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  1.    #1  
    I believe I'm going to get a Treo 650 from Cingular, but I can't find answers to some of my questions on their website. I called a local Cingular store and the fellow there said they didn't carry the Treo's because they were too unstable, and said that the Blackberry was a much better way to go. There isn't wifi available for the Blackberry though, so I don't think that would be as good for me. Here are my questions:

    1) Does Cingular give you an email address that is unique to your phone, other than the one that is your number plus the one? If that is the only one that they give you, can you still use the email software instead of just utilizing the text message stuff? I would like a unique address, because when I'm on the road I don't want to waste time and useage dealing with the spam that comes to my normal isp email address. Is it difficult or possible to check a POP3 account from a Treo? I've read a bit about "pushes", but I wouldn't want all messages automatically coming, but being able to check them and only read those of interest would be great, if possible.

    2) With the wifi sled, is there software that operates as a "sniffer" or whatever they're called so that you can see if you have a signal? In reading posts here it sounds like there are problems hooking up at some hotspots. How difficult is it normally to get a connection at someplace like a Starbucks or something? Don't they normally need to give you some info. such as a password or something? I've never done any wifi at all, so please pardon my great ignorance on the subject.

    I spend a lot of the year traveling on a motorcycle all over the world. I own a business and need to stay in touch though. Even with a quad band phone I never know what time of day I might be in an area that provides coverage. In Baja last year there was coverage only around some of the towns and villages. That's why email would be great, I think I could respond to messages when I had coverage, instead of trying to make sure I'm in a coverage area, or getting a voice mail and finding it too late to call in response. I assume that if there is cell coverage that sending and receiving email isn't a problem? I also have some adventure riding web sites that I like to keep up to date with. Is the unlimmited data plan probably the best? I have no idea how many KB's checking and posting to a few websites, and a couple of emails a day might use up? The fellow at the Cingular store made it sound like the Blackberry had a much faster connection speed, as well as better coverage through the "Edge" network, which I'm not familiar with. I may find myself in areas though where I don't have cell coverage, so I thought that the wifi option would allow me to possibly hook up, even if I wasn't in a coverage area.

    Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. I've spent a lot of time reading the posts here, and on the web in general, and just can't get these answers. The fellow at the Cingular store didn't seem to confident in his answers to me either.

    It looks like Amazon has a price that beats direct from Cingular on the 650 by about $50, but I didn't see anything about being able to keep your old cell number through Amazon. I'd like to keep my current Verizon number when I switch over. Does anyone know if that's possible through Amazon? I'd like to save $50, but keeping my old number is worth more than that to me, so I can go through Cingular direct if needed.

    In the alternative, I could get a quad band Cingular phone for much less, and buy a Palm TX that already has wifi built it, use the basic email functions of the regular Cingular phone, and have a separate PDA. The big disadvantage for me would be only being able to access the web at a wifi hotspot, and not wherever I had cell coverage.
    Last edited by justJeff; 01/11/2006 at 03:47 PM. Reason: Additions
  2. #2  
    1) you can check ANY POP and IMAP email from software already included on the treo 650. you can also check yahoo, hotmail, gmail, and most other web based email thru the browser. also you are not limited to checking only one email acct. therefore you don't necessarily need an email from cingular but they do give you an email if you want.

    2) never used the sled - don't know. to use wifi at starbucks, you need to pay a fee, then they give you an account you log in with

    3) since you've already travelled all over the world, you would know that using your cell phone internationally accrues worldwide roaming charges. i'm pretty sure that even if you do sign up for an unlimited data plan, it's only within cingular's coverage network and you would either not get data service at all or be assessed hefty charges outside of the country. the treo supports edge so it would be at the same speed as blackberry
  3.    #3  
    Thanks David K.Yeah, I was nailed with some pretty hefty charges just in Canada from Verizon, it'w what they mean when they talk about "pass through" charges from other local providers outside of their network. It is one of the reasons that I'm interested in switching to Cingular, with their internation roaming plan you pay an extra monthly fee, but at least you can look at the tables and see what your per minute fee will be, with no surprises hopefully.

    I was not sure if the data network worked wherever you had cell coverage, whether roaming or not. I thought that you would have data coverage as long as you had celluar coverage, it sounds like that might not be the case? Is the data coverage a totally separate set of towers or something that might not exist outside of their US coverage area?

    On Edit: I just talked with Cingular and they told me that I would have data coverage wherever there was celluar coverage, including roaming. I'm not as concerned about the coast as I am the ability to check and send a few emails.

    I just spoke with Cingular again, and it took a while, but I was eventually told that there would be data service wherever there is voice service. Even with the unlimmited roaming plan it still incurs addtional charges when roaming. I spend quite a bit of time in Mexico and asked about the charge for data service there, and was told that it is .01 per Kilobyte. I don't know how large the average email message it, but that seems reasonable.
    Last edited by justJeff; 01/11/2006 at 07:26 PM. Reason: addition

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