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  1.    #1  
    Hi All,

    I called the B2B number, yesterday, and was able to order a T650 but only for ATT (i.e., Blue network). I decided to wait until this upcoming week for the Cingular (i.e., Orange network) T650. My question is this: is one better than the other? I know this depends a lot on where I live (Boston, MA) but would like to get everyone's thoughts/opinions on this. I know the Blue T650 is locked to Blue's network and can't be used on Orange's network; which is why I decided not to buy it.

    Oh, and I'm currently a T-Mobile customer...

    Thanks.
  2. #2  
    I would recommend Orange for several reasons. If you can stand the wait for Orange, I would. I won't bother going in to all of the rasons, but I will say that I switched from AT&T 8 months ago to Cingular (orange) because AT&T sucked, and Cingular is so much better (no regrets there.) And for the time being, Blue and Orange still operate as pretty much separate companies in many ways. But that should be only temporary.
    In the end, however, both Blue and Orange can use each others networks with identical coverage so from coverage standpoint, there's no differentc.
    Just SIM, billing systems, rate plans, and custoemer service centers are still different.

    Get the Cingular orange Treo 650 without a data plan. Then try to add Media Works $20/month to your plan later without telling them you have a Treo (scan the forums if you don't know what I'm talking about.)
    Treo 750 (AT&T)
    Treo600->Treo650->Cing8525->Blackberry 8700c->Treo750->AT&T Tilt->Treo750->iPhone 3G
  3.    #3  
    taylorh, thanks for the advice. So, I was on the right track - to wait and go with Cingular (Orange).

    I have read about the Media Works trick - will definitely be doing that if I end up switching to Cingular. Right now, I'm on the fence as to buy the Cingular T650 when it comes out or wait for the unbranded/unlocked version from palmOne and stay with T-Mobile. To be honest, I'd probably wouldn't really think about getting the unbranded version if I weren't in a contract with T-Mobile...

    All this being said, I must admit, I'm still weary about switching to Cingular as both JD Power and Consumer Reports' surveys find T-Mobile second to Verizon in most major metropolitan markets - and, Cingular/ATTWS is usually close to dead last. But, it appears you're happy with Cingular...argh, these darn decisions!
  4. #4  
    Koolio, although I never intend to leave Cingular and probabally will never need to use a different SIM, I'm still waiting for the unlocked version of Treo 650. Without intention I got the Treo 600 unlocked (was talked into it at the palm store) and I was glad I did. Otherwise I'd have ended up stuck on AT&T and not been able to switch.
    If this were a $300 or $400 product, I might not bother and just take the Cingular locked. But paying $550, it only seems prudent to me to pay the extra and have the fredom of the unlocked, otherwise I know I'd always second guess getting the locked. None of us really know about the time of availability but I remain optomistic that the unlocked isn't more than a couple of weeks away at most from Cingular Orange (or so Palm retail store says.) So you'd have to be patient.
    My advice is go with unlocked, but it's clearly a matter of preference. Just my last $0.02 here.
    Treo 750 (AT&T)
    Treo600->Treo650->Cing8525->Blackberry 8700c->Treo750->AT&T Tilt->Treo750->iPhone 3G
  5.    #5  
    Yeah, that's what I'm leaning towards - the unlocked version. Having the freedom and piece of mind knowing that you can leave your current carrier is very nice. Besides, the discount given by the carriers is only $50 for each year you agree to - that's less than my monthly bill.

    The palmOne retail store in Boston also told me mid-February; which would put it at 2 weeks after the Cingular release...keeping my fingers crossed, too!
  6. #6  
    So, to follow-up on this question, does anyone recomment Cingular or T-Mobile, one or the other? I'm holding out for an unlocked GSM 650. I too have T-Mobile. It works for me. I'm in New York City and travel the US and internationally. My only problem is that it doesn't work well in rural Pennsylvania where I visit my relatives. (That's only 6 or so weekends a year though.) I too have seen that Consumer Reports comparing the carriers. How does Cingular hold up in the NYC area? ...and how does Cingular do in the rural areas as compared to T-Mobile? Is one or the other better in Europe and Asia?

    One final note... I stopped by a Cingular store last evening. The rep had no idea what I was talking about concerning which network (Blue or Orange) was better. He said they're the same. I politely disagreed. He then asked if I worked for the company because I referred to Orange and Blue. Ughh!

    Quote Originally Posted by koolio
    taylorh, thanks for the advice. So, I was on the right track - to wait and go with Cingular (Orange).

    I have read about the Media Works trick - will definitely be doing that if I end up switching to Cingular. Right now, I'm on the fence as to buy the Cingular T650 when it comes out or wait for the unbranded/unlocked version from palmOne and stay with T-Mobile. To be honest, I'd probably wouldn't really think about getting the unbranded version if I weren't in a contract with T-Mobile...

    All this being said, I must admit, I'm still weary about switching to Cingular as both JD Power and Consumer Reports' surveys find T-Mobile second to Verizon in most major metropolitan markets - and, Cingular/ATTWS is usually close to dead last. But, it appears you're happy with Cingular...argh, these darn decisions!
  7. #7  
    For me it boils down to coverage area. For years I was on AT&T wireless because they had the best coverage (back on the TDMA/Analog network) and Verizon was about similar in coverage. I always paid more for my plans, but I can't tell you how many times I had coverage where my friends (all on different carriers, some cingular back then which sucked) had no signal.

    It's all different now. Verizon has arguably the most complete coverage and as far as I know Cingular (now that hey combined with AT&Tws) is second. Sprint, T-Mobile, Nextel, etc. are all more limited which is why I'm not on them.
    T-Mobile, while the coverage has been expanding, is still relatively limited, especially in rural areas as you mentioned. I couldn't tell you which company is better, I think it's 6 of one, half dozen of the other.

    Compare coverage maps and decide for yourself which is better. Price with limited coverage, or pay more for more complete coverage. If you compare all carriers it's usually the case that the cheaper ones have less coverage than the more expensive ones (essentially you get what you pay for.) There is also a matter of the data plans. Of course coverage depends on each area so look in to that. TMo may have almost the same footprint in some areas whereas others they don't even come close.
    You're already on TMobile, so I don't see any reason for you to switch unless you find yourself without a signal often enough.

    Per which network is better, Orange or Blue. I think the guy at the store is right. Weather you're on orange or blue, the coverage should be identical. The networks for the most part are integrated as one (technicalities aside.) I can tell you that since the merger my coverage is solid now (it filled in the dead spots.) Where the difference lies at this point is which customer service center you get, which rate plans you have access to, and which phones you can buy (as they are locked to one or the other's SIMs.) I just see no point in going with Blue at this point since I believe they're going to phase it out. I have no clue what the long term strategy is, but if you're on Orange I believe you'll have less potential hassle in the long run.
    Last edited by taylorh; 01/30/2005 at 06:26 PM.
    Treo 750 (AT&T)
    Treo600->Treo650->Cing8525->Blackberry 8700c->Treo750->AT&T Tilt->Treo750->iPhone 3G
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by koolio
    All this being said, I must admit, I'm still weary about switching to Cingular as both JD Power and Consumer Reports' surveys find T-Mobile second to Verizon in most major metropolitan markets - and, Cingular/ATTWS is usually close to dead last. But, it appears you're happy with Cingular...argh, these darn decisions!
    Back about 3 years ago AT&T wireless was bar-none the best, most highest rated in customer service and satisfaction. Less than 1 year ago I left AT&T wireless because they had become the absolute worst. It was a nightmare working with customer service. It took 20 min to get through, then when I'd make a request or ask a question I was put on hold for 15-20 mins until they came back with the answer or made the change. Often they did something wrong and I'd be put on hold another 15-20 min. I'm not exagerating 1 bit here. Each call to CS took 45-60 each total.
    Since I've switched to Cingular I've been impressed with the compitence in the CS people, but I think the in-store guys aren't so good. When I did my # port from AT&T to Cingular the in-store guy screwed it up. It took a few calls to Cingular to get everything fixed, but each call they seemed to be on the ball and fix the problem(s) right the first time, something I was not used to AT&T. So I have to say, they managed to impress me with the ability to handle some complex problems.

    However, customer service centers may vary by location? I don't know.

    If you're happy on TMobile, I say stick with it. Why switch unless you have a reason? I'll be honest, I like a lot of things about TMobile more, especially price and that you can get WiFi hotspot plans bundled in to your service (for using your laptop at Starbucks, etc.) The only reason I'm on Cingular instead is quite simply coverage area. TMobile just doesn't work in a lot of places I want to go whereas Cingular does.
    So then why don't I go to Verizon if that's the case? I think GSM sounds a lot better. My friends have Verizon (happily) but I think their call quality really sucks. Anyone I know on GSM (TMo or Cingular) sound very very good by way of comparison.

    To summarize, I have no complains about Cingular. But why switch unless you're unhappy?
    Treo 750 (AT&T)
    Treo600->Treo650->Cing8525->Blackberry 8700c->Treo750->AT&T Tilt->Treo750->iPhone 3G
  9.    #9  
    Very well said, taylorh. And, it's great to know you have no complaints about Cingular. To be honest, I don't have any real issues with T-Mobile (although, I would like to get EDGE speeds but T-Mo is supposedly deploying that in '05). I think what I'll end up doing is stay with T-Mo until my contract expires (this October) and then reassess the situation with switching to Cingular. However, if my 30-day trial with Cingular really is a lot better than T-Mo, I'll try to get out of T-Mo without paying the early termination fee. If I can't get out of it, I'll probably stick with T-Mo as I can't really bear the thought of pissing away $200 for getting out of a contract early...
  10. jalbert's Avatar
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    #10  
    I've been with Cingular (Los Angeles area) for seven years now and have no complaints.
  11. #11  
    Thanks, taylorh. Lots of good info. Appreciate it. Aside from coverage, I guess my only issue is EDGE and 850MHz. Want the speed of EDGE and from what I understand, 850 will (might) work better in my home (where TMobile doesn't work at all). Leaning toward Cingular at the moment...1yr contract though more expensive. Still getting the unlocked GSM 650 though.
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by JoaoPauzaoNYC
    Thanks, taylorh. Lots of good info. Appreciate it. Aside from coverage, I guess my only issue is EDGE and 850MHz. Want the speed of EDGE and from what I understand, 850 will (might) work better in my home (where TMobile doesn't work at all). Leaning toward Cingular at the moment...1yr contract though more expensive. Still getting the unlocked GSM 650 though.
    Joao,
    Guess you are in NYC, right ?
    If so, you need to roam on AT&T's network to get EDGE speed with Cingular ( in NYC).
  13. #13  
    I think the point is moot, or will be in 6 months. The plans are different now so go with the best plan, the coverage is the same.
    My cingular service and customer service is excellent too.
  14. kjohn's Avatar
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    #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by cglaguna
    I think the point is moot, or will be in 6 months. The plans are different now so go with the best plan, the coverage is the same.
    My cingular service and customer service is excellent too.
    Well, here's the only cavet you guys are missing. Yes, even before the merger was completed, Blue and Orange put in place agreements to allow their collective customers to roam on both networks. Over the last 6 months most markets have done just that. Now, over the next 6-9 months, the plan is to *integrate* the two networks beyond just roaming agreements.

    Here's what I mean (without getting too technical): If you place a call on Blue and the signal begins to fade due to coverage issues, it *will not* hand off to an Orange tower until the signal is lost, and tries again, then fails and hands off to an Orange tower. Likewise for the other scenario Orange on Blue. (That's basically it in a nutshell..)

    For me in Houston, as a Blue customer I would receive weak signal in my own apartment unless I manually forced the network setting to Orange.. and every now and then, it would automatically switch back to Blue.. this is even though I live directly below a Cingular Orange tower (yes, I am receiving cancer as we speak).

    Now that I've migrated, I receive full signal strength in my apartment at all times.. prior, there were deadzones in the complex and weak spots, so I would get dropped calls (until it automatically roamed from blue to orange) *regardless* of the merger.

    So, I would recommend that you talk to friends to get some opinions on which carrier is best in your neighborhood for them (Blue, Orange, tmo) and then *try it yourself*. My bet would be on the carrier that has 850mhz in your area.


    kjohn
  15.    #15  
    kjohn,

    Just to make sure I understand you: so, when the Blue and Orange networks are *integrated* there will be a seemless handoff between the two, right? In other words, users won't have to go through the dropped call issue or force their phone to connect to the stronger signal/tower?

    This is the key to Cingular's success - the quicker they do this, the better off they are and thus the more customers they'll win - IMO.
  16. kjohn's Avatar
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    #16  
    Correct.. which is why it does not matter how many more towers Cingular advertises they have compared to Verizon if they don't hand off to each other when the signal becomes poor.

    Obviously, the sooner they are able to merge the two companies, the more successful the new Cingular will be. Of course these things take time and at this time, there are still new handsets shipping such as the Treo 650 and the two companies still opperate independently (ie. I can't go into an Orange store and expect to get the same quality of customer service on my Blue contract as I would in a Blue store nor can I call the Blue Customer Care number and expect them to help me on an Orange contract.. All they can do is forward me to Orange.).

    kjohn
  17.    #17  
    Well, I broke down and ordered a Cingular Blue T650 last night...but, from all of the news from today, it looks like I may be able to get the unlocked version by the time I actually get my Blue T650 in the mail....if so, I'll be returning the Blue T650 as soon as I receive it. Hopefully, that will be happening...

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