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  1. Psykik's Avatar
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       #1  
    Hi,
    I am one of the many waiting to see Verizon offer the Treo 600. Both my wife and I currently have phones through Excel Telecommunications that are used on the Sprint network. Living in the Long Island area (NYC suburbs), our Samsung SCH-3500 phones have worked very well. In our travels, we have not been disappointed. Unfortunately, my wife's phone is so worn, it barely works. I have read enough to see that for a higher price, the service for Verizon is largely considered superior to the others. Of this I don't intend to debate. I am trying to hold out until Verizon supports a decent PDA phone like the Treo 600, but might soon have to make a move due to the phone issues above.

    I am rather technically savvy, but can't come off with a very secure feeling that I can accurately compare the costs/services between Sprint and Verizon.

    Here is the scenario- perhaps someone with greater experience can shed some light on my questions:

    I would like to purchase a Treo 600 and add a second phone, a decent unit for my wife- one that does not need a camera or web service. On Sprint, I am not entirely sure which plan(s) would support the true use of the Treo 600 for web browsing and email retrieval. I guess that I might use the Treo for web access 20 minutes or so every few days, however depending upon my situation or location, this might increase (like a few hours in a weekend away from home). Both my wife and I have 300 minute plans which I never exceed and she did maybe once. As we travel from time to time, the flexibility of avoiding the roaming rates may be worth the several dollars each month.

    I really do not get a sense of how to consider the offerings by Verizon and Sprint based on the above needs. I defer to this forum rather than CSR's for obvious reasons.

    Any caveats or concerns related to the service offerings (quality of signal notwithstanding, since that is apparently not under dispute).

    The bottom line is that it appears to me that to have unlimited access to wireless web with Verizon will be FAR more costly than Sprint. Not sure about the plans for occasional web access.

    Finally, if one keeps their Treo online, to accept SMS or IM or to periodically check for email, do any of these require continuous minute usage?

    Owning a Palm IIIe, a alphanumeric pager and a cell phone, I am trying to make sense of what future costs may be.

    Thanks,
    Rob
    Long Beach, NY
  2. #2  
    With pretty much any Sprint plan (e.g. a 300 minute plan), you can add a second phone to share minutes for $20 / month, and add unlimited Vision (data) for $15 / phone. Data access does not chew up your minutes; but something like being connected to IM does ping the web periodically, so you'll need unlimited data - you'll find yourself using IM/web/etc. more and more frequently. I don't know of any non-expensive unlimited Verizon plans.

    I have a VZ Wireless card for my laptop, and I'd consider coverage between VZ and Sprint to be pretty comparable. There are a few places I get VZ coverage and not Sprint, and vice-versa. Almost noplace where I get neither.
  3. #3  
    Reposting a comparison I did between VZ and SprintPCS:

    Comparison between Treo 600 on SprintPCS using PDANet and the Verizon PC3220 card on Verizon's CDMA 1xRTT network:

    In summary - the average ping latency, throwing out one outlyer for each network, was almost the same - right around
    between 410 and 480ms. The tracert didn't add any information - it didn't work for Sprint, and didn't show where
    the latency was for Verizon.

    Detail:
    Sprint PCS PDANet: one bar, connected at 145.0 Kbps
    Pinging www.yahoo.akadns.net [216.109.118.79] with 32 bytes of data:
    Reply from 216.109.118.79: bytes=32 time=535ms TTL=45
    Reply from 216.109.118.79: bytes=32 time=393ms TTL=45
    Reply from 216.109.118.79: bytes=32 time=712ms TTL=45
    Reply from 216.109.118.79: bytes=32 time=2064ms TTL=45 [OUTLIER]
    Ping statistics for 216.109.118.79:
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
    Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 393ms, Maximum = 2064ms, Average = 926ms
    Ping statistics for 216.109.118.79:
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
    Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 370ms, Maximum = 506ms, Average = 416ms
    Ping statistics for 216.109.117.206:
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
    Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 336ms, Maximum = 494ms, Average = 417ms
    Tracing route to www.yahoo.akadns.net [216.109.118.76]
    over a maximum of 30 hops:
    1 * * * Request timed out.
    2 * ^C

    Verizon: one bar, connected at 115 Kbps
    Pinging www.yahoo.akadns.net [66.94.230.38] with 32 bytes of data:
    Reply from 66.94.230.38: bytes=32 time=3873ms TTL=48 [OUTLIER]
    Reply from 66.94.230.38: bytes=32 time=642ms TTL=49
    Reply from 66.94.230.38: bytes=32 time=665ms TTL=49
    Reply from 66.94.230.38: bytes=32 time=383ms TTL=48
    Ping statistics for 66.94.230.38:
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
    Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 383ms, Maximum = 3873ms, Average = 1390ms
    Ping statistics for 66.94.230.32:
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
    Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 405ms, Maximum = 546ms, Average = 479ms
    Ping statistics for 66.94.230.32:
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
    Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 415ms, Maximum = 529ms, Average = 465ms
    Ping statistics for 66.94.230.32:
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
    Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 388ms, Maximum = 563ms, Average = 479ms
    Tracing route to www.yahoo.akadns.net [66.94.230.32]
    over a maximum of 30 hops:
    1 332 ms 579 ms 339 ms 10.208.144.29
    2 434 ms 339 ms 519 ms 98.sub-66-174-14.myvzw.com [66.174.14.98]
    3 352 ms 438 ms 359 ms 161.sub-66-174-14.myvzw.com [66.174.14.161]
    4 448 ms 362 ms 535 ms 9.sub-66-174-105.myvzw.com [66.174.105.9]
    5 354 ms 460 ms 357 ms 65.sub-66-174-104.myvzw.com [66.174.104.65]
    6 451 ms 400 ms 617 ms sl-gw23-pen-1-0-1.sprintlink.net [144.228.179.73]
    7 347 ms 460 ms 358 ms sl-bb26-pen-0-5.sprintlink.net [144.232.5.33]
    8 595 ms 698 ms 601 ms sl-bb22-pen-9-0.sprintlink.net [144.232.16.57]
    9 480 ms 903 ms 474 ms sl-bb23-pen-15-0.sprintlink.net [144.232.8.177]
    10 516 ms 356 ms 539 ms sl-bb26-nyc-4-0.sprintlink.net [144.232.20.94]
    11 493 ms 358 ms 539 ms sl-bb20-nyc-15-0.sprintlink.net [144.232.13.10]
    12 348 ms 459 ms 379 ms so-1-3.core1.NewYork1.Level3.net [209.244.160.185]
    13 456 ms 358 ms 559 ms ae-0-54.bbr2.NewYork1.Level3.net [64.159.17.98]
    14 492 ms 539 ms 518 ms so-0-0-0.bbr1.SanJose1.Level3.net [64.159.1.133]
    15 527 ms 438 ms 599 ms ge-9-0.ipcolo3.SanJose1.Level3.net [64.159.2.9]
    16 453 ms 539 ms 440 ms unknown.Level3.net [64.152.69.30]
    17 580 ms 438 ms 619 ms UNKNOWN-66-218-82-230.yahoo.com [66.218.82.230]
    18 456 ms 559 ms 458 ms p1.www.scd.yahoo.com [66.94.230.32]
    Trace complete.
  4. #4  
    Rob,

    My opinion is really based on the reception you are likely to get (or not get) in the areas that you tend to frequent. I live in Woodside, Queens and although I will always prefer Verizon to Sprint, I have to admit that the package that Sprint offers is pretty compelling. Plus, I'm not a zealot. I go with what works. On any given day, I prefer Verizon for my needs. But it's not like EVERYONE is unhappy with Sprint.

    But let's look at what you said. Take for instance what you said about your calling habits. If I read your posting correctly, you and your wife each have a phone with 300 minutes each. As I read it, you don't have any "family share" plan. So I am assuming that you spend something on the order of $35 a month (before taxes and fees) for each phone. So you're paying something like $70 a month.

    If you go with Sprint directly, you can go for the Sprint Free and Clear America for $100 for 1800 minutes. I know... this is way too many minutes for you... but hear me out. For the 1800 minute plan, you qualify for a free second phone with Vision for $25 per month and you share the minutes. So now your cost is $125 per month. You get a free phone for your wife and you get the Treo 600 with unlimited Vision.

    If you want unlimited SMS (useful if you intend to use Verichat for IM), then add $5 per month.

    If you want off network roaming, that's $5 more a month. Personally, I don't know if it's worth it on Long Island. Sprint's Free and Clear roaming only trips onto Verizon when it cannot get ANY Sprint signal. It will hang onto the absolutely worst Sprint signal even if a Verizon signal would be full strength. So since there is usually at least a weak Sprint signal in most places on the Island, I can't imagine how useful this feature might actually be.

    There are other options as well where the nickle-and-dime you for $5 here and there. You have to choose if they are relevant. 7 p.m. nights would also seem useless since you will have a bucketload of minutes anyway.

    Then you have Verizon.

    First off, they don't even have the Treo yet. But you already know that.

    $89 a month will get you 800 minutes for both phones lines. That's the closest to get to your combines current total of 600 minutes that you and your wife currently use. Let's say that they DO have the Treo line and you have that phone. Assuming that Verizon maintains the unlimited data for PDAs option, then your data plan is $45 per month. You need unlimited if you plan to use a instant messaging and the like. So then your monthly cost is $144 a month.

    This is a really, really rough comparison. Most carrier plans are designed to make such comparison's difficult. But these are roughly similar from cost and capability.

    So $125 for Sprint and $144 for Verizon. What's the difference? Better reception for the most part from Verizon. Better customer service from Verizon should you need it (hopefully not).

    What do you get better with Sprint... In my opinion. A fairly robust data network which is arguably better than Verizon's (same technology though). More minutes for you and your wife. And some options which are cheaper (SMS packages are cheaper, insurance is essentially the same).

    If you like Sprint service, they stay with them, though not through Excel. But if you want the coverage of Sprint and don't mind paying the extra few dollars a month, then hang out with the rest of us and wait for them to release the Treo......

    Hopefully......

    Hope that helps!
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by ericdfairchild
    Reposting a comparison I did between VZ and SprintPCS:

    Comparison between Treo 600 on SprintPCS using PDANet and the Verizon PC3220 card on Verizon's CDMA 1xRTT network:

    Sprint PCS PDANet: one bar, connected at 145.0 Kbps
    Verizon: one bar, connected at 115 Kbps
    Those bandwidth numbers (Sprint: 145Kbps, Verizon: 115Kbps) are the first I've seen where Sprint beats Verizon. Does the data actually move that fast? Is there any way to find an average? I'll need to usually get at least 128Kbps to listen to MP3 streams - I thought Verizon would be the way to go. This is actually the make/break criterion for my purchase decision.
  6. #6  
    Those are the rates it actually connects at; the actual throughput rates generally are around 40 - 60% of those rated rates in good coverage. The throughput is sometimes higher when in good coverage and doing large downloads (I can get close to full throughput when downloading a multi-MB file through VZ), but the latency isn't that much better than through a dial up, so screen to screen web browsing isn't truly twice or three times as good as a 56K dial up - the rates are like 15 - 30% of those rates when downloading lots of little things.

    But, in terms of raw throughput, I think the general consensus is that Sprint and VZ are on par with each other.
  7. Psykik's Avatar
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       #7  
    Steve, thanks for making more sense out of comparing the choices between Verizon and Sprint. As far as voice services are concerned, I never really get very close to my 300 minutes and my wife maybe once went over. As far as my wife's usage, she simply wants a phone- no camera, no web access...so, for me, it was really a matter of how using a web enabled PDA phone like the Treo 600 would complicate the mix. I would certainly find a reason to check my mail and a few web pages here and there. I am hopelessly gadget driven- from traveling with my assorted ham radio equipment, shortwave radio, GPS, and the list goes on!

    Be well,
    Rob
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by ericdfairchild
    Detail:
    Sprint PCS PDANet: one bar, connected at 145.0 Kbps
    Is the Sprint connection really at 145kbps? I use PDANet as well with a Treo 600 and everytime I connect, I get that same number as well. I'm tending to think that is the connection speed between the laptop and Treo, not the Treo and the internet. First of all, its kind of suspiscous that you get that same number everytime (day or night does not matter, same # everytime) and second, the technology Sprint is using (1xRTT) is only capable of a max of 144kbps. I think the PDANet software developers intentionally set the connection speed between the Treo and laptop at 1kbps over whatever the max download speed is (144kbps) so as to make sure there wasn't a bottleneck between the Treo and laptop as far as data throughput rates go. For some reason, the Windows software reports this number and not the actual connection speed. However, if you go to dslreports.com and run one of their tests, you should get a more accurate number. 115kbps is what I tend to get as well with my laptop and Treo 600.

    No one will ever get the max connection speed (144kbps), Sprint couldn't even achieve that number in their testing of the 1xRTT network before they launched it. Its more a theoretical number of what the max could be so if Sprint can't achieve it, I doubt one of us with a Treo 600 and network traffic to deal with would be able to go 1kbps above the max.

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