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Will the Nokia 6340i roam anywhere on the US with old nationwide plan?

Discussion in 'NOKIA' started by Nando, Nov 10, 2002.

  1. Nando

    Nando New Member

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    Hello:

    I have a new Nokia 6340i here in Orlando. I will be doing a lot of traveling nationwide. Currently I am on the old nationwide plan. I hope I will be able to roam anywhere on the US with this phone using any carrier without restrictions. Can someone tell me if this phone is capable of doing so? Of course, Cingular store say "yes", but sometimes they may be wrong.

    Also, they told me that GSM is coming soon to the Orlando area, but no date yet. Does someone know by any chance?

    Thank you

    Fernando
     
  2. rebguy1

    rebguy1 Member

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    Yes, it is <u>capable</u> of roaming anywhere, with any carrier's tower that has GSM, TDMA, or analog; but it will only roam with carriers that Cingular has a roaming agreement with. They don't like to roam with Verizon and the carriers that they are buddy-buddy with; but it should roam pretty well with AT&T and T-Mobile, as well as some of the smaller carriers. Since you're in a TDMA area, you should have pretty good coverage if the maps are correct; but there are often a lot of holes in the areas that appear to be covered on the maps; this is true with any carrier. I know Roamer1 has some good info on his website, you might check it out. I posted a link to a "Preferred Nation Plus" map in the "6340/verdict" thread on this forum, I think it shows the areas this phone is supposed to cover the best for those of you in TDMA areas. Cingular's GSM areas are a different story, but I won't get into that here. The good thing is that you're on the old nationwide plan, so you don't have to worry about being charged any roaming fees anywhere you do get service.
     
  3. BizUser

    BizUser Member

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    I'm an ATT user primarily, and have played with their GSM rollout (had the TDMA/GSM phone - Siemens S46 - for a month but returned it after a problematic month). I know of the Nokia 6340 from the various ATT newsgroups - it would be an awesome phone for ATT to offer, since it offers the best of all worlds - TDMA, GSM, Analog. But alas, they don't offer it.

    I also have a Cingular plan, but it's just a pre-pay to allow me to keep my old Ericsson T28W in use for emergencies and for SMS messaging to Europe (ATT can't handle that yet ...!). Here on the West Coast, I believe the only Cingular plans (and phones) available are GSM. Do you guys know if there's any way for a west-coast guy to buy a 6340 out here, and buy a plan that allows for a) base use on their GSM network, plus b) roaming onto ATTs (or anyone's) TDMA network AND analog network when GSM is not available? I've heard these are the 'Cingular Nation' plans that they no longer offer? Any way to get this perhaps through some sort of corporate sales office?

    I don't mind paying, say, $80 per month if I can get reliable coverage with all these networks available. Currently, my T28W shows no signal if I go to the bathroom in my office, while my ATT TDMA phone gives me great coverage all over the Bay Area.

    Thanks for any info you may have ! Thanks, Chris
     
  4. Nando

    Nando New Member

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    Thank you Redguy1 for the information. I appreciate it.
     
  5. CanUHearMeNow

    CanUHearMeNow Junior Member
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    I have the 6340 with the old nationwide plan (3,000 N&W) I have noticed that even though Cingular says it wont roam in the home region, it DOES. I may just be lucky though.
     
  6. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    It depends what your home area is. If there's more than one allowed carrier in your area (as listed in the IRDB), then the phone will prefer its home area towers first, but there's always a chance you will go to an area (maybe some basement) where the home carrier's signal is lost and the phone will automatically search for whatever else is available. If another compatible carrier is found (like AT&T or T-Mobile), then it will register with it and "Cingular Extend" will be displayed. However, if those compatible carriers are forbidden by the IRDB, then the phone will reject those towers and "No Service" will be displayed. But as I said before, there's always a chance someone else's tower will reach your phone when your home carrier's network cannot reach your phone. If the IRDB forbids a particular carrier, then the phone will reject it and you will not be able to roam on it. If there's only one compatible carrier in your area, then of course your phone will not be able to find another carrier to roam on.

    I'll give you an example: In my area, Cingular has agreements with T-Mobile for GSM coverage and with AT&T for TDMA coverage. The 6340 is programmed to prefer T-Mobile's network so as long as you are within range of a T-Mobile tower, the phone will display "Cingular". However, if you go to an area where T-Mobile's signal doesn't reach but AT&T signal is strong (like inside my office), then the phone will lose contact with T-Mobile and will register with AT&T using TDMA. In this case, the phone will display "Cingular Extend". I am not sure if Cingular has agreements with AT&T for its GSM network, although I don't think so. AT&T network is much better than T-Mobile in this area so the GAIT phone will be on "Extend" more often than desired.
     
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  7. Nando

    Nando New Member

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    Hi

    My 6340i indicated today "extended" when I intered my apartment. I dialed 611 and got T-mobile.

    My phone is working on GSM now in Orlando, with both, Cingular and T-Mobile. In Cingular page GSM is not there yet. But I do know I am getting GSM.
     
  8. rebguy1

    rebguy1 Member

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    From what I understand, the only area where Cingular will not let the 6340/6340i roam in the home area is the Carolinas/ East TN/ East GA area. If you're from this area, they also won't let it roam in the whole state of VA except for Bristol/ Marion, VA, which is part of Tri-Cities TN Cingular GSM coverage; and Tidewater/ Richmond/ DC metro area, which is T-Mobile GSM coverage. Unfortunately, those of us who live in this home area need it to roam here more than their TDMA customers do. If you're from outside this area, you can roam in all these areas, but not if you live here; unless you complain to CS service.
     
  9. BizUser

    BizUser Member

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    Can you give me any insight into 'why' they would do this - restrict you from roaming in your home region, while they allow 'visitors' to roam? What's their logic?
     
  10. UNCCJester

    UNCCJester Junior Member
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    From what I understand it costs them to let you roam in the home area...the 6340 is notorious for roaming...which is what it SHOULD do if it loses it's Cingular GSM signal. They just don't want to foot this cost. Trust me, if you gripe at Cingular CS enough, they'll give it to you. Ya know, if they let people roam in the home area here in NC, they'd get so many customers they wouldn't be able to handle it. There's too much dead area in NC/VA not to be roaming. I'm going up to Winterplace, WV which is a straight shot up I-77 on 12/8-12/9 and I'll let you guys know if it works up there.
     
  11. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    That's correct, users roaming in their home area will cost Cingular too much money because they will be constantly roaming because they live there. However, letting visitors roam is not a big deal since they don't live in that area and the cost of roaming will not be as high.
     
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  12. rebguy1

    rebguy1 Member

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    I can understand the financial reasons for not letting it roam in the Carolinas, although I don't agree with it; but I don't understand why they added the whole state of Virginia to it (except for T-Mobile's coverage areas, of course. Actually, everywhere I go here in NC/SC has pretty good Cingular GSM coverage with the exception of when I am in the northern or southwestern mountains of NC; with the phone I have now I can roam on analog at home now, but my CF-888 almost never goes to analog. When I go to GA or AL, most places I go have pretty good T-Mobile GSM coverage; although I did roam on analog between Gray (Old Clinton) and Athens; but in VA there is no GSM network outside DC/ Richmond/ Tidewater. I don't think Cingular even has licenses up there, although I could be wrong; I do know they don't offer any service outside the DC area. So why would they include this in the Carolinas home (no roaming) area?
     
  13. Keith

    Keith New Member

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    Dear Bobolito,

    As you seem to know what you are talking about perhaps you could answer the following:

    I live in Evansville (southwestern) Indiana and travel in Western KY and thru the Nashville, TN area. I am considering switching from a Motorola analog phone hard wired in my auto with external antenna and with Verizon service. I would like to get a phone I can take with me when I leave my auto, thus the motivation for the change. I do get excellent coverage with my current phone and that is why I have foregone portability for many years.

    I would change to Cingular service as they do have better coverage than Verizon in the area I travel. I am considering a Nokia 5165 (my wife's current phone), 8265, and 6340i. I have not decided on the phone yet and would consider any recommendations. My #1 priority is signal strength as all the frills won't mean much to me if I can't make the call! Cingular does have GSM coverage in this market.

    Queston(s):

    If Cingular TDMA covers the market and I will roam on analog in any areas not covered and in dead spots in the TDMA coverage, what is the benefit of a GAIT phone with GSM?

    Will the GSM signal be stronger thus improving coverage? Are the features much better with GSM service? Is there a benefit to buying the 6340i because it works on GSM in addition to the TDMA & analog?

    If I decided I really liked the 6340i for it's features, is there a disadvantage to it being a GAIT phone, i.e. if it defaults to GSM 1st, and GSM is not as strong as the TDMA signal, could I actually lose signal strength by having a GSM GAIT phone?

    Any comments are appreciated! Feel free to recommend any other phones (particulary any with killer signal pick-up)! Also, If you think I will be totally unhappy giving up my 3 watt analog due to lesser coverage on digital please don't hold back! I have not totally convinced myself to do it yet.
     
  14. northform

    northform Bronze Senior Member
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    I'm not Bobolito, but I think that I can answer some of your questions.

    You're using an analog phone now. TDMA will have much better sound quality than analog. Not as good as GSM, but much better than what you're used to.

    The GAIT phones will default to GSM first and GSM coverage probably won't be as good for a while so you might loose signal strength. The 6340i has had a lot of problems. If you are going to go with a GAIT phone I would get the SonyEricsson T62u. Also, you cannot handoff a call from GSM to TDMA or GSM to analog. You can handoff a call from TDMA to analog though.

    You really seem to want coverage so I would suggest a TDMA phone. Even comparing the coverage maps you can see that they have more TDMA coverage. I would suggest that you get a car kit with an external antenna for the phone you choose as well.

    You could be adventerous and go for a GAIT phone, but the TDMA ones are more time-tested. GSM doesn't have too many more features (outside of data) and since you are still using analog, I don't think you'd notice the difference in voice quality between the two.
     
  15. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    First of all, before venturing into another carrier, see if Verizon digital CDMA coverage will do the trick for you. Their digital coverage maybe as good as their analog. One thing for sure is that with ANY digital technology, you won't experience static noise. As far as the audio quality, analog has excellent quality, but the signal has to be strong to avoid static. However, I prefer the static-free digital signal even if the audio is slightly less quality. However, I doubt if you can tell the difference between GSM audio quality and Analog. One thing you should keep in mind is that there's no portable mobile phone that will give you the analog reception quality you're getting now. This is because the antenna on your current phone is much more effective than the one built into the portable units and also, portable units use a maximum of 0.6 watts where as your current phone is 3-watts. Now, back to your questions.

    If Cingular TDMA covers the market and I will roam on analog in any areas not covered and in dead spots in the TDMA coverage, what is the benefit of a GAIT phone with GSM?
    The benefit of the GAIT phone is that it will give you TDMA/Analog coverage in addition to GSM. Therefore, if you move out of the GSM covered areas you will not be stuck with no signal. Beware that coverage always depends on the roaming agreements established by Cingular so if Cingular decides not to cover an area you will be stuck with no signal anyway! The GAIT phone will operate just like a GSM phone or TDMA/Analog phone depending what signal you are receiving.

    Will the GSM signal be stronger thus improving coverage?
    The GSM signal will be as strong as the former TDMA signal if all towers are overlayed. The "improved" coverage is only when you reach an area where there is no GSM to begin with.

    Are the features much better with GSM service?
    Sound is better among other things such as Caller ID, text messaging, voicemail notification, faster data, etc. which I don't think you get with analog. Most of these features are available on TDMA, but if you are a voice-oriented user, I doubt you'll find any more benefits than TDMA except for the voice quality.

    Is there a benefit to buying the 6340i because it works on GSM in addition to the TDMA & analog?
    Cingular TDMA is doomed to dissapear in a few years (sometime after 2007 I think). However, I believe TDMA quality coverage will begin to degrade gradually as capacity will be slowly be taken away from the TDMA system. Carriers are investing too much money on GSM so they will favor service quality to it from now on. However, I like the idea behind GAIT because for travelers it gives much more coverage than a plain GSM phone.

    If I decided I really liked the 6340i for it's features, is there a disadvantage to it being a GAIT phone, i.e. if it defaults to GSM 1st, and GSM is not as strong as the TDMA signal, could I actually lose signal strength by having a GSM GAIT phone?
    The Network selection performed by the GAIT phone will normally prefer GSM over TDMA. However, if Cingular has licenses in one area, they will most likely be the only carrier you can use the phone on. Therefore, it is not a matter of which signal is stronger, it is basically if there is a signal or not. If Cingular allows roaming in a market (TDMA or GSM), the phone will prefer the signal designated by Cingular depending on the inter-carrier roaming agreements. Normally though, it will prefer GSM as most emphasis is being placed on GSM now for the reasons stated above. Don't forget, however, that during a call, the GAIT phone cannot switch between TDMA and GSM. Mode switches during a call can only occur between TDMA and Analog. The GAIT phone has to be idle in order to switch between TDMA and GSM modes. Most likely, the mode change will occur when one type of signal is lost. As far as problems with GAIT phones, you may or may not encounter problems. Some people have had trouble-free service while some others haven't. Give it a 15-day trial to see if it fits your needs and take it around through your most visited areas. However, don't forget that Verizon's digital service may also serve you well if not better and don't forget that digital phones are NOT optimized for analog, so their analog performance is not as good as it is in digital.

    Good luck!
     
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  16. Keith

    Keith New Member

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    Thanks for the info!
     
  17. Keith

    Keith New Member

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    Thanks for the info!
     

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