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  1. Hargoth's Avatar
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       #1  
    I am a long time lurker here and am aware of the many threads dealing with Cingular's troubles with defining Internet based service plans.

    I have purchased a SprintPCS Treo650 and a Cingular Treo650 for testing.

    For my own research, I called Cingular several times and spoke with more than one CSR to get more details on each of the internet 'plans' that Cingular offers.

    One of the questions I asked each CSR is: "What is the difference between the $29.95 unlimited MediaNet and the $19.95 MediaNet packages."

    As expected, no consensus exists. The information on Cingular's web pages describes the different plans in less than one complete sentance.

    My application for this phone is for my field techs to be able to research issues, download drivers or small apps, and in a pinch use DUN while at a client location.

    There is no need to 'break out the laptop' at a client site if the tech can easily 'google it', text someone, or call someone from his phone. Many clients do not have or offer 'hotel' services for laptops. Many clients do not have an available telephone line to plug into. If a driver is necessary, and there is no way to connect the laptop, the tech will download it to the phone and then bluetooth to the laptop to burn a CD, or DUN from the phone. That kind of felxibility could be important.

    So, a smart phone will do alot in those situations. A laptop with a PCMCIA based 'cell phone' card is great in those locations, but a smart phone benefits the tech in more ways than a card for his laptop. Most situations that we see don't require a laptop at all if the tech has his trusty Treo650 handy.

    Now for the rub:

    Cingular does not offer any plan with unlimited SMS. (2500 max) Many of the people I deal with do in excess of 3,000 SMS a month.

    Cingular has introduced 'metered' internet. This may spread to all of the carriers when they see the overages that Cingular is billing.

    Cingular changed its basic unlimited $19.95 internet package to a 3MB limited package. That is not acceptable. One CSR told me: "That's allot for a phone!".

    Cingular does not specify with any clarity what their internet plans offer on their web sites, and none of the CSRs I spoke with know the differences either.

    VPN to the office is important. None of the Cingular reps I spoke with knew what that was or what plan would facilitate it.

    Conclusion: I returnd the Cingular branded phone and will get more SprintPCS Treo650s for my guys even though in some areas Cingular has better coverage. The Cingular option is a very attractive time bomb that my guys just cannot afford.

    No way do I want to face one of those guys when he asks me why his phone bill was $1,100.00 last month! Especially since two of them are my sons!
  2. #2  
    Agreed. Cingular is very naive about data and data usage. Hoping free markets will win out and pricing will rationalize over the next 12 months (for data plans).

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