Cellphone Service Providers
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MooGoesTheCow

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I'm looking into getting a cellphone and am a bit lost with all the service providers out there. Are there any out there that you find to be particularly good, both in terms of value and of service?

My requirements are:

nationwide coverage/no roaming/free long distance
$40 or less/month

at least 300 anytime minutes + lotsa night/weekend
or
at least 500 anytime minutes + lotsa weekend

Just recalling all the commercials I see on TV, there's:

Verizon
AT&T
Sprint
Cingular
Voicestream
T-Mobile
Nextel

I've heard good things about Verizon, and their coverage looks good. And through my online research, only Cingular does not have service in my area (pittsburgh, pa)

Also, any phones out there that you can recommend? I'll be carrying this in my pocket, so small = good. And I would prefer not to spend more than $100, although if there's good enough reason to spend more, I'll consider it. And no, the name "V60" in the title is not good enough reason.


Thanks, guys.
 
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jpelg

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Voicestream is now, or is in the process of completely becoming T-Mobile. Just another change in the life of Omnipoint/VoiceStream/T-Mobile. This is GSM digital service only, with no analog backup. Good in cities with coverage, may not be so good is outer fringe areas. The newer (for us in the US, anyway) Ericsson t68 is quite nice. My basic plan has nationwide coverage, with 500 anytime minutes and unlimited weekend minutes & free long distance for $39.99. This is also the only service that lets you roam around the world with an appropriate compatible phone.

Get a service based on coverage, not hype. All services have their pro's and con's. None are perfect. Check around with others in your area for word-of-mouth recommendations. This will undoubtedly vary depending on your area.

Don't be afraid to ask alot of questions. Good luck.

 
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dcg

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Quote:

Originally posted by jpelg


Get a service based on coverage, not hype. All services have their pro's and con's. None are perfect. Check around with others in your area for word-of-mouth recommendations. This will undoubtedly vary depending on your area.



Couldn't agree more. I've had Sprint (absolutely horrible
), AT&T (not good, but not as bad as Sprint) and now Verizon, which is significantly better than the others. I've been in Washington DC, near Philadelphia, and in Delaware over the past few years and Verizon has worked best.
 
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john_jcb

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I think the previous posters are correct. Look at coverage and benifits in your area. I have had Sprint for a couple of years and have no real complaints. AT&T and Nextel are the 2 that we use across the country most often for our corporate mobile communication.
 
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grinch

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verizon seems to be the best in the northeast. in the new york area, it's the best. sprint seems to suck everywhere i've seen, but they're cheap so people buy them. i build cell sites for at&t and i also think they suck; totally over-sold their services. cingular is on the verge of spending like $30 million for upgrading their networks (i'm in the business, i know these things
), but considering how much they suck now.. i would wait until they start rolling out sites (which is probably in another year or two).
 
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eric343

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Well, I've heard horror stories about Verizon's customer service...
 
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jpelg

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Quote:

Cingular is on the verge of spending like $30 million for upgrading their networks


Yeah, they have been talking about that for several months now. I don't think much has progressed in that regard lately. I think they partly would like to convert their entire network to GSM coverage like they have on the west coast. But their TDMA/Amps coverage on the east coast makes that a virtual impossibility. Their national coverage plans guarantee you will be roaming (even if at no charge) onto another carrier's network. I have seen problems with that, particularly west-coast (Cingular-GSM) friends trying to roam onto Voicestream when out here and have not been able to. Network blocks are a pain to deal with and hard to get resolved when you need it (which is "yesterday"). I know they were talking about implementing the Siemens phone that can be used on both networks (GSM & TDMA) but I have not seen that either.

Like I said, no service is perfect. The people that are most satisfied as those that realize this and don't expect miracles. Also, some people even go so far as to get phones from more than one carrier to cover their bases (locally and while traveling). I guess for business that is justifiable. For personal use, I am not so sure.
 
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TaffyGuy

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they all have horrible customer service, its just the different degrees. CINGULAR BLOWS SO INCREDIBLY HARD. and i think they're in the process of merging with AT&T. t-mobile is also on the cingular network.. but thats here in california, so i guess not where you are.

i just switched to verizon and got almost exactly what you laid out in your desires. nationwide (digital only) 300 minutes peak 4000 off-peak for $35/m and i got a new kyocera 2235 phone for about $100 which is very nice and about the size of the nokia one in all the cingular commercials. it looks a little less sturdy, which is somewhat worrisome considering i broke my nokia, but i didn't take very good care of it due to frustration a lot of the time...

when i went to school in LA it sometimes took a half hour to get through to the cell with cingular, when you could get reception. and even when it said full reception, it would never connect to that cell and always have ****ty reception when you got through.

I was only expecting better service with verizon, but what i got was not only are there no buzy circuits, but i literally have not lost reception since i bought the phone *anywhere* including parking garages etc. when i'm on or off the phone (i have the phone notify me when it loses connection)

plus you get analog coverage as well, for roaming, but it covers the entire country, which is cool. the only worry is that the salesman wasn't very straight forward with me and assumed i knew all the rules already, and kind of tried to screw me. the huge minutes local plan that covers your 4 neighboring states aparently DOES NOT have long distance included, which they leave out of the advertisement, and my friend just signed up for, so still be careful.

as you can see i've spent a lot of time worrying about this BS...

I've heard sprint works everywhere, but works poorly everywhere, so i never really considered it.
 
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CaptBubba

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I use alltell, and have some rather large amount of minutes (I never use them all so I don't know how many....) and free roaming east of the Mississippi. The only place where I have lost service with my nokia 5185 was in the middle of the mountains, where even my father's cell phone (with 3W booster) couldn't get a signal. The bill runs about $30 a month or something like that.

My friend has cingular, and I can never get to him, his phone doesn't even ring 90% of the time, it just goes right to his voicemail.
 
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MacDEF

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Cingular's coverage is horrible. AT&T's is a bit better, but not much. I have Sprint PCS, and it's better than Cingular and AT&T, but that's not saying much, either (the only reason I still have the account is that I'm still getting a four-year-old $15/month plan that has been grandfathered in


I know a number of people with Verizon, and they're all very happy. A lot of the review sites give Verizon good reviews on both coverage area and customer service. If I was going to switch that's who I'd go with.

As for phones, the Samsung SCH-T300 is a great phone for Verizon networks; I know a few people who have it and all are very happy with it.

http://reviews.cnet.com/wireless/0-1...7543467-1.html
 
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