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  1.    #1  
    So I GOTTA have this phone.

    I've had cell phones since the first Motorola bag phone. I've used almost every carrier along the way. But not GSM here in the states (I live in NYC). My current carrier (for the last 4 years) is Verizon, and I'm very happy with the coverage, both here in NYC and on the road. I travel a lot, but almost always by plane, and almost always to major cities.

    When I'm out of the country, I use a simple GSM phone (Sony Ericsson T200 with a WIND SIM) that I picked up in Italy for under $100. It's unlocked, and I just swap pay-as-you-go SIMs when I travel to the UK, etc. I really like GSM.

    I don't think Verizon is going to get the T600, at least in a reasonable amount of time. I don't want to switch to Sprint; if I stay with CDMA it's gonna be on Verizon, and I don't think anyone has figured out a way to get a Sprint T600 working properly on Verizon.

    So that leaves the GSM version. My nephew has a serial number for me to take advantage of the Handspring upgrade offer, so I can get a Cingular T600 for $399, and I know that it comes unlocked, and that I can order it without a service plan. I have to do this by Monday, when the Cingular offer expires.

    I will probably put the phone on T-Mobile though, but from what I've read here, it should work just fine. I also want the ability to put it on AT&T in the future, or on Cingular, if that turns out to be better for me. Right now the T-Mobile unlimited data for $20 can't be beat.

    I would wait for the T-Mobile offer (instead of the Cingular offer), but everyone's best guess here (and elsewhere) is that the T-Mobile T600 will be SIM locked, as will the AT&T version, and that is totally unacceptable to me. Trouble is, if I wait for the official T-Mobile release, and it IS locked, it will be too late to take advantage of the (unlocked) Cingular offer.

    So here is my plan:

    I order the T600 GSM Cingular for $399. Since it takes 2 weeks to a month to fulfill the order, I should know the story on the T-Mobile release, which should (?) happen within that period of time. If the T-Mobile version makes more sense (i.e. it's unlocked, and works "better" on T-Mobile), I can cancel the original order, and place a new order. I get the phone, and buy a contract with T-Mobile.

    My questions:

    Is there gonna be a true generic GSM release of the T600 by Handspring, and will they offer the $399 upgrade price on it? When? Does it make any sense to wait?

    Since I am not going to buy a phone from the carrier I get a (new subscriber) account from, (T-Mobile, probably), do I have to agree to a 1 or 2 year contract, or can I get a month to month contract? If I have to agree to a 1 or 2 year contract, can I expect to get any special deal on rates or plans since they're not subsidizing my phone?

    Can I expect substantially the same coverage from T-Mobile and Cingular in most of the big cities? I understand that LA and NYC share the same cells. Is the AT&T GSM coverage substantially different from the T-Mobile and Cingular coverage?

    Can I buy pay-as-you-go SIMs for T-Mobile, Cingular, and AT&T? This would allow me to (relatively) cheaply check out coverage in the places I go. I'll put my Verizon phone on their pay-as-you-go plan, throw it in my luggage, and use it only if there in no GSM coverage of any kind.

    Any thoughts/help would be greatly appreciated!

    Bill S
  2. #2  
    Originally posted by tvBilly


    Is there gonna be a true generic GSM release of the T600 by Handspring, and will they offer the $399 upgrade price on it? When? Does it make any sense to wait?


    It looks like thier will be a generic version eventually released at the upgrade price. However some have said that will be early next year. If a few seconds of seeing Jax (the orange splat guy) doesnt bother you then there is no reason, in my mind, to wait.

    Since I am not going to buy a phone from the carrier I get a (new subscriber) account from, (T-Mobile, probably), do I have to agree to a 1 or 2 year contract, or can I get a month to month contract? If I have to agree to a 1 or 2 year contract, can I expect to get any special deal on rates or plans since they're not subsidizing my phone?

    You will have to agree to a contract with ATT and T-Mobile. There is however a little known method for going month to month from the get go with Cingular. I recently did this when GSM for Cingular went live in early October in DC. If you activate with your own dual band (850/1900) phone, this includes the Treo, you can start month to month. This is only available at Cingular CORPORATE stores. Cingular "dealers" will not activate a phone on M2M. You will have to pay for the sim $20, and activation $36.


    Can I expect substantially the same coverage from T-Mobile and Cingular in most of the big cities? I understand that LA and NYC share the same cells. Is the AT&T GSM coverage substantially different from the T-Mobile and Cingular coverage?

    I cant answer this one for certain. I would say in the big cities yes. However you will not have the coverage Verizon offers once you get off the beaten path. I would say that Cingular offers better coverage, not on thier native network, but by thier willingness to let you roam on to other networks. Thats just from my experience, but If i dont have Cingular coverage I usally land on T-Mo or ATT network, which is fine by me. Ill tell you this much.... Cingular's 850 band, which is used in some cities, is very nice. The 850 signal seems to penetrate buildings better. I also like the way Cingular sets up thier switches, but thats probably too in depth for this quick post. If Cingular offered unlimited data for ~30 bucks I would use them SOLELY.

    Can I buy pay-as-you-go SIMs for T-Mobile, Cingular, and AT&T? This would allow me to (relatively) cheaply check out coverage in the places I go. I'll put my Verizon phone on their pay-as-you-go plan, throw it in my luggage, and use it only if there in no GSM coverage of any kind.

    Yes for T-Mobile. The SIM will cost you $50, with $30 of airtime included. To buy the SIM by itself, w/o a cheap phone, you need to go to a corporate location. ATT has "go phone" which is psuedo-prepaid. I cant really explain it besides that you pay a normal montly fee, a month in advance, and are not bound by contracts. As far as i know Cingular only offers Pre-Paid using thier TDMA network. That would not be helpful if using a GSM handset.

    Hope this helps.


    FS: GSM Treo 600 with Accesories.... here.
  3. #3  
    Just went thru the same rationalizing that you just mentioned and in the end....."f......it" I went ahead and ordered the unlocked Cingular GSM Treo.

    What's the worst thing that can happen - T-mobile comes out with a better phone or plan, I would buy it for $399 and sell the Cingular phone for $500. It's a no brainer! (Of course, you will have to ask your nephew for another valid Treo Serial Number)

    Jump in buddy!!!!!!!
    Ed
    Visor Deluxe, Prism, Visorphone, Treo 270, Treo 600, Treo 650, and am eagerly waiting for the next generation Treo...but wait...is that the iPhone????
  4.    #4  
    daftgem - Thanks for the comprehensive answer, it does help (a lot).

    I certainly don't mind a tiny Jax splat when I power the phone up (or down). I don't think I want to wait until sometime next year for the true generic GSM model.

    The info about plans will help me decide, though the choice is not as clear cut. It looks like (to start) I buy a 1 year from T-Mobile, or their pay-as-you-go, and if I find T-Mobile lacking, I can pick up a month to month with Cingular.

    treo rat - yeah, it seemed like a no brainer to me too, but I wanted to elicit opinions before I did something stupid

    Bill S

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