  3. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    I would advise you to look at Sprint. They offer EVDO in a lot of areas and also EVDO roam with ALLTEL. Sprint's coverage is expanding greatly after the NEXTEL merger and, with free roaming, Sprint has more voice and more high speed data coverage than any other carrier.
    Sprint has special SERO plans you can look at. $30 per month for 500 minutes, Unlimited Nights/Weekends starting at 7 and Unlimited Power Vision even on PDA devices. No other carrier comes close to this offer:

    www.sprint.com/sero
    For email address enter: Openaccess@sprint.com and your zip code.
     
  4. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    I would go with Alltel or Sprint in the Tampa area. Alltel actually gets the advantage of roaming on Sprint's EVDO on the east side of the state (data cards), but I believe they will eventually have the handsets there two if not already, but an overall better EVDO network on the west side of the state then Sprint and Verizon. You can see all these on their coverage maps. You have to select, broadband/vcast for vzw, powervision/broadband for sprint, and for Alltel you have to go to a separate coverage map located here...http://alltel.com/business/enhanced/mobilelink_coverage.jsp?state=fl

    But overall that area looks fairly well covered by EVDO. Cingular has some broadband there, but it doesn't match the EVDO coverage right now.
     
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  5. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    You are right. ALLTEL is another great choice- I did not realize that ALLTEL does cover the OP's location. I would say ALLTEL and Sprint before looking at Cingular and Verizon.
     
  6. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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    Fast is Useless if there's No Coverage.
    Since you're in Tampa, FL
    Cing has the Most Tower and Spectrum License in FL.
     
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  7. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Hmm....anyone seen this exact response before in every FL thread?
     
  8. hillbilly44

    hillbilly44 Senior Member
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    stedesco; Here goes, Yes EVDO is available in Tampa through both Alltel & Sprint. Also Cingular has UMTS/HSDPA there also. If you're going to hang around the greater Tampa area you have those choices. Now here's the difference with EVDO it's a data only network but the speeds range between 400-700Kps. The UMTS/HSDPA network will allow you to do both voice & data at the same time (so you can just teather your phone and forget an air card).If UMTS is not available then you'll fall back to EDGE. With EVDO you'll fall back to 1X so the speeds will be between 100-60Kps (both EDGE & 1X). if you travel internationally then Cingular will be the way to go. If you're only in the US you have a choice. As far as other PDA's I use a Nokia E62 w/Goodlink that works much better than a Blackberry but on 3G. You might also look at the Samsung Blackjack, it uses Windows Mobile. Hope this helps.:browani:
     
  9. ComicalMoodyDan

    ComicalMoodyDan Gold Senior Member
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    Verizon and Sprint currently have the best and most widely available high speed wireless networks in the US. That being said Sprint is the better choice since they are cheaper than Verizon and have a less restrictive TOS.

    http://www.sprint.com
     
  10. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    Basically, look at the coverage maps. Then look at the price. That area is covered by Alltel, Sprint, Verizon, and Cingular in broadband. Alltel, Sprint, VZW have larger broadband networks right now in that area. Cingular's is not as expansive at this time. Speed's are mostly a toss up, Sprint has some EVDO rev a in the central part of the state, but other then that it is all the same. I personally would go with the carriers that have a cellular (850mhz) license in tampa which I think is Alltel and Cingular. But that being said, I would go with Alltel over Cingular there because Alltel's (and Sprint's and Verizon's) wireless broadband has a larger coverage area in Tampa right now then Cingular's. Because VZW has a 5gb limit on "unlimited" data and because VZW and Cingular are more expensive then Sprint and Alltel. Your best bang for your buck in Tampa for data is going to be Alltel and Sprint. Alltel and Sprint's unlimited data is truly unlimited, I think it is the same for Cingular as well.
     
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  11. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    Stedesco,
    From reading your post, I'm having a little trouble telling where exactly you mean by South East region? I'm assuming you mean throughout the SE United States. and also, the underlying point it seems like you're trying to make is that you need #1 great coverage and #2 a fast network in that order. If that is the case, I would choose based on the following reasons.

    If it were me, my #1 choice would be Alltel. They're a cellular band provider in the Tampa area which should give great coverage. The network was ranked #1 by Consumer Reports in January for Tampa. I've read a lot of forums and never heard a bad or disappointed comment regarding Alltel in the Tampa area from anybody comparing Alltel vs. anybody else. The Tampa area, and most of Alltel's coverage in Florida is EVDO high speed. Coverage is great throughout the Southeast. If you're ever in an area that Alltel doesn't cover, Voice and EVDO data roaming is available on Sprint and Voice and 1x data roaming on Verizon. The price is good, here is the link to their Smart Choice Pack Plans. Notice that these plans also give unlimited texting, unlimited data, My Circle (unlimited calling to any 10 numbers), and nights at 7. If you're familiar with the Blackberry, why not go with the Blackberry 8703, you'll already be familiar with the basics and have an easy transition, but the new Moto Q is also a very enticing choice.

    My #2 would be Sprint. Sprint also has some good data plans as far as price goes, but the fact that they're exclusively 1900 and it seems like coverage is most important to you and you travel a lot, I wouldn't recommend them first. The roaming is available on Alltel and Verizon when you completely lose the Sprint signal. Somebody already mentioned their plans. And the phones they offer are similar to Alltel's.

    My #3 would be Cingular. The price would definitely be higher. Coverage should be good in Tampa, but you will have significantly reduced high speed data vs. Edge coverage throughout the Southeast. As Hillbilly mentioned, if you travel internationally, it would probably be worth it to go with Cingular.

    My #4 would be Verizon. The price would also be higher with Verizon. EVDO limited to only the Verizon network and their 'unlimited' plan is actually limited to 5 GB. Not a very customer or wallet friendly option. But with the roaming agreements, would provide solid coverage throughout the Southeast.

    Good luck with your choice. I do think you would be happy with a change to any of these providers moreso than you would enjoy sticking with Nextel. I hope my post provided some help to you and let us know if there's anything else. :)
     
    #11 UFO, Apr 5, 2007
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2007
  12. TehJoE234797

    TehJoE234797 Senior Member
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    Cingular's 3g network is DSL speed, if you live in a 3g coverage area. http://www.cingular.com/coverageviewer/popUp_3g.html
    Our cheapest data plan would start out at $29.99, going to give you unlimited internet usage and allow you to set up 10 email accounts. It's actually a blackberry plan, but it'll work just the same on any PDA.
     
  13. wirles

    wirles I'm baaaaaaaaaack
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    Sorry, but that sounds like regurgitated marketing lies.

    I second the vote for HSPA on Cingular. I love being able to take a call while tethering my laptop at DSL speeds. Here is an actual speed test using my Samsung Blackjack tethered as a 3G modem for my laptop on Cingular (ignore the myvzw thing, the speedtest errantly pulled this as the ISP...I haven't had a VZW line in over 8 years):

    [​IMG]
     
  14. TehJoE234797

    TehJoE234797 Senior Member
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    What app is that screenshot from? Looks to be a fairly useful tool.
     
  15. wirles

    wirles I'm baaaaaaaaaack
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  16. stedesco

    stedesco New Member

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    Sorry for the delay to all of your great comments and suggestions!! Here is a few things:
    1) My location is Tampa, however I am talking about Southeast US (Pan-Handle, Miss, GA, AL etc... I travel from Tampa to Tallahassee, then drive to Panama City every week..I have Verizon for voice, and Nextel for data. My verizon phone goes to extended network, and I loose my enhanced services around Tallahassee, and from there to Panama City. Verizon's map shows weak to limited coverage in the areas I mentioned above.

    2) From what I understand: 3G is the way to go, coverage is weak and if unavailable..you fall back to EDGE (which i was told it is almost the same speed as EDVO)

    3) The other ticky part is I travel to Upstate N.Y once a month, and Cingular's coverage is almost nill there.

    So pretty much it seems that NO carrier/network is going to completely cover my needs, that why I joined this site..I wanted every ones expert advice, and not some salesman trying to convince me.

    - So simple and short please make sure I have this correct, I will list data speeds from fastest to slowest
    -3G (select markets-major cities)
    -EDVO (most coverage)
    -EDGE (greater coverage in areas i mentioned above)
    -1X (Pretty much everywhere)
     
  17. wirles

    wirles I'm baaaaaaaaaack
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    Don't beleive the hype that Sprint w/EVDO is the best coverage. Due to Sprint and VZA both deploying EVDO, it is more widely available than HSDPA from Cingular but do you get seamless no fee roaming?
     
  18. ComicalMoodyDan

    ComicalMoodyDan Gold Senior Member
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    I can't speak for Cingular's speed but their 3G network coverage is a joke. Verizon and Sprint have a lot larger 3G network. Cingular may be a good choice for 3G coverage in the future but as of right now their network coverage is pretty limited. Verizon seems to have the largest 3G network in this country but with their 5 GB a month restriction on data use this in my opinion makes them a poorer choice compared to Sprint which is truely Unlimited.

    By the way based on what I have read from data tests done between Cingular, Verizon, and Sprint. Sprint's network comes out typically as being the fastest in data.
     
  19. stedesco

    stedesco New Member

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    I wasn't aware Verizon had a 3G network? I was told that Cingular was the only provider of 3G?
     
  20. ctk74

    ctk74 Junior Member
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    Sprint and Verizon had 3G well before Cingular.
     
  21. RJB

    RJB Gold Senior Member
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    I sure do...............
     
  22. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    3G is available from Alltel, Cingular, Verizon, and Sprint. Also Edge is not as fast as EVDO, whoever said that is incorrect. EVDO=3g, umts/wcdma/hspda=3g. That 3G from cingular is only marketing. It's all 3G and it is not exclusive to Cingular at all.

    The upstate NY area you will get to roam for free on Verizon and Sprint with Alltel service. Which ever is available.
     
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  23. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    Here is the local coverage for the three. I had to make the cingular one myself so it only has Orlando and Tampa. Cingular won't let you zoom out and view the whole 3G network at more the city-zoom level, I don't know why all the others let you....
    Alltel with Sprint on the east in Florida....keep in mind this map isn't up to date, on the east side and some central you will receive the same EVDO that Sprint has in those areas...only dark blue is 3G other is 1x
    [​IMG]
    Verizon...grey is 3G other is 1x
    [​IMG]
    Sprint...Gold/yellow is 3G other is 1x
    [​IMG]
    Cingular rough version adapted from Sprint because of the lack of zoom (only Tampa and Orlando, see the coverage map for other areas of Florida.)....Only blue is 3G other is 1x (or rather gprs or edge), although don't look at the orange in this map to determine voice or other data coverage. This is mainly for the blue 3g only....
    [​IMG]

    I'll keep working on this one to give you all of florida....
     
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    #23 strunke, Apr 8, 2007
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2007
  24. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    Ok, I got it now. When your Verizon phone drops back onto extended network that is actually Alltel for that area. But Alltel and Verizon don't have an EVDO/3G roaming agreement. That should explain your experience in that area. The problem with having weak to limited coverage, is that your Verizon phone will cling to a Verizon signal if at all possible before switching over to a stronger signal from a roaming partner like Alltel.

    As was previously mentioned, 3G is Cingular's fancy word for EVDO, 3G = EVDO and 1x is the same as Edge.

    With Cingular's coverage in upstate NY being disappointing to you, I would narrow options down to solely CDMA providers (Alltel, Sprint, Verizon).

    This map for Alltel's data services in Georgia and Alabama should also be a help you out a little bit with figuring out their EVDO/3G area borders in the south.
    Good choice, most salesmen work off of commission!:wink:

    Between your preference for as much high speed data as possible on the west coast of Florida and the Southern US, and as good of coverage as possible in those areas and Northern New York, to me, it just seems like either Alltel or Sprint are the natural fits, better options, and less expensive options. It is true that nobody may 'completely cover your needs. The networks are not fully 3G. But they appear to both have the largest high speed networks and the most expansive coverage including roaming all around the areas you travel. It also looks, according to the maps, like Alltel has the largest EVDO/3G in the Pan-Handle and in the southern half of Georgia which is the biggest difference I can pick off of the maps. You should have about equivalent coverage in Upstate NY because they roam off of each other there even on 3G data as well as Verizon on 1x.
     
    #24 UFO, Apr 8, 2007
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2007
  25. wirles

    wirles I'm baaaaaaaaaack
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    The OP is getting conflicting/confusing clarifications on 2.5g vs. 3g. These only refer to the generation of a respective technology. Standard GPRS and EDGE are the 2.5G data technologies used by North American GSM carriers and 1XRTT is the CDMA equivalent. EVDO is the 3rd Gen. technology used by North American CDMA carriers (VZW and Sprint) while HSDPA/UMTS is the 3rd Gen. technology used the the N/A GSM carriers (Cingular/ATT/T-Mobile).

    EVDO has a larger footprint overall, and slightly higher speeds but you can not use voice and data simulatenously. This means you should get a broadband card for EVDO if you want the use of your mobile handset for calls while you are online. If you want to use both and can sacrifice some speed, use a Cingular 3G device. The EVDO card with an unlimited plan is not a cheap venture, but you must pay to play :browani:

    I personally use a Samsung Blackjack to tether my laptop when not near a WiFi hotspot. I can surf at 500kbps+ down and be on the phone at the same time. Even on EDGE (2.5G) I have enough for simple browsing and email. It isn't like I need to upload AutoCAD while driving down the road or sitting in an airport.
     
  26. stedesco

    stedesco New Member

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    WOW!!!! You guys truly are a HUGH help to me in making this process as painless and unbiased. The bases of my research is I plan on getting two data plans (for myself and my boss) and then 10 strictly voice plans for our employees. With all the carriers "misleading" advertising, and pushy salesmen...they never seem to care b/c they arent around after they promised you all these great features, and your stuck in a 2yr contract with carrier that has weak coverage. For those of you who went above and beyond helping me this decision, and teaching me all the new technology w/o any hidden agendas (aka salesmen) THANKS!

    So with the maps that were provided it appears Alltel is the way to go, I know they merged as a company..but what about their technology?Are they joining towers etc? Does Alltel offer any PDA's with WIFI?

    I am very glad you guys cleared up the 3G concept..I was under the impression it was some state of the art, new network that only cingular could offer..but now I find its the same network as Verizon's EDVO,which on my KRZR its pretty hard to test their 3G speed.

    Also I should of made it clear from the beginning, that although my "home" area is Tampa, I spend 80% of my time on the road mainly in the Panhandle, Cleveland, and Upstate NY than Tampa. And our employees will be in "BFE" areas in AL, MISS, GA etc

    So with all my geographic locations, needs (quick web surfing via PDA), and good coverage for my employees that will have strictly cell service. As you guys are the pros...You know there is nothing more annoying than having no coverage period!!!

    Do the majority of those who helped me, agree..Alltel is the way to go?

    Again THANKS THANKS THANKS!!
    -Can I donate $$ to this forum?

    Shawn
     
  27. stedesco

    stedesco New Member

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    Oh yeah one more important thing: I will ALWAYS separate my voice and data into two devices. I have found in the past that its just easier, and I don't mind carrying two devices. I will always keep my Verizon KRZR for voice. Its my Nextel BB I want to get rid of and get a faster, better PDA. So the ability of using Voice and Data at the same time would not matter one bit.

    Do all PDA's use the same "format" as my B.B in regards to sending/receiving email? Currently its a simple format, however I want to ditch the BB b/c I want more ability to view word, excel, etc files.
     
  28. TWX

    TWX Mobile Enthusiast
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    No some PDA's use different formats than the B.B.

    If you want more reliability on word, excel...etc... than you are going to want to get a Microsoft Mobile device, such as the Motorola Q (it has EVDO), Palm Treo 700wx (also has EVDO).

    Alltel from what I am aware of has only one smartphone that offers WiFi capabilities, it is the UTstarcom PPC6700. It is a little more expensive than the others....it has EVDO also.

    I agree, Alltel is the way to go! :D

    Hope that helps!
     
  29. ComicalMoodyDan

    ComicalMoodyDan Gold Senior Member
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    I still think Sprint is your best option but Alltel would be my second choice. Sprint's EVDO network has much more coverage, better rate plan options, and has more EVDO modems/options available. Alltel is pretty new to EVDO and they have pretty limited nationwide native coverage. Sprint has pretty good coverage these days and has a lot of voice roaming agreements with other carriers. I believe Sprint also recently signed a data roaming agreement with Alltel that allows Sprint users to roam on the Alltel EVDO network when no Sprint service is available. You also might want to check into employer and business discounts, Sprint has a lot of such discounts and you may be eligible for one based on what you have said in this thread.

    One other thing worth a meantion. Verizon, Alltel, and Cingular all charge $59.99 for their high speed wireless networks with a voice line on the account, $79.99 without. Sprint charges $59.99 a month for Unlimited high speed wireless period, no voice line required for a discount.
     
  30. xenophon

    xenophon Member
    Senior Member

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