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  1.    #1  
    Ok, spoke with Sprint CSR and a high level Sprint PCS 3g tech this AM. I talked with him for over a half hour (the tech). He told me that he is one of only 3 of the top tier 3g techs in the nation. He seemed like he knew what he was talking about and we extremely helpful.

    Here's the dirt. 3g is active. It's been active since Thursday when I was provisioned but wasn't "officially" active until Sunday. If you have a treo 300 and can do any sort of data connection, you ARE on 3g. There is physically no other way that this device can receive any sort of data unless the data is transmitted by 3g. So rest assured, if you are receving data on your Treo 300, you are receiving it over the 3g network, and only the 3g network.

    Now, 3g is SLOW right now for most people. He explained this to me as essentially "growing pains" -- Sprint needs to expand the capacity of this network and gradually switch over some of its sites from the old 2g to the new 3g. As they do this, network capacity and bandwidth will increase "eventually." There is no ETA on this, but as time goes by we can all expect to see our speeds increase. I suppose this depends in large part on what area of the country / service area you are in. It also, of course, depends on time of day on the 3g network. The more users, the less bandwidth to go around, and the slower we all go (i.e. Cable Modem).

    Next, BLAZER has been suggested in this forum to be somewhat of a pig as far as performance goes. I don't want to start a flame war here. I'm sure it's a fine product. I also like the fact that it's built into the ROM on the Treo so it's not taking up additional space (if you delete the cache). I am going to try some other browsers tonight as I have time (Suggestions from anyone greatly appreciated).

    In my own personal experience, here is what I have noticed. Say I go to trecentral.com (the main page, not the PDA enabled version) and load up the main page. Takes maybe 90 seconds. Then go to the discussion pages, load that, takes maybe 90 seconds again. Now, click the BACK arrow and load the previously cached main page back into memory. Takes about 20 seconds! This IMHO is pretty slow to load a cached page. I realize that my Treo 300 is not a Pentium 4 or anything, but I would hope that there are better performing browsers out there. As one user suggested, perhaps half the problem we are seeing here is that Blazer in itself is not a very high performance broswer, and it was designed at a time when max data speed over wireless was around 9600 baud. Now that we have data coming into Blazer at a higher speed, perhaps Blazer is actually struggling to keep up and this may contribute to the performance hit and maybe even some of the "burst" like behavior we see (e.g. Blazer gets full of data, has to pause downloading while it dumps output to the screen / memory, and then starts drinking up data again)? This is all fairly theoretical but I plan to put it to the test later tonight if I have time, by comparing results on same pages with two different browsers.

    Now, what should those two different browsers (or 3 different?) be??

    I can somewhat vouch for the initially slow but steadily increasing speed of 3g, as on Friday night when I was first activated data was VERY slow (500 bps) but yesterday (Monday) I started to see dramatic bursts in the data. Those correlate with how many users are on the system at any given moment. The bursts in data are actually dips in the number of users requesting data. Eventually, hopefully, we can all look forward to more even performance across the network, with data speeds closer to the burst speeds that some of us have been reporting.

    Also, if you are on the SPCS nationwide network and able to use the Treo 300 you WILL receive 3g data service. As long as you are on the Sprint network you are on 3g. I live in an outlying area with partial coverage and I do get 3g. It's an "all or nothing" type of deal. If you're on Sprint PCS you'll have access to 3g. Of course, you may have slower data speeds depending on where you are in the network based on user load and also based on how much Sprint PCS "hardware" is in the area to support 3g data services.

    Sharing minutes: You CAN share minutes with a 3g and a non 3g phone on the same plan. Obviously the 2g phone will not be able to share any of the megs of data. If you later upgrade your plan to add a second 3g phone (two 3g's on the same account) instead of sharing megs you get a separate "bucket" of megabytes for the other phone. In other words, as it was explained to me, the megs are never shared. Each phone has its own pool of megabytes. There are NO PROBLEMS sharing a phone plan between a 3g and a 2g phone. This is entirely possible, I am doing it now. Any sprint rep that tells you otherwise, politely thank them, hang up, and dial *2 again until you get someone who knows what they are talking about.

    Finally, a little known fact that could save you some $$. I was originally on the $89.99 plan with 800 anytime, 5200 night and weekend, 8 megs (shared plan). I was told by my SPCS rep at that time that I had to go to a plan $79.99 or higher to get the add a phone free -- otherwise if I went to the cheaper plans, it would be $20 to add the second phone. I have just confirmed with 2 different SPCS reps that they are no longer charging for add a phone, of any kind, on any plan (up to 1 extra phone, if you add more than 1 phone I believe there is a charge if you go to say, 3 phones etc). Thus, I altered my plan down to the $44.99 per month plan which is 500 anytime, 4000 night and weekends, and 2 megs. This is $44.99 for both phones, no extra charges for adding a second phone. This is considerably cheaper than my old 2g plan, where they WERE charging if you had an add a phone. For those of you with add a phone on 2g you might consider switchng your plan for this reason alone. It is saving me almost 30 bucks a month, I have the same exact calling plan (except night start at 9pm instead of 8pm, bummer) and I get 2 megs of data on top of it.

    For the time being I am sticking with 2 megs. Why? First, the data is free for the first 3 months (this is confirmed and true -- yes your data is free for the first 3 month -- HOWEVER, I get conflicting reports on whether it is UNLIMITED free data or just free data within your alloted quota.. not sure on that). Secondly, I am only at 2 megs now because I am not convinced that the service will be fast enough for me to realistically want to use it for more than the occaisional web browsing. It's just too slow right now. I can always add more megs later.

    Finally, my observations from the last 24 hours dealing with Sprint lead me to conclude that they actually know what they are doing now. Hold times are way down (almost non-existent) and of the 4 SPCS reps I spoke to in the last 24 hours I got consistent information from people who seemed to know what they are talking about (gasp!). I think the rough period is over, and Sprint has their act more together at this point. There will still be bumps in the road but for the most part I think we are out of the woods. For those of you debating activation I'd say go for it now.

    So, 3g is officially "active" and has been since Monday. It's going to be slow for an indefinite period, but will gradually increase in speed. No ETA for that. Sprint seems to know more about what they are doing now, and overall I give them the thumbs up. There 3g plans are not as pricey as you would anticipate, if you are adding a second phone that is. The bonus of no charge for adding an additional phone could save previous 2g users a good sum of money, enough to justify the apparent cost increase of going to 3g.

    I hope that some of this information helps the rest of you with Treo 300's or those of you considering activating 3g with Sprint. I am not currently happy with the speed that I am getting with 3g. I was not very happy with the service I was getting from Sprint, but I think things are improving on that front. I am pretty happy with the Treo 300 as a phone and a PDA and would really hesitate to give it up. Overall, Treo 300 + Sprint PCS is a good combination, which I hope in time will get MUCH better (we've got a long way to go on the data bandwidth issue).

    Time will tell. I encourage all of you to keep this forum up to date with your data bandwidth results, benchmarks, and concerns...
  2. #2  
    Was speaking to my cousin. Is a wireless guru with a Phd in communications. He said expect performance near or equal to that of a 56k dial-up connection from this new service from pcs. Also, the more people start 'browsing' or are 'on' in a given area , expect the speed to slow down.
  3.    #3  
    Originally posted by mictreo
    Was speaking to my cousin. Is a wireless guru with a Phd in communications. He said expect performance near or equal to that of a 56k dial-up connection from this new service from pcs. Also, the more people start 'browsing' or are 'on' in a given area , expect the speed to slow down.
    We're seeing performance nowhere near a 56k dialup at the moment. I can only hope that as time goes by it will get to be that fast. Right now, I would say it's slightly slower than a 14.4 modem.
  4. #4  
    doctorc,

    did you catch the name of the rep who told you "no extra charge for adding 1 phone"? Also, I continue to see this 500 anytime, 2MB data, etc. for $44.99. I don't see this anywhere, unless the sprint web site has been updated since last night... Is it $44.99 after the $10 deduction for the 1st 3 months of Vision???

    Thanks
    nobull
  5.    #5  
    Originally posted by nobull
    doctorc,

    did you catch the name of the rep who told you "no extra charge for adding 1 phone"? Also, I continue to see this 500 anytime, 2MB data, etc. for $44.99. I don't see this anywhere, unless the sprint web site has been updated since last night... Is it $44.99 after the $10 deduction for the 1st 3 months of Vision???

    Thanks
    nobull
    No it's $44.99 prior to the deduction (so would be $34.99 with the deduction).

    Also the "no charge for adding a second phone" is apparently a mistake. Some SPCS reps are telling customers this but I have been told by other SPCS reps that this does NOT apply to the lower end plans. In order to get no charge for adding a second phone you have to jump to the $109.99 per month plan (I laughed out loud at the SPCS rep when she suggested this).

    So far, I've been told by two reps that it IS $20 to add a second phone, and I've been told by two other reps that it is NOT $20 to add a separate phone and it is in fact free now to add a second phone. I'm more likely to believe the former rather than the latter, but I don't really believe anything Sprint tells me any more. I'll believe my first bill -- lets hope they can at least get that right (knock on wood).

    Interesting point though -- there are NO family plans listed on the SPCS web site any more, nor are there any mentions of any charges for adding a second phone (INCLUDING on the My Plan page where it clearly states "these minutes are shared between two phone" -- but it does not say anything about an extra charge for this).
  6. #6  
    What zip code are you using to see a 500 mins for $44.99. The plans for L.A. (and I checked Philly) are:

    $49.99 for 350
    $59.99 for 500

    Big difference!

    I too noticed the lack of family plans. That would be a nice incentive to me (even more if I could find your magic 500 for 44.99 plan!)
  7. #7  
    mpk,

    same costs for Raleigh, NC as well...doctorc, how'd you pull this beauty of a deal?

    nobull
  8. #8  
    If you read one of his other posts it says that they let him keep his old plan which must have been from a sweet promotion (certainly not one they have now!)

    Oh well..
  9. #9  
    I got 2000 anytime minutes for $89 to be shared on two phones. I paid an extra $10 for 2000 additional anytime minutes between Sprint phones.

    I get 2mb of data, but I'll probably increase that.
  10.    #10  
    Originally posted by mpk65281
    If you read one of his other posts it says that they let him keep his old plan which must have been from a sweet promotion (certainly not one they have now!)

    Oh well..
    No, no... in fact, this is no special deal. It's just a non-advertised special on from Sprint PCS.

    I'd say there are probably a whole BUNCH of these that are not in the SPCS brochure nor are they on the web site.

    For example, the plan I had prior to this was $89.99 for 800 anytime 5200 night and weekends with 8 megs, shared minutes between two phones (of course whether or not they will charge $20 extra for the other phone remains to be seen as I've got half the reps telling me one thing and half telling me the other).

    That plan above (the $89.99 one) is in no way listed on the SPCS web site or the brochure, as far as I can remember.

    Thus, there are a LOT of plans listed internally at SPCS that are not available for public viewing as of yet.

    All I did was call and say "Give me the absolute CHEAPEST plan for 3g service." and the rep came back with that one. I was like "Ok, I'll take that!"

    Call them up at *2, give them the details of that plan, make them look it up -- it is there. They can give it to you. No special deal, just not advertised for whatever reason. Might want to probe them even a little more deeply to find out if there are any MORE special deals (e.g. more megabytes or something) that they are not yet talking about.

    Oh yah, with this, as with all other 3g, the first 3 months of data are free, but I am still unclear as to whether or not it is UNLIMITED free data or only free data within your 2 meg / 8 meg / whatever meg quota (i.e. exceed your quota and you're gonna get charged $100 per kilobyte or whatever they are killing us for these days).
  11. #11  
    To get that plan, did you have to sign up for a sprint advantage agreement? If so, for how many years?
  12. #12  
    I'm waiting for my Treo to ship, but when I talked with Sprint they told me there was a 2 year commitment. The HandSpring site says 1 year and that is not correct. I called HandSpring after talkign with Sprint and the folks at HandSpring verified with me on the phone that the commitment is 2 years not 1. But they have not updated their web site.
  13.    #13  
    Originally posted by paulsjmail
    To get that plan, did you have to sign up for a sprint advantage agreement? If so, for how many years?
    yep they are trapping us for 2 years now. nice huh
  14. #14  
    My plan is 800/5200/9PM/8MB/2phones/1year for $69, so apparently no extra change for 2 phones
  15. #15  
    Originally posted by doctorc


    yep they are trapping us for 2 years now. nice huh
    Yea pretty tricky indeed.

    They do allow you to go month-to-month for an extra $10 a month. But if you lock into the 2 year deal you have to pay over a hundred bucks to get out early .

    Good deal you got there ijablokov. I'll have to ask about that one when I activate mine. I wonder if they give people better deals in different regions?
  16.    #16  
    Originally posted by ijablokov
    My plan is 800/5200/9PM/8MB/2phones/1year for $69, so apparently no extra change for 2 phones
    Did they specifically tell you no charge for the extra phone? That is the exact same plan I have that I was told was $89 (Shows up as $69 in the SCPS My Account web page) but two separate reps told me it will actually be $89 because of the add a phone (Which of course they don't show anywhere on the web site nor on your My Account page.... tricky). I would call to confirm. You'll probably get 2 different stories each time you call, but you might want to make sure if that extra $20 a month is an issue for you.
  17. #17  
    I live in Charlotte, NC and asked them to look me up a nationwide Vision family plan, since they didn't have anything posted on the web. I told them what I wanted (between 750 and 1000 daytime minutes, 8mb) and the rest just fell into place.

    I asked for the location of the family plans on the web so I could follow what they were doing and they were surprised that they weren't posted online.
  18. #18  
    Here's the specifics... Voice dialing is included... I was paying more for 500/1500/2phones/voicedial than this plan...

    $69.99 PCS FREE & CLEAR WITH VISION
    MINUTES ARE SHARED ON THIS PLAN
    ALL MINUTES INCLUDE LONG DISTANCE
    800 ANYTIME MINUTES
    5200 NIGHT AND WEEKEND MINUTES
    NIGHTS: M-TH 9PM-7AM WKND: F 9PM-M 7AM
    8 MB OF PCS VISION
    8 MB = 8192 KB
    DATA IS NOT SHARED
    CALLER ID, CALL WAITING
    THREE-WAY CALLING
    VOICEMAIL
  19. #19  
    WhenI talked to Sprint they did mention it would cost an extra $20 for an extra phone.

    It really does not seem that it would be legal for them to tell anyone a price quote and not mention the $20 fee when they know that person has 2 phones on their plan. Maybe if you catch a rep that does not mention the $20 fee have them put all the details IN WRITTING.
  20.    #20  
    Originally posted by darnell
    WhenI talked to Sprint they did mention it would cost an extra $20 for an extra phone.

    It really does not seem that it would be legal for them to tell anyone a price quote and not mention the $20 fee when they know that person has 2 phones on their plan. Maybe if you catch a rep that does not mention the $20 fee have them put all the details IN WRITTING.
    Won't matter. Spring is pretty slick, and they will get around it. You're going to most likely be charged and extra $20 for adding the other phone, so your total cost will be $89.99 not $69.99. I would confirm with SPCS reps to be sure. I don't think you're getting the family plan for $69.99.

    For example, my plan details say that I am sharing minutes and that my plan only costs $44.99... but they still insist that even though the web site does not say it I'll be charged an extra $20 per phone.
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