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  1.    #1  
    Well, the moment of truth. Do I buy a 650 from Sprint or wait a little longer for ATT (or much longer for Verizon)? Sprint voice/data is much cheaper, and the restrictions are looser. The voice/data packages are simple to digest (no measuring data in kb's, for starters). Sprint's network has bad spots all over Marin and SF, from what I hear. AT&T and Cingular's GSM network integration is coming along out here, but still has bad spots. Their voice/data packages are complicated and pricey.

    If anyone knows the answers to any of these questions, I'd be grateful! :

    How's your reception with Sprint ATT/Cing in SF, specifically the city, and on the peninsula?

    How's customer support? My general sense is ATT is worse than sprint, and that sprint's is getting any better. Most of what I hear about ATT is that suck to deal with.

    What are the reliable (or semi-reliable) dates for availability of the 650 from ATT and Sprint respectively.

    How's the data network for both carriers? Speed, other issues?

    Thanks!!!
  2. dwman's Avatar
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    #2  
    This should answer your question.

    http://www.cellphone.homestead.com/
  3. Scot's Avatar
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    #3  
    I've got a 600 (Sprint) & live in SF (inner sunset). With almost no exceptions, I get great reception everywhere I've been in the city. The only area that I occasionally have problems is within the Presidio, but even then I still get at least 1 bar of signal. I can't say too much about Marin, as I haven't spent too much time there (although I got no signal on Mt. Tam!)

    As for the peninsula, I've had adequate signal on the highways and on Caltrain (I've been able to connect my Powerbook to the internet using WirelessModem in both areas without much problem).

    Speed is pretty good, DSL Reports (http://www.dslreports.com/mspeed) just gave me 66kbit/s.

    -Scot
  4. #4  
    I use Sprint, VZW and T-Mobile in the SF Bay area. One is work, one personal and one is for testing customer stuff.

    VZW is definitely best in SF - in my opinion. But not perfect. Both Sprint and Tmo have better coverage at my home in the East Bay. Sprint is probalby second in coverage and quality, TMobile third. Don't have much experience with ATTWS, except for a friend with a GSM ATTWS account who is ALWAYS dropping or having audio dropouts. Can't speak to Cingular since they're about to switch from sharing spectrum with TMobile to sharing spectrum with ATTWS and everything will change.

    For data, VZW routinely gives me 70-100Kbps, Sprint 50-80Kbps, TMobile is a distant third at 20-35Kbps. As you said Sprint and TMobile have inexpensive easy to understand all you can eat data plans. VZW's unlimited data plan is $80/month.

    I'd say Sprint is a good choice - their data service on the Treo is generally 50% faster than TMobile's, sometimes 100% faster. I tested Sprint and TMobile data rates using two 600's side by side - a Sprint Treo 600 and a GSM Treo 600 on TMobile.

    Stu
  5. #5  
    Scott,

    Cellphone homestead is what users complain about, and is very practical. This site gives you an overview of Bay Area technology infrastructure: http://sfbacell.com/
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by scottwired217
    Well, the moment of truth. Do I buy a 650 from Sprint or wait a little longer for ATT (or much longer for Verizon)? Sprint voice/data is much cheaper, and the restrictions are looser. The voice/data packages are simple to digest (no measuring data in kb's, for starters). Sprint's network has bad spots all over Marin and SF, from what I hear. AT&T and Cingular's GSM network integration is coming along out here, but still has bad spots. Their voice/data packages are complicated and pricey.

    If anyone knows the answers to any of these questions, I'd be grateful! :

    How's your reception with Sprint ATT/Cing in SF, specifically the city, and on the peninsula?

    How's customer support? My general sense is ATT is worse than sprint, and that sprint's is getting any better. Most of what I hear about ATT is that suck to deal with.

    What are the reliable (or semi-reliable) dates for availability of the 650 from ATT and Sprint respectively.

    How's the data network for both carriers? Speed, other issues?

    Thanks!!!
    Scott,

    I live and work in Marin, Corte Madera and Greenbrae, and have ATTWS GSM (for a couple of years). I'll be honest I am thinking about dropping ATTWS. I get dropped calls all the time. Also I'll look at my phone and see voice messages even though the phone never rang. The GSM service is really weak in both my office and home, (have to walk around or go outside many times, to get a better signal) I also travel somewhat around the country and in many places when I land everyone's phones seems to start rining or beeping while mine still says searching for network.

    Not to mention the plans (including Data) are pretty expensive comparativly.

    I am looking at Sprint for a couple of reasons. Considering the 650, and like you trying to get a feel for service. I guess the people who have mentioned the Sprint service is weak in Marin, has put a damper on my thought process.

    Just my 2 cents
  7. #7  
    You will probably have decent coverage in the bay area on any of the providers. What I do notice is when I go to areas within a few hours of the bay area things change. For instance, anywhere around Tahoe and ATT is sketchy. I sent friends text messages they didn't recieve for days up there on ATT because the phone was out of coverage for that long (Northstar, Alpine, tahoe city areas). I can make phone calls pretty easily from anywhere up there with my sprint phone.

    If you enable digital roaming you can also use the VZW network when there is no sprint coverage. The roaming fees aren't too bad for the short calls I usually make.
  8. #8  
    I just switched from ATT TMDA to Verizon in Marin. ATT reception had been steadily dropping and customer service wasn't very good. Sprint was pretty bad just a few years ago (very spotty) but supposedly better now. Might be worth trying out but I went with Verizon since hey seem to lead here and elsewhere for reliable phone operation. Unfortuantely the 650 is probably 6-9 months away on Verizon.
  9. #9  
    I have similar questions (and thanks to all for a lot of good info on this forum). Let me tell you what is and isnt important to me, and what I do and dont know. Hopefully, someone can help me fill in the blanks. I'm going to buy a 650 (my first Treo) from either Sprint or AT&T, based on my research. Here goes:

    WHATS IMPORTANT TO ME:

    -Good, consistant coverage on SF Peninsula and SJ area (especially Peninsula)
    -High quality sound

    WHATS NOT IMPORTANT TO ME:

    -Price (to a point. I have access to pretty good corporate deals for both AT&T and Sprint, so Im not going to sweat this part of the puzzle too much)
    -Customer service (When the day is done, I tend to get what I want... )
    -Overseas use

    WHAT I KNOW:
    -Ive had AT&T for a few years, with quite good coverage and voice quality
    -1800mHz bad, 900mHz good
    -Neutral website claim advantages for CDMA over GSM

    WHAT I DONT KNOW:
    - Allegedly, AT&T's non-GSM service was good, is slipping, and GSM is marginal right now. I've got an older Nokia. How do I know if I'm currently on GSM or not (if I'm on it now, I'm happy w/ the quality and may not switch. If I'm not, my previous good experience with them means little)
    - Can anyone say with any authority that AT&T has improved since merger?
    - Sprint Treos are listed as dual band 900/1800 mHz. Does that mean that they normally operate at both wavelengths, or is the lower wavelength for off-network roaming?

    So, given my priorities, I'd love to hear some feedback. Thanks!
  10. jrowlings's Avatar
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    #10  
    I live and work in SF, but spend a lot of time in the east bay. Was Sprint for many years and changed to Verizon little over a year ago to get into the MS mobiles i700 and i600 and away from horrid Sprint service. I obviously went back to the palm phone but remain much happier with Verizon signal - particularly indoors and in basements where I never used to hold Sprint's signal. Both carriers had trouble in the upper Market area in the shadow of Sutro. Verizon does better in east bay hills, it seems, than both Sprint and ATT.
  11. #11  
    Cingular has been a disappointment for me in San Francisco. Particularly having trouble in my home in the Marina. Often times cannot place calls or receive them from inside my apartment. Hoping that when AT&T 850 mhz towers come over to Cingular on Nov 15th that there is a serious improvement. Otherwise I might be forced to switch as my cell phone is my only home phone, and I also use it to buzz people into my building. I really don't want to switch b/c I like Cingular, this is the first market I've had trouble with them, and I was really looking forward to EDGE.
    Off to iPhone land...
  12. #12  
    All of your post confirm about the Bay Area what is stated at the following websites:

    http://sfbacell.com/
    http://www.cellphone.homestead.com/

    Verizon is #1 in coverage, customer service, & customer satisfaction. In addition, Verizon is known for its careful testing and implemention of its CDMA technology. I am with AT&T and I am impatient. I am hoping I can refrain from being impulsive about my purchase of the Treo 650 and a new carrier. Sprint is not the best CDMA carrier. Sprint is good, but not the best. GSM is going to get better, but it depends on what's important to you. AT&T and Cingular are not the best carriers. They're Okay.
  13. #13  
    I live in the east bay, work in SF, and lived in Marin for a few years. I have been with Sprint for almost 5 years now. It has improved steadily over time. There are only two coverage holes I can still perceive: if you are driving north on the 101, there's a spot after the Marin tunnel before the Marin City/Sausalito exit where the signal goes out for both voice and data. On the bay bridge, my data usually drops right on treasure island. Voice usually holds up through it no problem, but I have had drops. Other than that, Sprint coverage has been perfect for me, and certainly beats by coworker's Cingular coverage by a large margin.

    In my experience, ALL of California works perfectly on Sprint: Los Angeles, San Diego,Santa Barbara, Irvine, San Jose, Santa Clara, Sacramento, etc.

    In fact, I have had very good (almost perfect) Sprint coverage anywhere in the US I 've traveled to in the last couple of years: Miami, Las Vegas, New York, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, etc. In Canada I get spotty roaming and no data (Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal), but at least I can talk.

    Also, as a side comment: avoid the Greenbrae Bon Air Sprint store AT ALL COSTS. I can't call those people anything but lying crooks. Go to the one in Vintage Oaks (Novato), or even better, the one on Mission St. in SF across the street from the Metreon. Much better experience.
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by specimen38
    All of your post confirm about the Bay Area what is stated at the following websites:

    http://sfbacell.com/
    That website is really out of date in the data section. AT&T has deployed UMTS in the Bay Area, it links to an article from '02 on AT&Ts attitude towards UMTS, etc.

    Haven't had a a chance to review the rest of the site so I can't speak to the overall quality of the info or how current it is.
    Off to iPhone land...
  15. #15  
    MC2714 asked about several things...

    First, if he's on AT&T's old TDMA service he will be forced to change phones and service in the next year or two. AT&T (and Cingular) are dropping their TDMA coverage entirely - in favor of GSM. During the transition, AT&T has essentially half the bandwidth it would normally have. Half for TDMA and half for GSM. It's much more complicated than that, but that the simple explanation. Because the TDMA to GSM transistion areas have some/half their bandwidth is tied up on the "other" system AT&T customers in those areas see a lot of "drops", poor call quality, etc. That will slowly improve over the next year or so as AT&T/Cingular converts the rest of the TDMA customers to GSM.

    Second issue in the Bay Area. Cingular and T-Mobile used to share the 1900Mhz band. Cingular bought ATTWS and has to divest the 1900mhz frequencies they were sharing with T-Mobile in CA, NV, NY and some other areas. That transition apparently starts on Nov 15th - which will drop more Cingular people on to the old ATTWS frequencies. T-Mobile users should see less congestion and better data rates as bandwidth opens up on their side.

    The net/net of all this is that I believe Cingular/ATTWS users are going to suffer even more in the SF Bay area for the next few months.

    Your best coverage in the SF Bay area is going to be Verizon (800Mhz), followed by Sprint (1900Mhz).

    If it were me buying a new Treo 650 on a new service plan, I'd get the Sprint Treo 650 because they have a good data plan, decent rates, and excellent nationwide roaming. Best of all, both Sprint & Verizon are CDMA and Sprint has an option called Free & Clear America that allows you use both Sprint's network and Verizon's network without paying tons of roaming charges. The only thing you lose is Verizon's analog coverage in the boonies, but the Treo doesn't do analog anyway - so analog is a moot point.

    My two cents....

    Stu
  16. #16  
    Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the Free & Clear America plan only permits roaming for voice calls, not data.
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by LordByron
    Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the Free & Clear America plan only permits roaming for voice calls, not data.
    True. You can only use vision on Sprint's network. FYI.
    Palm III > Palm V > Palm Vx > (Sprint) Kyo 6035 > Handspring Treo 300
    > Handspring Treo 600 Oct.'03 > Palm Treo 700P May'06 > Treo 755P Aug.'07 > Pre(-) June'09 + TouchPad July'11 LONG LIVE webOS!!!
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by spsims
    I use Sprint, VZW and T-Mobile in the SF Bay area. One is work, one personal and one is for testing customer stuff.

    VZW is definitely best in SF - in my opinion. But not perfect. Both Sprint and Tmo have better coverage at my home in the East Bay. Sprint is probalby second in coverage and quality, TMobile third. Don't have much experience with ATTWS, except for a friend with a GSM ATTWS account who is ALWAYS dropping or having audio dropouts. Can't speak to Cingular since they're about to switch from sharing spectrum with TMobile to sharing spectrum with ATTWS and everything will change.

    For data, VZW routinely gives me 70-100Kbps, Sprint 50-80Kbps, TMobile is a distant third at 20-35Kbps. As you said Sprint and TMobile have inexpensive easy to understand all you can eat data plans. VZW's unlimited data plan is $80/month.

    I'd say Sprint is a good choice - their data service on the Treo is generally 50% faster than TMobile's, sometimes 100% faster. I tested Sprint and TMobile data rates using two 600's side by side - a Sprint Treo 600 and a GSM Treo 600 on TMobile.

    Stu
    I've had Sprint and VZW in SF Bay Area. I left Sprint because of poor reception (especially indoors and in the nooks and crannies).

    Also, the Data price is not $80 as quotes (unless you are using the PC Card for a notebook). The Data plan is $45 plus your wireless plan over $39.

    So, yes, total is about $80 plus taxes, but that is for both voice and data.

    Yes, Sprint data and T-Moble data is cheaper. But the quality ov VZW data is worth it. IMO.
  19. #19  
    I just don't get it. I live in the bay area. For my job I travel all over. I have great reception on Tmobile. I REALLY think it matters which phone you have when you are on GSM. I assume though, that everyone here talking about GSM had a treo.
  20. #20  
    Get Sprint w/ plan that has unlimited roaming and you'll have Verizon anywhere its a much stronger signal than Sprint.
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