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  1.    #1  
    I can't wait to get a Treo... so much that I don't think I can wait for color.

    I currently have a Samsung 8500 fliphone on SprintPCS network. I'm paying $50/month for 500 weekday (7am-8pm on weekdays) minutes and 1500 nighttime/weekend minutes, with free long distance no matter what SprintPCS region I'm calling from (no need to be in a "home area"). I use my cell phone in Boston, New York, Baltimore, DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago. Honestly, I'm not too impressed with the SprintPCS coverage... it's spotty and has too much breaking-up or lost-signal areas. It can be quite painful.

    So this GSM thing... I understand that the coverage is still building up in the USA. I rarely go to Europe, so the fact that GSM is default in Europe is not too much of a plus for me.

    What advantages does GSM have over CDMA? Is it quality, security, what? As of now, CDMA seems more attractive to me because it has more coverage.

    And does Voicestream or Cingular offer pricewise and servicewise (free voicemail? long-distance?)

    If GSM has lots of advantages that I'm aware of, and it is fairly well covered in the major metropolitan areas I listed above, then I'm going to just get a Treo now and forgo color!

    Thanks for any insight.
    <alicelinden@email.com>
    Alice Linden
    alicelinden@email.com
  2. #2  
    I switched from Sprint to VoiceStream when I got my Treo, and I've been very pleased. Coverage, of course, depends on your area, but here, to my surprise, the GSM signal is actually stronger than Sprint's signal in most areas (I live in north central Florida, in a small city.)

    As for plans, my VoiceStream plan has 500 anytime minutes and unlimited weekend minutes with no extra charge for data service, all for $39.95. Roaming and long distance are free anywhere VoiceStream has coverage (all of the U.S. except for four large areas - see http://www.voicestream.com/products/coverage/local.asp).

    In most areas, you don't get to choose between Cingular or VoiceStream - it's one or the other. You can see the available plans on Handspring's site.

    Jennifer
  3. #3  
    As the previous poster mentioned, which protocol you choose largely depends on what's available in your area. While I don't travel as much as you do, I have used my Platinum+Visorphone everywhere including Hawaii, Northern and Southern CA, Albuquerque, Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas. It's basically at every metropolitan city. If I happen to venture off the beaten track, there's always the HAM radio

    I'm particularly biased towards Cingular since the SIM cards can be inserted into another phone at anytime. I keep the same number everytime I upgrade my cell phone. No hassles.

    Anyone responding have the SprintPCS lifetime plan when it first came out in San Diego, CA? Just curious to know what your coverage is like.
    Experience is what happens when something unexpected comes up.
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    #4  
    I recently got the Treo and switched from Sprint to VS. I have yet to have a problem around NYC and Long Island where I spend most of my time. Coverage has been better for me than Sprint. I highly recommend.
  5. #5  
    Originally posted by eigenwave
    Anyone responding have the SprintPCS lifetime plan when it first came out in San Diego, CA? Just curious to know what your coverage is like.
    While I don't have the Sprint PCS lifetime plan, I do have both Sprint PCS (Motorola StarTac) and Cingular (Treo) in San Diego. Sprint PCS coverage is a bit better than Cingular in several of the areas I've tried. I've only had Cingular for about 2 weeks, so I'm still checking out the coverage. I'm crossing my fingers that Cingular coverage will get better. At home, I lose coverage with both phones all the time.
  6. #6  
    Originally posted by alicelinden
    I can't wait to get a Treo... so much that I don't think I can wait for color.

    I currently have a Samsung 8500 fliphone on SprintPCS network. I'm paying $50/month for 500 weekday (7am-8pm on weekdays) minutes and 1500 nighttime/weekend minutes, with free long distance no matter what SprintPCS region I'm calling from (no need to be in a "home area"). I use my cell phone in Boston, New York, Baltimore, DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago. Honestly, I'm not too impressed with the SprintPCS coverage... it's spotty and has too much breaking-up or lost-signal areas. It can be quite painful.

    So this GSM thing... I understand that the coverage is still building up in the USA. I rarely go to Europe, so the fact that GSM is default in Europe is not too much of a plus for me.

    What advantages does GSM have over CDMA? Is it quality, security, what? As of now, CDMA seems more attractive to me because it has more coverage.

    And does Voicestream or Cingular offer pricewise and servicewise (free voicemail? long-distance?)

    If GSM has lots of advantages that I'm aware of, and it is fairly well covered in the major metropolitan areas I listed above, then I'm going to just get a Treo now and forgo color!
    The main advantages GSM has over CDMA are global coverage and the use of SIM cards so that you can take your phone number with you no matter what GSM phone you are using (also makes upgrading very easy).

    However, it seems as if global coverage is not that big of a concern for you and the Treo would be your only wireless phone so the ability to switch phones is also not that important for you. Although coverage really depends on where you will be using the phone, generally speaking, CDMA has a much larger footprint in the US than GSM. Personally, I've used both networks in the Washington DC/Baltimore area and Sprint definitely has the more superior coverage.

    Technologically speaking, CDMA is superior to GSM. It has a higher network capacity, the ability to provide better voice quality than GSM (this will obviously vary from user to user depending on environmental/geographical factors), faster data speeds, provides better protection against cloning, and supports data right of the box (does not need to be augmented like GSM). Finally, this isn't really a reason to argue why CDMA is technologically superior to GSM, but as far as coverage goes, CDMA carriers offer several phones that can utilize analog (AMPS 800) so that if you leave the digital coverage area, you'll still be able to make/receive phone calls. I've only seen one Voicestream GSM handset that can do that (might have changed, haven't recently checked).

    Now, when HS releases their GPRS software upgrade, this will allow the Treo to have 28.8 kbps always-on data access compared to 14.4 dial-up access on Sprint. However, Sprint will be launching their 3G network this summer, allowing for always on data at up to 144kbps. Even though the Voicstream network is only a 2.5G network compared to Sprint's 3G network and thus shouldn't be compared, these will be the forms of the so-called high-speed networks from these two companies for the next couple of years so if the 144kbps is important to you, I would go with Sprint. A 3G, CDMA Treo 270 will be part of Sprint's initial 3G launch this summer so if you really want a Treo, you might really want to consider waiting.

    Marty
  7.    #7  
    Originally posted by mmendo1


    The main advantages GSM has over CDMA are global coverage and the use of SIM cards so that you can take your phone number with you no matter what GSM phone you are using (also makes upgrading very easy).
    [...]
    couple of years so if the 144kbps is important to you, I would go with Sprint. A 3G, CDMA Treo 270 will be part of Sprint's initial 3G launch this summer so if you really want a Treo, you might really want to consider waiting.

    Marty
    Thanks for your comments. That makes me wonder about two more things:

    1) This is pure yuppie/vanityville but... are SIM cards easy enough to pop in and out that I can carry a Treo for work (when I need both a PDA and a cell-phone) and then for evenings and weekends pop out the SIM card into a smaller phone that's better for leisure? (I'm not saying I really can afford to live like that, but I'm just saying... how practical would this idea be? )

    2) How realistic is the estimated arrival time of Sprint's 3G network coming on line? And how realistic is the color Treo 270 going to come out this summer? And how realistic is the always on email going to be fixed and working well by this summer? It seems to me these things are always pushed back months if not more.

    <alicelinden@email.com>
  8. #8  
    Originally posted by alicelinden


    Thanks for your comments. That makes me wonder about two more things:

    1) This is pure yuppie/vanityville but... are SIM cards easy enough to pop in and out that I can carry a Treo for work (when I need both a PDA and a cell-phone) and then for evenings and weekends pop out the SIM card into a smaller phone that's better for leisure? (I'm not saying I really can afford to live like that, but I'm just saying... how practical would this idea be? )

    2) How realistic is the estimated arrival time of Sprint's 3G network coming on line? And how realistic is the color Treo 270 going to come out this summer? And how realistic is the always on email going to be fixed and working well by this summer? It seems to me these things are always pushed back months if not more.

    <alicelinden@email.com>
    1.) It is really that simple. Just pop out the SIM card out of the Treo and into the GSM cell phone of your choice. You can get some really good GSM cell phones on Ebay for relatively low prices.

    2.) I think this summer is a very realistic date for Sprint to launch their 3G network. It has been in the works for quite some time. With Verizon having already launched their high-speed network in a limited fashion, the pressure is on Sprint to deliver. Also, with Qualcomm (CDMA founders, sort of) investing in HS, I really think the CDMA Treo 270 will be a reality this summer. As far as the alway's on email of the CDMA Treo, its probably going to be limited to major metropolitan areas at first but should have just as much coverage as the VS GPRS network. Sprint has been working for a very long time on this, upgrading towers and whatnot.

    If you can wait, I really think you should. Lots of cool stuff is coming this summer! The Treo 180 is just the tip of the iceberg!

    Marty
  9. #9  
    Originally posted by mmendo1



    If you can wait, I really think you should. Lots of cool stuff is coming this summer! The Treo 180 is just the tip of the iceberg!

    Marty
    I second Marty's opinion.... I want it so bad I can taste it but I am waiting.
  10. #10  
    Originally posted by alicelinden


    1) This is pure yuppie/vanityville but... are SIM cards easy enough to pop in and out that I can carry a Treo for work (when I need both a PDA and a cell-phone) and then for evenings and weekends pop out the SIM card into a smaller phone that's better for leisure? (I'm not saying I really can afford to live like that, but I'm just saying... how practical would this idea be? )

    I got a nice, small phone for $30 when I signed up with VoiceStream (and there was a different one that was free), and I have a friend who got a Nokia 3390 (I think?) for free when she signed up with Cingular. So it's not expensive at all to pick up a small second phone - they're giving them away with the plan, so you might as well get one.

    Jennifer
  11. #11  
    Originally posted by alicelinden

    ...
    1) This is pure yuppie/vanityville but... are SIM cards easy enough to pop in and out that I can carry a Treo for work (when I need both a PDA and a cell-phone) and then for evenings and weekends pop out the SIM card into a smaller phone that's better for leisure? (I'm not saying I really can afford to live like that, but I'm just saying... how practical would this idea be? )
    ...
    <alicelinden@email.com>
    This idea is very practical. There are times when a smaller, discrete phone would be welcome. In my case, I have the Platinum+Visorphone combo, and there are times when just a small phone will do. For example, one doesn't need a VPL+VP combo when visiting Magic Mountain (coaster theme park) for a day. Just a phone. I just simply pop out the SIM card from the VP and into my Ericsson T28W, and viola, I'm good to go.
    Experience is what happens when something unexpected comes up.
  12. #12  
    Originally posted by mmendo1

    1.) It is really that simple. Just pop out the SIM card out of the Treo and into the GSM cell phone of your choice. You can get some really good GSM cell phones on Ebay for relatively low prices.
    You have to be careful with the Ebay route. Make sure you are dealing with the person who had the phone activated. VoiceStream will request to contact them before they unlock the phone. It took me many, many phone calls and much aggravation to get this done.
  13. #13  
    I bought a treo this past Saturday and went around in suburban MD and in DC on my daily rounds with it using VoiceStream, and with my wife's digital/analog Cingular phone. The results:
    Outdoors: both always had the full 4 bars.
    Indoors in MD: Cingular always had a good to ex signal. Treo would generally lose signal altogether when I got too far from the entrance. In White Flint Mall, Cingular always worked, Treo only worked in a few fairly small areas.
    Indoors in DC: The treo often worked, but Cingular always worked. The one interesting thing is that in my interior office (no window alas) on the 6th floor of a 10 story building, my treo almost always had a decent singal, whereas Cingular had either a poor signal or no signal.
    DC Metro underground stations: neither cell worked at all. However, a Metro worker said that Verizon had the stops hooked up.
    OVERALL: I don't really need the phone feature as a necessity, and we can use my wife's if we really need the best connectivity, and I hope to go abroad more than I do now, and I got it at Best Buy for (in effect $250), and I think it is neat, so I am happy. But otherwise, I don't think I would have bought it. However, if coverage doesn't improve in a year when my contract runs out, and if there are other options then, I may reconsider. I hope that with Deutsche Telekom's $$ they are going to in-fill coverage, not just expand to new areas that they will also cover poorly.
  14. #14  
    I, too, am waiting to buy the color Treo this summer and trying to decide whether to buy the GSM or CDMA version. I've had a VDX+Visorphone with Voicestream for almost a year and can share my experiences.

    The GSM coverage on Voicestream is not nearly as good as the CDMA network on Verizon (although it's as good as AT&T's TDMA network). I've never tried Sprint, so I can't make that comparison, although I suspect Sprint's is better than Voicestream's. Verizon has the best network here in the northeast, and the difference is really noticeable outside the major metro areas. Voicestream is very spotty, and I've been disappointed. Even in the cities, it frequently drops off. Outside the cities, fugeddaboudit. I've found this to be consistently true here in NYC as well as the Boston area, Washington DC, the NY/NJ/Connecticut suburbs and other parts of New England as well as Chicago and parts of California where I've traveled.

    So I'd be leaning toward the CDMA version if it wasn't for the SIM card. I love it! The VDX/Visorphone combo is ridiculous to carry around all the time. On weekends (and more and more during the week) I slip the SIM card out of the Visorphone and into a tiny Nokia I picked up. I can carry my phone with me anywhere. So the next unknown is just how comfortable I'll be with the Treo. It's a lot smaller than the Visorphone, for sure, but will I be happy just slipping it into my pants pocket when I'm out and about? If not, I'd better get the GSM phone with the SIM card. I haven't actually held the Treo in my hand yet, so I don't know.

    Ultimately, I think the deciding factor will be the always-on e-mail networks -- how well they work and what kind of plans Voicestream and Sprint will offer. In my opinion, that's the "last mile" of functionality in my quest for the ultimate communications gadget. It turned out that e-mail was the killer app that made Visorphone worthwhile for me even though it's bigger and bulkier than carrying around a separate Visor and cellphone. But e-mail is slow and awkward on the Visorphone, so I'm looking forward to Blackberry-style e-mail combined with my beloved Palm software and cellphone, all in one small box -- as long as the plans aren't a total rip-off!

    Yes, I know it's an awful lot of angst going into this next gadget decision. But when it costs 600 bucks to make a mistake, you want to get it right the first time.
  15. #15  
    I believe the Sprint+color Treo will be a good combo especially if it comes 3G.
    The key difference is how sprint will charge you for browsing versus voicestream. With voicestream it's just part of your minutes(non-GPRS) but sprint charges you separately on top of your regular minutes.

    Cost is another problem especially with the new sony-erriccson and sendo phones coming out this year as well. $500-700 for the color treo with activation will hurt for sure.
    it's an endless search of temporary joys
  16. #16  
    Originally posted by burn
    I believe the Sprint+color Treo will be a good combo especially if it comes 3G.
    The key difference is how sprint will charge you for browsing versus voicestream. With voicestream it's just part of your minutes(non-GPRS) but sprint charges you separately on top of your regular minutes.
    If you sign up for Sprint's wireless web ($5/month), data calls come out of your monthly allotment of voice minutes, no other charges. If you don't sign up for the wireless web, data calls are billed at thirty-something cents per minute.

    However, this will likely not be the case when their 3G network is launched. Since this will be an always-on sort of thing, per minute charges would surely skyrocket quickly if that were the case. I suspect Sprint will charge by the amount of data downloaded. I just hope they'll have an unlimited data useage plan.

    Marty
  17. #17  
    I currently own a Samsung I-300. But, i am planning to purchase the Treo 270. I am currently on sprint. My greatest desire is to be able to Quickly send and recieve SMS with the phone. I can recieve them easily enough with the I-300, but to respond, i have to dial in and it takes forever. I know the CDMA/Sprint Treo 270 is scheduled this summer along with their updated network (3G?). Does anyone know if i will then be EASILY able to recieve and SEND SMS via this phone with Sprint. OR,... should i just make the switch to Cingular/Voice Stream and wait for the GPRS upgrade.

    I don't care too much about speed of browsing on the net. What i reallllllly care about is quick/effiecient SMS to and from my office. Thanks.

    Jeff.
  18. #18  
    if sms is what you want, dont go with sprint. their email and text setup is more cumbersome and require you to be online to send messages.
  19. #19  
    halford wrote:
    Does anyone know if i will then be EASILY able to recieve and SEND SMS via this phone with Sprint. OR,... should i just make the switch to Cingular/Voice Stream and wait for the GPRS upgrade.


    Sprint's text messaging only works between Spring phones. SMS from Cingular and Voicestream, from what I've been told, are also isolated to each network. This is the main reason why SMS hasn't critical massed in the US the way it has in Europe.
  20. #20  
    verizon, voicestream,cingular and ATT can send SMS to other carriers. sprint can receive from but cannot send.
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