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  1.    #1  
    T-Mobile is supposed to be up and running in CA now, with commercials and retail stores and everything, but has anyone tried to scan for their network? I've tried it with two different phones (my Treo included and my old Nokia 8890, neither of which are service provider locked), and both found only Cingular (my current provider). Anyone else have different results?
  2. #2  
    Nope, still get only Cingular. It's going to be interesting, since I understand that T-mobile is just going to use/share Cingular's network. As if my service wasn't bad enough already...
  3. #3  
    T-Mobile (VoiceStream) service in California and Nevada

    I just signed up with T-Mobile Wireless in California. They have some amazing limited time offers. I chose the very sweet 1000 anytime min/free Weekends,Long Distance & Roaming (with some limitations) $39.99/month "Get More" plan. I can use my old VisorPhone AS A PHONE on the service but there are several things VP users should be aware of.

    T-Mobile started their service in CA and NV on Monday June 15, 2002 in an agreement to share cellular networks with Cingular (formerly PacBell Wireless). This means (hopefully) users of either service will have full coverage in the entire area of both services combined.

    The shared usage is the probable reason why my VisorPhone indicates I am connected to the PACBELL network and ROAMING. Talking with a salesman, this may be a limitation of the VisorPhone display, and may not represent how the network sees my connection. Anyway, since Roaming in this service area is covered by my plan it should not effect my billing regardless. I'll know more when my email questions get answered.

    The SIM chip from my old Cingular (PacBell) account will NOT work in the Nokia 3390 phone I got from T-Mobile. The phone display sez "SIM chip not recognized" when the old chip is installed. The Cingular SIM may be an older SIM technology (since the chip does look a little different) or this could mean that specific circuitry is included in the phones from T-Moble to detect the shared network settings.

    With no luck, I briefly tried the settings suggested in the legendary "Visorphone/V-stream works without ISP" forum:
    I could not access my dial-up ISP or the "free" ISDN servie described. I never tried this before, mind you, because Cingular specifically won't allow data transfer without an exorbitant extra data access plan.
    The T-Mobile data service (iStream) is supposed to be a full GPRS data service and as near as I can tell VisorPhone and Blazer don't support GPRS (Though you should not take my word for that!). Reading between the lines of the most recent postings on the "Visorphone/V-stream works without ISP" forum seem to indicate even VoiceStream is "turning off" the switches allowing dial-up data access through the voice line systems. Anyone who can actually dial-up an ISP in California using T-Mobile, or who has info on using iStream data access using a VisorPhone on T-Mobile, PLEEEEASE contact me!!!

    Here's something special about this new service in CA and NV that should be considered - each of the blocks of Phone numbers are brand new. It's possible to get REALLY COOL phone numbers!!!! The exchanges are governed by the 3 digit area code and the next 3 digit exchange but the last 4 digits are wide open! It's even possible with the wide "Home area" definition to sign up for a phone number in a distant exchange or even another area code. If you absolutely want your phone number to spell out "BIGDOGS" or something you probably can.

    Your billing cycle is determined by the phone exchange you select, so ask about this before you settle on a number if you want to be billed on, say the 16th of the month.

    So far, I'd say T-Mobile service is better than Cingular. Even with some bad reports about VoiceStream at least the VoiceStream website works most of the time. And the T-Mobile web site works better than either of the others. The T-Mobile help pages even have specific product help categories and FAQs for VisorPhone and Treo!

    For world travelers, T-Mobile Broadband is the global wireless arm of Deutsche Telecom and has a powerful worldwide cellular presence and is pushing it's worldwide roaming capacity.

    I hope you find this useful!
    -Chris Loye
  4. #4  
    Thanks for the great info. Now what I'm still wondering is when I'll be able to get a 270 with a T-Mobile plan in my area (Santa Cruz, CA) without buying it separately and then activating it. I like the T-Mobile plans better than Cingular, but I don't want to spend $200 extra for the phone just so I can have a cool plan.

  5. #5  
    I chose the very sweet 1000 anytime min/free Weekends,Long Distance & Roaming (with some limitations) $39.99/month "Get More" plan.
    May I ask what the limitations are? That sounds like a sweet deal!

    The T-Mobile data service (iStream) is supposed to be a full GPRS data service and as near as I can tell VisorPhone and Blazer don't support GPRS (Though you should not take my word for that!).
    It is full GPRS, but the Treo doesn't support GPRS yet. It will by the end of the year (or so I hear). As for the VisorPhone, I have no idea.
  6. #6  
    I don't have the paperwork in my hands but here's the link the amazon cust service rep gave me with the t-Mobile plan details;

    It's all contract legalese but it tells you a little about the service areas.

    The main limitations of the T-mobile plans seem to be about roaming, data access and long distance when calling from "outside the service area" (which is what I'd generally call "roaming"). Reading between the lines it looks like Long distance, operator assistance, data services, etc. may not work or may cost additional fees if you are roaming. I'm waiting to hear how this works because my visor Phone shows i am making connection to the Pac Bell network and roaming even though i am definitely in the t-Mobile network area (sharing the cingular equipment.)

    If you are thinking about T-Mobile service, check out some of the phones (like the Samsung r225) come with $230.00 worth of rebates until about August 15 . If the phone you want isn't available, call the amazon number ad talk to a person, then check in the next day or so, product and plan availablity has been changing very rapidly as T-Mobile works out the bugs.
  7. #7  
    I've been able to connect to my Earthlink Dial-up ISP using T-Mobile in California with no Data access plan in place (just the way it was described for Voicestream).
    Now this was with a VisorPhone and was limited to the NON-GPRS, 9600 Baud transfer rate but, hey, it's free!

    It seems important to manually set the DNS Addresses in the Prefs/Network/Details screen. I got the earthlink DNS numbers from the page recommended on the Handspring site:
  8. NeoTreo's Avatar
    39 Posts
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    100 Global Posts
    I'm on the road regularily in the San Francisco Bay Area. I've circled from San Jose, through the Penninsula, across San Franciso, up Marin County across the Richmond Bridge, down through Oakland and Hayward, Fremont. I've yet to encounter dead-zones (outside of buildings) but I have noticed slooow connections with Blazer around San Francisco City Hall/Van Ness Avenue areas. T-Mobile's 1,000 anytime minutes at $39 bucks is a bargin. Got the 180 cheap too, $250 rebate at
  9. #9  
    Always "Cingular" that displays on my phone, but as others have pointed out, this doesn't affect billing.

    Two surprising/frustrating discoveries:

    I get ZERO reception on Fisherman's Wharf! Not that I go there often (tourist crap... blah!), but I like to eat at the In-n-Out there on occasion when coming back from social events in the evenings. We're talkin' complete "No Service" on the phone. Bummer!

    Also, I get very, very spotty coverage approaching the GG bridge.

    Otherwise, though, I really shouldn't complain. So far, at least here in the Bay Area and in the Los Angeles area, coverage has been generally quite good.

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