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  1.    #1  
    I am going to be buying a new cell phone today since my Nextel phone that I have had for over 4 years has finally died (yay!) There is no doubt in my mind that I want to move away from Nextel and since I have no contract I can do so easily. My two options.. well two favorites I should say, are Verizon and ATT/Cingular. I had Cingular as my first cell phone carrier maybe 9 years ago and I absolutely hated it and vowed to never go back because of their customer service but now I think things have changed a bit.

    I travel a lot for work (98% in the US so I don't need a international phone) and I would like to have something that can browse the net at any given time and review my emails, etc. So I've pretty much decided to get either a Blackberry or a Treo....... or an iPhone. I have a couple different reasons for wanting either Verizon or ATT and they are:

    Verizon:
    1. They pretty much get service everywhere around here (Greater Baltimore-Washington area)
    2. I can get a corporate discount of 19% on the monthly bill and like 20% off accessories.
    3. Good customer service?

    ATT:
    1. I want to get an iPhone once they release a new version or updated one so being on ATT will allow me to do so w/o having to break a contract
    2. Awesome service around my area
    3. 3G

    Now, I've been searching everywhere about the differences in data speed but can only dig up forum posts, news articles, etc from back in 2004 and they are way outdated. I found this website looking for this and from the amount of posts I see and the comparisons it seems like you guys will be able to answer my question the best. I am willing to give up the 19% discount and go with ATT if 3G/Edge is faster than EVDO. My friend has a Treo 650 on Verizon and says the internet sucks but others say that if I want to use internet I should get the Treo because Blackberry is more for email and will be slow on the internet. I dont know who to believe anymore and it's frustrating . I need a new phone and the only two questions I have is 1) what's the better service for data (I know they're both good for voice already) and 2) In said service, what phone would YOU traveled a lot, wanted to read emails, surf the net to look up news, post on treocentral.com, etc

    I know this is long but any help is appreciated, I'll probably get the phone today or tomorrow. I'm new so if this is in the wrong place or if this has been answered so many times that this post is just annoying, I'm sorry! Thanks in advance.
  2. #2  
    i dont know too much about EDGE other than it is WAY slower than EV-DO. i have sprint, and my speed tests show my downloads at 1000kbps depending on signal strength. 3G on the other hand is pretty quick and is comparable to EV-DO. but trust me, you wont be disappointed with EV-DO speeds. the EDGE speeds on the iPhone would be unbearable.
  3.    #3  
    But some ATT phones are on the 3G network right? I think the Blackjack, 8525, and the Treo 750 are all 3G. So how does the Treo 750 on ATT with 3G compare to the Treo 700wx on Verizon?

    I read up on 3G and from what I gathered, it's automatically on the Treo 750 right? As long as I'm in a covered zone. It takes the place of Edge technology right?
  4. #4  
    EVDO is 3G and EDGE is not. Unless you can stand slow browsing and downloads, stay away from EDGE only phones. EVDO is a ton faster and it allows calls to come through even with an active data transmission.

    If you want to go with AT&T then go with a 3g capable phone. If you go with Verizon then make sure its EVDO capable. The Treo 650 is not a 3G phone. It runs on EDGE speeds on AT&T and 1x speeds (similar to EDGE) on Verizon.

    If you go with Verizon, there is the Treo 700wx (awesome phone) as well as the 700p and soon the 755p. On AT&T you have the Treo 750 which is the only 3G Treo they currently offer.

    If Sprint has good coverage in your area, its a no brainer with their dirt cheap SERO plans.
    Treo 600 > Treo 650 > Treo 700p > Treo 700wx -> Mogul -> Touch Pro
    You may like to flash, but your phone shouldn't. LED Killer
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by stroths View Post
    ...If Sprint has good coverage in your area, its a no brainer with their dirt cheap SERO plans.
    Exactly. I wasn't gonna mention that cause you were sick of nextel (sprint... nextel... no difference) but if you didnt know Sprint uses EV-DO, just like VZW. And yes, SERO is a great way to go
  6.    #6  
    I called to inquire about that SERO plan and was turned down because I am an existing Nextel customer. Even though I have no contract and have been with them for over 4 years (2+ with no contract) they would rather me go with Verizon or ATT than stay with them. I even spoke to management and told them I too was in sales and understand the whole point of bringing in new business but this really is a great way to get rid of existing customers.

    So horrible customer service is another reason I'd like to switch over to Verizon/ATT .. anymore thoughts from people who are on these carriers? Phones?
  7. #7  
    Stroths comments are pretty much my feeling as well.

    I use Verizon as my carrier. I'm not willing to accept compromises on network strength, so while every geographic location is unique when it comes to reception, I go with the solid bet and use Verizon. Signal strength for most carriers in the cities is very good to excellent. But I want a good signal everywhere and I find that happens more often with Verizon than the others. I personally consider AT&T and Verizon to be on par with each other in major metropolitan cities. I say this based on my experience with managing a cellular distribution of over 3500 lines with Verizon, AT&T and Nextel (Sprint). My experiences are more corporate based.

    As stroths says, if you are going to Verizon, look for an EvDO phone. If you are going with AT&T, go with an HSDPA phone. Both are 3G technologies and you should be quite pleased with either.

    You are correct that the Blackjack, Treo 750 and the 8525 are all 3G. The Treo 750 is an excellent device and the upcoming replacement for the 8525, the 8925 (Kaiser) looks to be *outstanding* based on the specs. If you're looking at the 8525, I would definitely wait for the 8925. I've personally never been a big fan of the Window Mobile Standard OS on the Blackjack, but that's just me. I prefer a touchscreen.

    As for customer service.... well, I think that's a tougher call. To me, the best customer service is the one I never have to call in the first place. I rarely call Verizon tech support and to that extent, they've always been good. But that's highly subjective.

    One minor technical issue you should be aware of. Officially, the Treo 750 supports UMTS, which is a half step to HSDPA. The 750 is capable of HSDPA and the official patch enabling the HSDPA functionality should be released by Palm shortly. There are unofficial patches already available.

    Good luck with whatever decision you make. Leaving Nextel was a good move! The next one will be easier and better!
    Last edited by SteveNYC; 07/21/2007 at 09:07 PM.
  8. #8  
    Some other points on the Sprint SERO plans.... While I'm not a big fan of Sprint (they use a higher frequency in most markets and get poorer building penetration because of it), I am a big fan of their SERO plan and the HTC Mogul (PPC-6800). If you are comfortable with Sprint's reception in the places you will use the phone, don't give up trying to get that plan. Their $30 plan is fantastic for what they offer. No one else comes close in my opinion.

    Even if you got the brush-off from them once, try again. Calling customer service for cellular providers is a lot of dialing for dingbats. If you don't like the answer you're getting, hang up, wait two minutes and try again. Honestly, it's very likely you'll get what you want.
  9. #9  
    Just don't call too often, or they'll kick you to the curb.
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveNYC View Post
    Some other points on the Sprint SERO plans.... While I'm not a big fan of Sprint (they use a higher frequency in most markets and get poorer building penetration because of it).
    I keep hearing this but it goes against what I have been taught as a ham radio operator. I have always been told that higher frequency's actually can penetrate buildings better but also have less propagation. In other words since the higher the frequency the shorter the wave length, thus making it easier to penetrate buildings and other porous or non metal materials. The big difference is that Higher frequency's loose strength faster with distance (propagation). However I am also of the understanding that the Higher frequency licenses also allow for higher output (power) levels to over come this.
    Perhaps a cellular engineer or some one who works for a cellular tower installation company will chime in here.
    Dave
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveNYC View Post
    Some other points on the Sprint SERO plans.... While I'm not a big fan of Sprint (they use a higher frequency in most markets and get poorer building penetration because of it), I am a big fan of their SERO plan and the HTC Mogul (PPC-6800). If you are comfortable with Sprint's reception in the places you will use the phone, don't give up trying to get that plan. Their $30 plan is fantastic for what they offer. No one else comes close in my opinion.

    Even if you got the brush-off from them once, try again. Calling customer service for cellular providers is a lot of dialing for dingbats. If you don't like the answer you're getting, hang up, wait two minutes and try again. Honestly, it's very likely you'll get what you want.
    That 1900MHz(High Frequency) Sprint operates on results in higher speed data and more clear voice reception. Sprint has more EVDO makets than Verizon, and it out performs Verizon EVDO in performance because of the higher frequency...the only drawback as you have said is building penatration.
    at&t iPhone3G
  12.    #12  
    .... and customer service.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by davefred99 View Post
    I keep hearing this but it goes against what I have been taught as a ham radio operator. I have always been told that higher frequency's actually can penetrate buildings better but also have less propagation. In other words since the higher the frequency the shorter the wave length, thus making it easier to penetrate buildings and other porous or non metal materials. The big difference is that Higher frequency's loose strength faster with distance (propagation). However I am also of the understanding that the Higher frequency licenses also allow for higher output (power) levels to over come this.
    Perhaps a cellular engineer or some one who works for a cellular tower installation company will chime in here.
    Dave
    That is the reason Sprint has to use more towers @ 1900MHz in an area than 800MHz towers. The extra number of towers at the higher frequency helps in consistant data speeds via EVDO and voice than @ 800MHz.
    Last edited by KStewart; 07/22/2007 at 02:27 AM.
    at&t iPhone3G
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by baltimorepablo View Post
    .... and customer service.
    Sucks
    at&t iPhone3G
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by davefred99 View Post
    I keep hearing this but it goes against what I have been taught as a ham radio operator. I have always been told that higher frequency's actually can penetrate buildings better but also have less propagation. In other words since the higher the frequency the shorter the wave length, thus making it easier to penetrate buildings and other porous or non metal materials. The big difference is that Higher frequency's loose strength faster with distance (propagation). However I am also of the understanding that the Higher frequency licenses also allow for higher output (power) levels to over come this.
    Perhaps a cellular engineer or some one who works for a cellular tower installation company will chime in here.
    Dave
    Yes, you're correct. Higher frequencies have better penetration, but lower frequencies travel further distance. That is why you are able to listen to FM radio in a tunnel, yet only hear static from AM. But one can pickup a distant AM station even in the desert. It is also why the Highway Patrol (which is one of the few emergency service agencies to use low frequency radios) are able to broadcast for several miles without repeaters, yet must have very long antennas (for the longer wavelength).
  16. #16  
    Well, I am not a ham radio operator and 100% defer to the opinions of others who are. But I do know that we had the most god-awful experience with AT&T's (version 1) GSM network before they FINALLY moved to 850MHz several years ago. By that point, I had already moved our agency to Verizon. Now though, I consider them equivalent, at least in the City.

    Interestingly though, they are really moving agressively when I last spoke with them in January. Their HSDPA operates on the higher 1900MHz frequency, but they indicated to me that they were moving it to 850MHz here in NYC which is very impressive.
  17.    #17  
    Don't get mad but I went with the BlackBerry 8830

    So far I like it... I have 30 days to return it and get the Treo if I decide and if they come out with the 755 by then I probably will. Verizon is good so far and the discounts dont hurt. Thanks for everyone's tips!
  18. #18  
    Cool. Congrats... The 8830 is a sweet phone. The only thing that remains is for Verizon to enable the GPS... They'll do it eventually.
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by cinealta View Post
    Yes, you're correct. Higher frequencies have better penetration, but lower frequencies travel further distance. That is why you are able to listen to FM radio in a tunnel, yet only hear static from AM. But one can pickup a distant AM station even in the desert. It is also why the Highway Patrol (which is one of the few emergency service agencies to use low frequency radios) are able to broadcast for several miles without repeaters, yet must have very long antennas (for the longer wavelength).
    Great analogy. I never looked at it that way, and now that I do I am scratching my head as to the higher frequency wall penetration problem with Sprint. Sprint is natorious for dropping calls or getting week signal in buildings. Me and my wifes phone drop calls off and on in Target. Target and Wallmart seem the worse out of the places we shop with Sprint. If higher frequencies have better penatration...whats going on with Sprints all 1900MHz network? I drop calls like crazy in the basement with my 700p, but as soon as I force roaming on to Verizon's network at 800MHz I get a strong singal that I can hold a long conversation with. If you look at your insite and Sprints performance test they contradict each other, unless there is a missing variable? With propagation being a factor...do you have to build a tower right outside of target in the parking lot to get penatration?
    at&t iPhone3G
  20. #20  
    my personal experience is that I cannot distinguish between EDGE or UMTS (European 3G mobile access) when using data access on the mobile. I can definetively get better experience with UMTS when I connect with the laptop (using the mobile as modem).
    Edge allows up to 250 kbps
    Umts up to 300kbps
    But the real difference is the delay: ping time with edge is poor (300-500ms), muche better with UMTS (50-100ms).
    HSPDA is UMTS+++, i.e., up to 3.2Mbps (in Europe), but uplink is still slow (i guess something like 256kbps).
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