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  1. jyew's Avatar
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       #1  
    I need to decide soon!

    Here's my situation.. I'm in Los Angeles, probably moving to San Diego soon. I have basic mobile service with verizon, and it seems ok. I looked at Sprint, and the calling plans are about the same as verizon, but UNLIMITED INTERNET on Sprint is only $15/mo (PCS Vision Professional).. but UNLIMITED INTERNET on Verizon is $45-50/mo (Network+Wireless Sync). Unless I'm missing something, Verizon internet seems much more expensive than Sprint. Are they not equivalent?

    Why are do so many people prefer verizon?! I've never tried Sprint, so I am hoping for some real-life feedback. I have friends who have Sprint, and a few who have the Treo 600 and 650, and they all seem to say everything works fine. Anyone have sprint in the Los Angeles/San Diego area? How's the call coverage? Dropped calls? Internet? etc..

    Also, has anyone heard about an audiovox coming out soon that is a pda/phone like the Treo, but will have broadband high-speed internet?

    I just don't know if I feel comfortable enough paying more for a sprint 650 and converting it to verizon (& voiding my warranty) and possibly screwing it up and ending up with a $599 kick-***-looking paperweight.

    Basically.. IS IT WORTH THE RISK??

    My contract is up soon with verizon, and I can just get the 650 on the Sprint network, and then I'd have support (sort of... I know they kind of suck at Sprint). Any thoughts?

    THIS GROUP IS GREAT!!! THANKS EVERYONE!!!
    -UT
  2. #2  
    When comparing Verizon and Sprint there are two major variables that you have to consider: coverage area and call quality/data quality.

    Verizon has the coverage area war won between the two. I'd recommend that you check coverage maps to determine which carrier actually has the better service in your area. Verizon wants to have coverage everywhere. Sprint wants to have the best quality of service in densely populated areas. Don't ever expect to see Sprint build towers across Wyoming or Montana. However, Sprint does offer a plan attachment that allows you to use up to half of your used minutes in roaming each month without incurring additional charges, but you wouldn't have access to data while roaming.

    The call and data quality is another story. Verizon operates and maintains towers on different bands and technologies. They have 1900 MHz CDMA towers, 800 MHz CDMA towers, and 800 MHz AMPS (old analog) towers. Obviously, there can be errors when calls are bounced around these different networks. Sprint only uses 1900 MHz CDMA towers, and their call quality when within their coverage area is, in my opinion, vastly superior. Sprint has implemented their 1xRTT data network in probably 99.5% of their voice network calling area. Verizon's 1xRTT network is probably in less than 50% of their voice network calling area. That being said, Verizon's voice networks probably more than double the area covered by Sprint's voice networks. Again, look at the map and check to see if the appropriate data services are in the areas you need them to be .

    Verizon is implementing EVDO data services in some markets. That is the high speed wireless internet you were talking about. Don't ever expect them to blanket it across their entire network. The phone you were asking about is the Audiovox XV6600 I believe, and it does support EVDO.

    Hope this helps.
  3. #3  
    UroTreo,

    To add to MisterFuhrman's good overview is the fact that while Verizon's network coverage is more extensive than Sprint's is the fact that the 800 MHz that Verizon uses across much of their network is superior to the 1900 MHz that Sprint uses because it gets better building penetration in dense metropolitan areas. This is a relative statement as well, since certain handsets are better at getting and keeping a signal than others. For example, my old Kyocera 7135 got a better signal than my current Treo 600. So the handsets will make a difference on both networks. Additionally, Verizon does not use the 800 MHz in some markets, like in Central Florida. So that will change things as well. We are talking about a VERY inexact science here.

    Hopefully other LA/SD users will be able to chime in. You might want to check out http://www.howardforums.com and search for comments in the Sprint and Verizon's forums on coverage in your areas. You will find that most of the comments, like here, are anecdotal and many people get some religious fervour over their carrier.

    My opinion? Continue your research and then make real use of the return policy from either carrier. On my own gut feeling, I would think that Verizon will be the superior carrier, but you should check on Sprint (especially since they have the new Treo 650) and see if they can provide you with a level of coverage that is acceptable to you. If not, eat the higher price that Verizon charges, but lose the option of the Treo 650.
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by MisterFuhrman
    Don't ever expect to see Sprint build towers across Wyoming or Montana.
    Actually Sprint does have coverage in Montana. I went home to Billings from Spokane Wa for Thanksgiving and had coverage on Sprint the entire trip along I-90 except for a couple of miles outside of Bozeman. Totally blew my mind but it is true. I got my 650 the day before I left and was bummed because I would be out of touch for 6 days.

    While on holiday at mom's I bought a bt adapter for my laptop and using my 650 to read here I was able to get the BT DUN hack installed and working. I was using vision on my laptop to read TC two days after Thanksgiving.

    But back on topic, verizon does have more coverage, true, but not necessarily better. And their data plans SUCK!!!
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
  5. #5  
    I have lived in the LA area for 6 years and coverage is excellent including San Diego. The data is awesome on the Treo 650 and actually comparing like minutes to like minutes, Sprint is a little cheaper.
  6. jyew's Avatar
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       #6  
    THANKS FOR ALL THE GREAT INFO..

    I think recognizing my tech-phobia, I will refrain from trying to
    adjust a sprint 650 to fit into a verizon service and just try my
    luck with the 650 on Sprint. I think the internet rates seem
    much cheaper as well. I hope I don't regret it.. but since I'm
    in a major metropolitan area.. even SD.. I think I should be ok.
    Keep those posts coming.. I'm learning a lot!

    THANKS AGAIN!!
    JYewMD@GMail.com
  7. #7  
    I'm contemplating a similar switch. I'm currently on AT&T's TDMA plan (been on it for about 5 years). I get coverage pretty much everywhere, but no one will release new phones for TDMA, so if I want to upgrade to something newer than my v60t, I'll have to either go CDMA on Sprint or Verizon or GSM forCingular or TMobile.

    In an effort to test the waters, I bought a Treo 650 last week and signed up with Sprint (knowing I had the 14 day trial to try it out). The coverage in Salt Lake City on Sprint has been great. I've not found major dead spots yet. I even get clear coverage in some of the areas that my TDMA phone would cut out. I went up to Lava Hot Springs in Idaho for New Years and that was a different story. Since the Treo can't roam on analog, I had no service in Lava at all. My v60 worked great and roamed the whole time...

    I did sign up for the expanded roaming, so theoretically, I'd have coverage wherever Sprint or Verizon has digital coverage... At least that's how I think it works.

    I'm just debating between ubiquitous coverage with older technology (TDMA), and upgrading to latest and greatest and giving up coverage when I'm out in the boonies... I imagine that Cingular will eventually let the TDMA coverage drop off as they convert cells for GSM.

    I can say that I really like the Treo. After using it for even a few days, it'll be hard to go back to just a phone if I decide to do so.

    Just my $0.02.
  8. #8  
    If you honestly want service out in the boonies, then you really need a tri-mode phone (analog as well like your v60t). Verizon usually has service in more rural areas than most. I know that's the case in areas in Wyoming where I travel somewhat frequently.

    That being said, I ditched my v60s for a Treo 600. You just can't beat the total package. Verizon allows you to switch your ESN (Electronic Serial Number) online, so if I'm going to an area I think won't have digital coverage, or where I might damage or lose my phone, I can go online and switch it to my backup v60s.

    None of my good friends have Sprint, but my Verizon coverage is usually much better than their T-Mobile or Cingular...although both are improving.

    I guess it depends on your usage. If you spend the vast majority of your time (like me) in urban/suburban areas, then you won't miss analog. With a few exceptions, I've noticed that Verizon coverage is either there with digital or non-existant.

    And I made the switch from Cingular (TDMA) to Verizon two years ago because I wanted a phone with internet access, and Cingular didn't offer any at the time because they were starting to roll out their multi-band phones that worked on TDMA and GSM. I didn't want to be part of the transition, so that (and Verizon's phone offerings at the time) made the decision easy.

    Sounds like you're going to have to make that decision pretty sood...you have to jump on a different technology, but do you do it with your same carrier or a different one?

    Verizon doesn't have the 650 yet (and I'd guess they wouldn't for a few months), but they do have the 600, which is still a very good product. Give them the same test drive that you gave Sprint and see where you are afterwards.
  9. #9  
    As a long time Verizon user, who reluctantly switched to Sprint just for the 650, I am so far pleased. The main advantage in my eyes is the Sprint data service. I feel it is a lot more reliable than Verizon data service, and I use my phone mainly for email/web.
  10. ambtreo's Avatar
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    #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by ouzome
    As a long time Verizon user, who reluctantly switched to Sprint just for the 650, I am so far pleased. The main advantage in my eyes is the Sprint data service. I feel it is a lot more reliable than Verizon data service, and I use my phone mainly for email/web.
    Ouzome -

    I just upgraded to Spring T650 from VZW T600 this week as well and I am very happy so far with both Sprint's voice network coverage, and the quality of the data. I have previously posted about my concerns with VZW's data network and the constant pinging of devices, which causes the Treo to be in active data mode nearly 40% of the time. The 650 on Sprint is rarely active, other then when you receive email (I use Chatter) or are browsing. Thus, I am missing less calls to voicemail, and I am paying $10 for Vision vs. $45 for VZW.

    Lastly, with respect to the differences in data networks, for $5/month Sprint offers free roaming - guess who the most frequent roam partner is? It's VZW's 800mhz CDMA network. Since the T650 is dual mode CDMA (800/1900) you get the benefit of access to Vzw's network in the rare instances where Sprint doesn't have coverage.

    In my view, Sprint is a far superior carrier for Treo users who are equally concerned with push email and the ability to receive calls.
  11. #11  
    ambtreo,

    I don't doubt for a moment the quality you are receiving on the Sprint network (I think it's not nearly as bad as some suggest). But after everything I have seen and read, I would probably not use Sprint's $5 roaming package as a cure-all for gaps in coverage.

    While technically it does provide Verizon coverage, the reality is that you only roam onto the Verizon network if you have absolutely NO Sprint reception whatsoever. It is not, as I have commented before, a "winner takes all" approach, where the strongest signal wins out. Since Sprint's signal is in most urban and suburban areas, the number of times that someone is likely to roam is extremely limited.

    It's greatest use is in those areas where Sprint has absolutely no service and Verizon has coverage. That's a fairly small number of areas.

    I think that Sprint's coverage will be good enough for most people, but from all the anecdotal stories I have read, the $5 roaming package tends to be a waste. Most of what I have read indicated that people who went with Sprint, even over Verizon, were pleased with the Service, but those who used the $5 roaming package removed it because they had limited, if any, roaming take place.

    Like I said, don't get me wrong, I think Sprint's fine, I would just hate to see someone go to the network for a gimmick of coverage instead of actual coverage.
  12. #12  
    Whenever I read someone mentioning rates/cost/plans when trying to decide between Sprint and VZW, I think immediately ---

    Don't hesitate -- get Sprint!

    If you go with VZW, you'll always be moaning about how much it is costing you. The cheapest CDMA provider is NOT VZW. You might want to restrict your contract to 1 year though. That is the mistake I made several years ago when cost was a priority and I was stuck for 2 years.

    Also, you might want to evaluate the calls you make. If most of those with whom you communicate are on a particular carrier, you may save due to free in-Network calling.
  13. Minsc's Avatar
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    #13  
    I think sometimes people forget that roaming with Sprint is not limited to just Verizon. There are many small/regional CDMA providers in this country. Many of whom you can roam with. In fact, when I'm roaming it's rarely with Verizon.
    Also, on a negative note, don't forget that roaming is voice only - not data. While it would be great if all the CDMA providers could get their act together and share their 1xRTT for roaming, we ain't there yet.
  14. #14  
    I also recently switched (with some anxiety at first) from Verizon to Sprint to use the Treo 650. Thus far, I've been very happy here in Denver. Two more points in helping those making the decision:

    1. JD Power's latest ratings have Sprint on top in call coverage and quality (over Verizon) in the West region: http://www.jdpower.com/cc/telecom/jd...s/Find.jsp?s=3

    2. You do not need to pay the $5/mo to roam as a Sprint subscriber. You can roam regardless: the $5/mo is a flat fee while the default is to pay per minute (.69/min, I believe?). No brainer to me.
  15. #15  
    Yeah but it looks like T-Mobile beats out both when you look at all of the other categories.
  16. #16  
    Yeah, TMo's got lightning-quick data services............
  17. ambtreo's Avatar
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    #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveNYC
    ambtreo,

    I don't doubt for a moment the quality you are receiving on the Sprint network (I think it's not nearly as bad as some suggest). But after everything I have seen and read, I would probably not use Sprint's $5 roaming package as a cure-all for gaps in coverage.

    While technically it does provide Verizon coverage, the reality is that you only roam onto the Verizon network if you have absolutely NO Sprint reception whatsoever. It is not, as I have commented before, a "winner takes all" approach, where the strongest signal wins out. Since Sprint's signal is in most urban and suburban areas, the number of times that someone is likely to roam is extremely limited.

    It's greatest use is in those areas where Sprint has absolutely no service and Verizon has coverage. That's a fairly small number of areas.

    I think that Sprint's coverage will be good enough for most people, but from all the anecdotal stories I have read, the $5 roaming package tends to be a waste. Most of what I have read indicated that people who went with Sprint, even over Verizon, were pleased with the Service, but those who used the $5 roaming package removed it because they had limited, if any, roaming take place.

    Like I said, don't get me wrong, I think Sprint's fine, I would just hate to see someone go to the network for a gimmick of coverage instead of actual coverage.
    Steve -

    Thanks for sharing your view. You are of course right that in most metropolitan areas Sprint's coverage is fine and you won't roam off their network. As I travel 2 - 4 times a year through the US, it's easier for me to pay the $60/year and never have to worry about roaming. If you can only get a roam signal and you have to use your fone, the $0.59/min can easily exceed the $60 in a short period of time.

    BTW, good luck with your 650 purchase. Let me know if the Green arrow issue still exists with the 650 on vzw.
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by UroTreo
    I need to decide soon!

    Here's my situation.. I'm in Los Angeles, probably moving to San Diego soon. I have basic mobile service with verizon, and it seems ok. I looked at Sprint, and the calling plans are about the same as verizon, but UNLIMITED INTERNET on Sprint is only $15/mo (PCS Vision Professional).. but UNLIMITED INTERNET on Verizon is $45-50/mo (Network+Wireless Sync). Unless I'm missing something, Verizon internet seems much more expensive than Sprint. Are they not equivalent?

    Why are do so many people prefer verizon?! I've never tried Sprint, so I am hoping for some real-life feedback. I have friends who have Sprint, and a few who have the Treo 600 and 650, and they all seem to say everything works fine. Anyone have sprint in the Los Angeles/San Diego area? How's the call coverage? Dropped calls? Internet? etc..

    Also, has anyone heard about an audiovox coming out soon that is a pda/phone like the Treo, but will have broadband high-speed internet?

    I just don't know if I feel comfortable enough paying more for a sprint 650 and converting it to verizon (& voiding my warranty) and possibly screwing it up and ending up with a $599 kick-***-looking paperweight.

    Basically.. IS IT WORTH THE RISK??

    My contract is up soon with verizon, and I can just get the 650 on the Sprint network, and then I'd have support (sort of... I know they kind of suck at Sprint). Any thoughts?

    THIS GROUP IS GREAT!!! THANKS EVERYONE!!!
    -UT
    IF YOU'RE MOVING TO SAN DIEGO... THE ONLY PLUS VERIZON WIRELESS HAS IS THE AUDIOVOX XV 6600 SMARTPHONE... IT SUPPORTS EV-DO (BROADBAND) WHICH IS AVAILABLE IN THE SAN DIEGO AREA... YOU'RE LOOKIN AT REAL-TIME SPEEDS BETWEEN 300-500 KBPS... WITH 2MB BURST... SPRINT ISN'T CLOSE TO LAUNCHING THEIR MOBILE BROADBAND SERVICE, MAYBE AT THE VERY END OF THE 4TH QUARTER OF THIS YEAR ... AND THATS A HUGE MAYBE... I NOW HAVE THE 650 AND I'M STILL WITH SPRINT... CAN'T BEAT $15 FOR UNLIM DATA RIGHT NOW...
  19. pump142's Avatar
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    #19  
    FWIW..Consumer reports seems to think VZW is bettert han sprint. in fact they have them as #1 in all 17 of the markets tested

    ps: no i dont work for VZW
  20. #20  
    I vote for Sprint Nextel
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