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  1.    #1  
    I think I've decided to pick up a Treo 650, but now I need to pick a provider. I currently use T-Mobile as my cell provider and have had them long enough to be well out of contract. It looks like Cingular offers more in terms of being tri-band and having EDGE enabled, but it also seems that I here more complaints from Cingular users who have problems with the phone? Sprint sounds like their branded phone is more reliable (just from reading customer reviews) but theirs is dual band an does not have EDGTE. Has anyone done a solid comparison as far as phone realiability, enabled features, coverage area, ect. on the different carriers?

    TIA,
    KahnRa
  2. #2  
    I'm in NW Alabama and very happy with Cingular's coverage. I haven't used T-Mobile, though.
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  3. #3  
    For a fair coverage comparison of tmob vs cing, go to gsmworld.com and visit the roaming maps area. At a minimum, you have combined AT&T and Cingular coverage, and many other carriers (including T-mobile in many areas) are roaming partners which fill in the gaps, particularly in the rural areas. There are maps for all these carriers, but determining where and with who you can roam can be trickier - it would be best to ask on Howard Forums.

    If you buy a Cingular-branded device, their warranty exchange is good. They will ship overnight free (advance exchange) if you talk nicely and always include a free return label, and don't seem to be bothered by custom ROMs. I hear PalmOne charges to replace units and it takes a while. I don't know about any other carriers.

    The coverage with Cingular is better than T-Mobile's 99.9% of the time, often significantly so. Just look at the gsmworld.com maps. And EDGE is really nice on Cingular. However, Cingular is changing their rates June 1, so you *may* be best to sign up before then. (Depends on your usage patterns). Cingular's $25 MediaNET works with the Treo 650, but you generally have to add it on in some special way as they'd rather sell you the $45/mo "PDA Net" or whatever that's the exact same service, just more expensive.

    So Cingular vs. T-Mob? I say Cingular all the way.

    As far as Sprint/Verizon which use CDMA, I just like my SIM card way too much, not to mention more international features of GSM, and faster data. The 50% talk time improvement is also nice on the GSM model, and I can't imagine having *less* talk time than my Treo 650 GSM has. I already can use my entire battery in a day, but then again, I manage to use up to 4000 minutes a month, albeit not every month. (And not all anytime!)

    Also, for remote use, you *may* be better off with GSM depending on your usage patterns - though this topic is open to debate. All your features work on virtually all networks with GSM - data, sms, mms. Go off Sprint, your data's gone, if I'm not mistaken. Effectively, your total area where the Treo has 100% functionality is going to be a lot larger with Cingular than Sprint, and probably a bit bigger than Verizon as well. However, when going out of GSM coverage, you have no signal, there's no analog on the GSM Treo to "roam" with.

    If I'm going really remote, I get out my GAIT phone (Sony Ericsson t62u) which does GSM/TDMA/Analog and gives me a map that looks like Verizon's National OneRate, but doesn't cost me an extra penny. I love the GAIT add-on for Cingular! With Verizon, I'd be paying roaming in all these areas, or paying for a very, very, very expensive National SingleRate or whatever plan.

    If you have further discussion you wish to have about Cingular, hit the Cingular section at HowardForums.com. They'll answer all your questions.

    Hope this helps! Perhaps a Sprint and/or Verizon user can weigh in on this as well. I know GSM best, and though I used to be a Verizon guy, I've "switched" and never looked back.
  4. #4  
    I'm in Birmingham, AL and have great Sprint PCS coverage. Not a big cingular fan and the data rates for PCS are much cheaper, plus you get a routable IP instead of a NAT'd IP Address. Data rates have shown to be faster over Cingular, including in EDGE enabled markets.

    Unlimited data plan with PCS is $15, I believe with Cingular it's around $35/$45?
  5. #5  
    Sprint's data rate is better, but most of us in Cingular have the Unlimited Media Net plan which is $24.99 month. Guess I got lucky as the Cingular rep never blinked when adding the cheaper option to my "PDA" phone.

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