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  1.    #1  
    Hello all - first time poster. I'm ready to buy a Treo 650, and need some advice. I'm purchasing the phone for personal and business use, and will need a good data plan as I travel domestically 50% of the time. I'm currently on a contract with Cingular that is about to expire, and am thinking of switching over to Sprint.

    I don't care about customer service, per se, what I really want to know is which cellular provider has the best current and future platform? I'm in Atlanta so Cingular's service has been great. What are the main differences that an end-user should know between CDMA and GSM? What is this EV-DO stuff I keep hearing about? Should I care about GSM since I don't travel abroad?

    I really appreciate any help you might provide. I'm excited about becoming a Treo user - now I just need the right carrier!
  2. #2  
    If you don't care about customer service and price is most important and you travel mainly in large cities Sprint is your choice. EVDO won't matter as it won't be supported in the 650 anyway.

    I would never trade my Cingular for anything, I have both, you you don't realize what you have as far as customer service until you leave it. Plus Cingular is working on their upgrading thier own data, even past Edge. i don't plan on keeping my phone longer than a year or two (or that is my experieince from the past). By that time cingular will have upgraded, the phone will have upgraded or at that time I can jump to another carrier.

    In my family here, in SOCAL, I ahve three Cing>Sprint>TMaybe. When 650 is release I am buying three, moving them all Cingular and closing the other accounts. The service and the coverage is that good. Plus there are otehr smaller advatages for Cingular:
    1. Can use internet and get calls
    2. Battery life better in GSM phones
    3. Messaging reliable and much more timely.
    I don't know if this is true or not, but to my my GSm accounts seem to have better wall penetration than the CDMA. Meaning, I always have service indoors, if I have it outdoors. Often this is not the case with Sprint.

    In my experience.
  3.    #3  
    Thanks for the reply, cg. Like you, I have found both the service and reliability of Cingular to be excellent. On the few occasions that I have had to call on customer support, the experience was pleasant. What concerns me about staying with Cingular is:

    1) Data services - Cingular wants more $$ than Sprint
    2) Phone cost - Right now w/ rebates, I can get a 650 for $320. What will Cingular charge? Some have said $499 is what they are hearing.

    OTOH, your point about using the Net while receiving calls is well taken. I hadn't thought of that. If you are using the Net while on Sprint, does a caller get a busy signal or is your Net session terminated?

    Provided that Cingular gets off their duff and releases the 650 soon, I may wait. At least I can call their retention department and swing a deal - I've had Cingular service for almost 5 years.
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by GatorFan
    OTOH, your point about using the Net while receiving calls is well taken. I hadn't thought of that. If you are using the Net while on Sprint, does a caller get a busy signal or is your Net session terminated?
    from what I have heard is they go strait to voicemail and you get a voicemail alert. This is the number one reason why I would never get this phone on sprint, what's the point of having a mobile phone if you can't get calls reliably.
  5. #5  
    With Verizon (and I'm pretty sure w/ Sprint too), if you're actively using a data session, incoming calls go to voicemail, and you get a notification that you have a voicemail if the caller leaves one. However, if you're online and reading a webpage, your data session is dormant, waiting for activity (indicated by gray data arrows, instead of green). If you're data session is inactive, you can recieve calls. If you're sending or recieving data, calls go to voicemail. So when you're surfing the net, it's pretty much a 50/50 chance of recieving your phone calls.
  6. #6  
    what about if you are signed on to AIM with Verichat? If I'm signed onto Verichat, would I be able to receive phone calls still?
  7. #7  
    When you're online w/ VeriChat running in the background, I'm pretty sure it pings the server every x minutes or seconds (not sure how often). While it's doing this pinging, your data connection will be active and calls will go to voicemail. When not doing this pinging, your connection will be dormant and calls will go through.
  8. #8  
    Thanks for the reply...now that would suck if you wouldnt be able to get calls every few minutes...hmm...
  9. Minsc's Avatar
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    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by evildead
    from what I have heard is they go strait to voicemail and you get a voicemail alert. This is the number one reason why I would never get this phone on sprint, what's the point of having a mobile phone if you can't get calls reliably.
    Arrgggh! Where do people get this stuff?? The GSM Treo is no different than the CDMA Treo in this regard - if you're ACTIVELY using the data session, then calls cannot come thorugh and will instead roll to voicemail.

    This is one of those urban legends that just refuses to die.
  10. #10  
    I have been using a GSM Treo 600 for more than a year and voice overrides data (meaning if you actively surf the net and a new call comes in it will ring and data will pause/stop, once call is over data will re-initiate, aka chatter/IM will continue seamlessly).
    Never had calls forwarded to voicemail and I'm connected to the GPRS network 95% of the time (IM/ChatterEmail/Web/Stocks).
    So GPRS is different.
  11. #11  
    Minsc, it's not the Treos that operate differently, it's the GSM and CDMA networks that operate differently. Any GSM phone that uses a GPRS connection will not cause you to miss calls when you're using data. Any CDMA phone that's using a data connection will cause you to miss a call if you're actively using the data session.

    EDIT: A quick Google brought up this quote from PalmOne about the benefits of GPRS:
    ...More control over incoming phone calls you can answer phone calls even while you're checking your email. Your data call will reconnect as soon as you're off the phone...
    Last edited by splufdaddy; 01/18/2005 at 11:10 AM.
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by Minsc
    Arrgggh! Where do people get this stuff?? The GSM Treo is no different than the CDMA Treo in this regard - if you're ACTIVELY using the data session, then calls cannot come thorugh and will instead roll to voicemail.

    This is one of those urban legends that just refuses to die.
    This is not a urban legend as I have had these products for 4+ years. Calls always come through any data application.
  13. #13  
    I've tested both and GSM will indeed override an ACTIVE data transmission. CDMA rolls to voice mail only if ACTIVE transmission. That is, if in the web browser and it finished downloading a page, you will still get the phone call.

    I've also tested sending SMS messages and Sprint and Cingular receive times were about the same. It probably depends on the market and how busy things are at that time.

    GSM has the global advantage but non-Edge data network is 3-4 times slower than Sprint/Verizon. The GSM 650 will have Edge though, which is faster than Sprint but slower than upcoming EVDO.

    Sprint has the significant cost advantage, best network speed/$ ratio, cheapest messaging and same coverage as Verizon if getting the $5 roaming option.

    Cingular is not the best bang for buck but has global ability, EDGE T650 coming and doesn't have the active data/voice mail issue.

    Verizon is just plain expensive with seemingly no advantages and no T650 on the block.
    Sprint Pre, Mugen 2800mah battery
  14. Minsc's Avatar
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    #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by splufdaddy
    Minsc, it's not the Treos that operate differently, it's the GSM and CDMA networks that operate differently. Any GSM phone that uses a GPRS connection will not cause you to miss calls when you're using data. Any CDMA phone that's using a data connection will cause you to miss a call if you're actively using the data session.
    I'm sorry, but I don't believe that's correct. I think that only class A GSM phones can use both voice and data simultaneously. The GSM Treo600 is not a class A device. (although the older Treo's mentioned in the link you provided might be)

    To be honest, my only experience is with other GSM users who have consistently stated on treocentral that calls will roll to VM during active data transfer. I do know that for whatever reason GPRS seems to "drop" it's session much quicker than 1xRTT does - which might explain why there's a perception that the GSM Treo600 can do simultaneous voice/data.
  15. #15  
    Where do YOU get this stuff? Have you TRIED using a GSM Treo with data and then receiving a call? It works fine, it does suspend the data transmission.. but when you get off the phone the data transmission is back like nothing happened.

    At least when it comes to T-Mobile, this is the case..

    Quote Originally Posted by Minsc
    Arrgggh! Where do people get this stuff?? The GSM Treo is no different than the CDMA Treo in this regard - if you're ACTIVELY using the data session, then calls cannot come thorugh and will instead roll to voicemail.

    This is one of those urban legends that just refuses to die.
  16. Minsc's Avatar
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    #16  
    Guys, I'm only going off of what numerous other GSM 600 users have said. If I can get ahold of one myself, I will run some tests as I'd love to know for sure what the deal is. I've certainly been wrong before, and if I am again then I'll own up to it. In fact, my one and only real gripe with Sprint is the lack of simultaneous voice/data with 1xRTT so if the GSM 600 is truly different in this regard, then it could be enough to make me re-think my decision to stick with Sprint after my contract is up.

    Is it possible that different hardware revisions (or software revisions?) could have changed this functionality?? I wouldn't think so, but....
  17. Minsc's Avatar
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    #17  
    A quick search yielded this thread, though I've read numerous ones like it:

    http://discussion.treocentral.com/sh...&highlight=GSM
  18. #18  
    Back to the original poster's question, I agonized over switching from Sprint to a GSM carrier. I am about 12 months into a Sprint contract, and needed to replace my old phone (was suffering a number of problems...) and reached a point where the Palm functionality of the 650 made it the thing to get. I had some reception problems with the old phone in my old place and a few cell-unfriendly spots in my new place.

    Sprint service has been good for me, but they are inflexible on discounts/upgrade-rebate rules. I looked for a way to bargain it out, but the best I'd do after sorting out termination fee, etc is maybe $100 off the $600 street price by juggling a switch to another carrier, etc and taking my chances on eBay etc. Since Cingular doesn't sell in my area, I'd be on my own to juggle the purchase of an unlocked GSM when they come out, setting up service with Cingular i.e. using an address in a Cingular area, or getting with another AT&T affiliate, no EDGE offered in my area at this time. So...

    Went with Sprint again and upgraded at a retail store. Since I did my upgrade while I am still on the road I'll find out what I am in for in terms of service at home next week. As much as I wanted to go GSM/Cingular due to a pending work-related move in 15-18 months possibly to Europe, my scenario pointed me back to Sprint for now. I took the hit on price/rebates/incentives now, but when I move I will be free contract-wise to go for brand new service with whomever and hopefully transition to whatever new Treo or similar thing is out at that time...

    I wish I would have saved some cash on this upgrade, but the phone is so useful that I've about forgotten what it cost. I've barely scratched the surface on what I think I will use it for. Next up is GPS, probably with Tom Tom Nav, and a Golf app. As far as GPS, I've heard a little about AGPS through Sprint coming sometime, and wonder whether it'll be as good as or better than the Leaktek 9537 I am checking out and how long before that arrives, any news there?
  19. #19  
    Yes, back to the original question, it comes down to where you are and what you will do with the phone. For most of us, we still need an excellent phone with clear reception and good coverage. In my area, Portland Oregon, (and the Pacific Northwest generally) coverage and clarity seems to be, best to worst: Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, Cingular/ATT. I'd like the choice to be between the better CDMA/GSM pair in my area, but unfortunately its between Sprint's "fair" and Cingular's "lousy." Secondarily if you look at data plans, Sprint's the clear winner over Cingular. Customer service seems variable among all of them, depending on who you get in the store or on the phone. Translation: they all pretty much suck. If you're currently going overseas a lot then maybe you have to settle for Cingular. I'm going with Sprint for now. Can't wait for Verizon or T-Mobile, who in my informal but extensive poll of friends and family are superior and pretty good, respectively, in this region.
  20. #20  
    packrat, go with the $5 Sprint roaming and you'll have exact coverage as Verizon. Verizon coverage is not really better than Sprint because their maps include roaming, which is 'free' but overall not less than Sprint.
    Sprint Pre, Mugen 2800mah battery
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