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View Full Version : Is it Cingular, or the 8700?


kitmoni
06-02-2006, 01:00 PM
I'm a former 7250 user (Sprint) who switched to Cingular so I could use the 8700. I'm BES connected, but also use BIS for about 3 accounts. I like the 8700 from a speed and screen standpoint, but I am one of those that feels it's a little fragile.

The Problem: The biggest thing I'm struggling with is there seems to be a significant drop in voice quality after the switch. Everyone I talk with has noticed the change. Comparitively, the Cingular calls are much more "noisy" (static, garble from time to time, etc.). I am NOT a Sprint homer, I could care less which service I use as long as it's good. Also, I have trouble with dropped calls (funny, considering their recent add campaign) and placing calls. My usage is VERY heavy on the email side, and light on the browsing side. However, I use about 2400 minutes a month for voice, so I'm very concerned about the quality change.

Is this something that is unique to Cingular? I don't seem to notice the problems on my wife's Razor (switched her too), just on my 8700. If it's an 8700 issue, I'll solve that and move back to a 7290 so I don't have to switch carriers. But if it's a Cingular (or just a GSM) problem, I'll need your input! Are there other GSM carriers with better voice quality (like TMO), or do I need to switch back to CDMA? I would love to stay with the 8700, but I'm willing to bump back to the 72xx if I have to.

What do you think?? My conscience could really use some relief.

[edit] -- I've also changed my signature 3 times and it still comes up with my old PIN. ??

MikesTechSvcs
06-02-2006, 01:04 PM
That's funny.
Back when I had my Razr, I used to get outstanding voice clarity.
But then I pick up a BlackBerry and everything sounds a little different.
The noise/crackles/garbles come with the territory. The 8700 is Quad Band isn't it? That might be why. I know Cingular operates on 1900 Mhz, which is the highest around so it could very well pick up power fluctuations and such stuff.

- Mike

careyana
06-02-2006, 01:14 PM
I'm a former 7250 user (Sprint) who switched to Cingular so I could use the 8700. I'm BES connected, but also use BIS for about 3 accounts. I like the 8700 from a speed and screen standpoint, but I am one of those that feels it's a little fragile.

The Problem: The biggest thing I'm struggling with is there seems to be a significant drop in voice quality after the switch. Everyone I talk with has noticed the change. Comparitively, the Cingular calls are much more "noisy" (static, garble from time to time, etc.). I am NOT a Sprint homer, I could care less which service I use as long as it's good. Also, I have trouble with dropped calls (funny, considering their recent add campaign) and placing calls. My usage is VERY heavy on the email side, and light on the browsing side. However, I use about 2400 minutes a month for voice, so I'm very concerned about the quality change.

Is this something that is unique to Cingular? I don't seem to notice the problems on my wife's Razor (switched her too), just on my 8700. If it's an 8700 issue, I'll solve that and move back to a 7290 so I don't have to switch carriers. But if it's a Cingular (or just a GSM) problem, I'll need your input! Are there other GSM carriers with better voice quality (like TMO), or do I need to switch back to CDMA? I would love to stay with the 8700, but I'm willing to bump back to the 72xx if I have to.

What do you think?? My conscience could really use some relief.

[edit] -- I've also changed my signature 3 times and it still comes up with my old PIN. ??

I've had my 8700 for a few months now and I haven't had any issues with voice quality. Did you pull your SIM from your old device? Is it an old AT&T SIM? I have seen issues with devices not functioning correctly so you may have just gotten a bad one. :(

kitmoni
06-02-2006, 01:44 PM
Wirelessly posted (Thumpers 8700c: BlackBerry8700/4.1.0 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102)

Thanks for the input. Interesting to see someone else with the same Razr/BB difference. Might be the quad band issue. I've also noticed buzzing in my computer speakers when I get a new email (with BB on my desk), so that matches up. I have an employee with a 71xx BB who has the same sound quality issue. In some cases I don't think they even notice it because that's all they have known.

My Sim was new Cingular with my phone, but was originally assigned to a Nokia phone by mistake. That wouldn't make a difference would it?

EAndresen
06-02-2006, 01:51 PM
I had a razr and went to the BB and had opposite results... I think the BB is so much better quality, speaking on what I hear on my end. I have cingular. Also the Razr is a quadband phone as well so.... Just adding my thoughts.

BB 4 life.

E

ceebz
06-02-2006, 01:54 PM
It's Cingular. Damned AMR-HR!!!!!

kitmoni
06-02-2006, 02:11 PM
I had a razr and went to the BB and had opposite results... I think the BB is so much better quality, speaking on what I hear on my end. I have cingular. Also the Razr is a quadband phone as well so.... Just adding my thoughts.

BB 4 life.

E
I suppose I should clarify. To ME, everything sounds the same. No problems. On the other end, however, is where I'm getting the complaints.

sigmamason
06-02-2006, 02:38 PM
Wirelessly posted (Thumpers 8700c: BlackBerry8700/4.1.0 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102)

Thanks for the input. Interesting to see someone else with the same Razr/BB difference. Might be the quad band issue. I've also noticed buzzing in my computer speakers when I get a new email (with BB on my desk), so that matches up. I have an employee with a 71xx BB who has the same sound quality issue. In some cases I don't think they even notice it because that's all they have known.

My Sim was new Cingular with my phone, but was originally assigned to a Nokia phone by mistake. That wouldn't make a difference would it?


If I remember the network integration states correctly, Florida is one of the states that is going thru the Tower upgrade (switch from ATT to Cingular and upgrade non EDGE to EDGE/UMTS or HSPDA)
There is call quality degradation while this is happening...once complete, you should have clearer calls and improved voice/data signal strength.
Cingular has spent a ton of money working on moving the TDMA towers to GSM/HSPDA, integrating the old ATT networks into the Cingular networks, attempting to upgrade training to their CSRs (who in spite of the rumor are actually pretty nice and intelligent) upgrading existing towers to the latest/greatest GSM tech, etc...

whoscalling
06-02-2006, 04:01 PM
The Problem: The biggest thing I'm struggling with is there seems to be a significant drop in voice quality after the switch. Everyone I talk with has noticed the change. Comparitively, the Cingular calls are much more "noisy" (static, garble from time to time, etc.). I am NOT a Sprint homer, I could care less which service I use as long as it's good. Also, I have trouble with dropped calls (funny, considering their recent add campaign) and placing calls. My usage is VERY heavy on the email side, and light on the browsing side. However, I use about 2400 minutes a month for voice, so I'm very concerned about the quality change.

Is this something that is unique to Cingular? I don't seem to notice the problems on my wife's Razor (switched her too), just on my 8700. If it's an 8700 issue, I'll solve that and move back to a 7290 so I don't have to switch carriers. But if it's a Cingular (or just a GSM) problem, I'll need your input! Are there other GSM carriers with better voice quality (like TMO), or do I need to switch back to CDMA? I would love to stay with the 8700, but I'm willing to bump back to the 72xx if I have to.


I have had the exact same experience. The only differences are I came to Cingular from Verizon Wireless and our locations. Other then that i could not agree with you more about the call quality and dropped calls. I too have wondered which of the two new variables (Cingular or 8700c) have caused this?

Dubdub
06-02-2006, 08:21 PM
Perhaps it is a coverage problem. How strong is the Cingular signal. I know with my 8700, when I go into areas with weaker coverage (2 bars or less) I have had connection and voice quality problems.

AlbertoM
06-02-2006, 10:11 PM
The speaker thing is common for GSM. Don't know about the rest...

sivartyad
06-03-2006, 01:08 AM
It's Cingular. After 6 months of Verizon 7250, I just switched to the Cingular 8700 (mostly for international usage reasons). Within minutes of using the phone I noticed that the audio on calls was terrible - not only on my end but also for the person that I was calling.

Additionally, in the course of five days I've only been able to make less than half of the calls I would usually make on the Verizon 7250. Constantly showing as "No Service" and very often I dial and wait over 60 seconds for the call to connect. On every call I've made the quality of the call has been so poor that I've had to hang up and dial from a landline or the call has been completely dropped.

If you look closely, you'll see that Cingular's new ad campaign about the fewest dropped calls is in reference to the metro New York area only. While I live in Boston, what most would assume to be a well covered area in the way of cell phone use, it certainly doesn't apply with the 8700 from Cingular.

Lastly - tonight I performed a test. A friend has the 8700 from T-Mobile. I called myself from his 8700 and then called him from my 8700. The results:

When I called his T-Mobile phone from my Cingular phone, my call was terribly staticy and garbled. The same background noise was heard when listening through his phone.

When I called my Cingular phone from his T-Mobile phone, the call was crystal clear on his end, but was received on my Cingular phone again as terribly garbled and echoy.

Perhaps I'll just go back to the rotary dial phone. I'm so tired of all these cell phone companies.

r0guenj
06-03-2006, 09:58 AM
Wirelessly posted (8700c: BlackBerry8700/4.1.0 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102)

Voice quality is not the same as it was for me. I went from a razr to the 8700 and I notice a difference (I didn't seem edit the razr either)

I get consistent audio drop out even with full coverage and off peak hours.

I am thinking of carrying a separate phone because of this issue.

kitmoni
06-03-2006, 01:09 PM
So what I'm hearing is that several posting to this thread have gone from CDMA to GSM and have noticed a difference. Other than small coverage differences in certain areas, Sprint and Verizon operate the same type of network, CDMA.

Liking the 8700, I'm wondering if a jump to Tmobile would solve my voice problem, with the caveat being TMO is also GSM. I'm not sure what to think of the tower upgrade post in that Cingular already had a strong network presence in FL. I bought my 8700 from what would be considered as "Orange", or the Cingular network, not ATT. So I'm not sure I buy that the tower upgrade is affecting me - although I could be wrong.

I get my rebate on my phones this month, so maybe I'll do a little evaluation using another couple of services. Liking the 8700 overall, but if it improves my overall quality, I'd be willing to step back to a 7290 or 7250. Anyone on Cingular had this issue with 7290s??

BroomHilda
06-03-2006, 01:12 PM
I'm on T-Mobile and I upgraded from my Razr to the 8700g. I got the 8700g two days ago and I immediately noticed the voice quality of was significantly worse than the razr. My wife even commented on it without my saying anything (and she usually doesn't notice these things).

If it weren’t for the voice quality I'd be ecstatic about my purchase.

I wish there were some way to check and switch between the Half Rate AMR voice codec and the enhance Full Rate codec. If anyone comes across a way to do this please let us know.

Thanks, -BHilda-

kitmoni
06-03-2006, 01:15 PM
I wish there were some way to check and switch between the Half Rate AMR voice codec and the enhance Full Rate codec. If anyone comes across a way to do this please let us know.
Hilda,

Can you explain this to me. I'm not familiar with HR AMR and Full Rate.

BroomHilda
06-03-2006, 01:26 PM
Actually I'm no expert on the voice codecs used by the cell industry. What little i know is this:

The voice data is compressed when it is sent over the cell network on digital systems. The codec and compression rate used can significanlty affect voice quality.

On other phones I have used there have been "hacks" to enable Full Rate encoding instead of the Half Rate encoding which is typically selected as a default.

From what I can tell there is also AMR (adaptive multi rate) which seems to be a newer form of codec which is adaptive... it varies it's data rate based on current conditions.

The 8700g seems to support AMR, but I don't know which codec is selected by default... or if there is even a choice.

If someone knows more than I do, please comment.

Thanks, -BHilda-

nosidam
06-03-2006, 02:13 PM
I too went from a RAZR to the 8700c. The only difference that I've noticed is that the speaker in the 8700c starts to loose sound quality as it gets louder. I normally keep it between 50-75%, but when walking down the streets of midtown Manhattan during a weekday, it sometimes needs to go louder.

Sometimes the people on the other end say that there is too much background noise to hear me. I attribute this to the fact that a candybar phone has a more sensative mic than a flip-phone simply because it is further away from the mouth. I have had that exact same kind of report when I used other candybar style phones.

I'm using Bharti, but not sure if the stock or telstra voice quality is better/worse.

rjhouck
06-03-2006, 03:12 PM
I'm a former 7250 user (Sprint) who switched to Cingular so I could use the 8700. I'm BES connected, but also use BIS for about 3 accounts. I like the 8700 from a speed and screen standpoint, but I am one of those that feels it's a little fragile.

The Problem: The biggest thing I'm struggling with is there seems to be a significant drop in voice quality after the switch. Everyone I talk with has noticed the change. Comparitively, the Cingular calls are much more "noisy" (static, garble from time to time, etc.). I am NOT a Sprint homer, I could care less which service I use as long as it's good. Also, I have trouble with dropped calls (funny, considering their recent add campaign) and placing calls. My usage is VERY heavy on the email side, and light on the browsing side. However, I use about 2400 minutes a month for voice, so I'm very concerned about the quality change.

Is this something that is unique to Cingular? I don't seem to notice the problems on my wife's Razor (switched her too), just on my 8700. If it's an 8700 issue, I'll solve that and move back to a 7290 so I don't have to switch carriers. But if it's a Cingular (or just a GSM) problem, I'll need your input! Are there other GSM carriers with better voice quality (like TMO), or do I need to switch back to CDMA? I would love to stay with the 8700, but I'm willing to bump back to the 72xx if I have to.

What do you think?? My conscience could really use some relief.

[edit] -- I've also changed my signature 3 times and it still comes up with my old PIN. ??

I had the same issue going from the Razor to the BB8700c. The Razor had great audio quality on my ear and no one on the other end complained about my audio. However, when I went to the 8700c the audio on my ear was fine but everyone complained about background noice. I tested this on my office voicemail and it is true. The BB8700c does not cancel out the background noice. I have tried several different Bluetooth devises but there is still lots of background noice.

I think I am going to have to carry around my old razor as a phone and use the BB for email only. I hate to think about having to carry two devises.

Dubdub
06-03-2006, 03:44 PM
It's Cingular. After 6 months of Verizon 7250, I just switched to the Cingular 8700 (mostly for international usage reasons). Within minutes of using the phone I noticed that the audio on calls was terrible - not only on my end but also for the person that I was calling.

Additionally, in the course of five days I've only been able to make less than half of the calls I would usually make on the Verizon 7250. Constantly showing as "No Service" and very often I dial and wait over 60 seconds for the call to connect. On every call I've made the quality of the call has been so poor that I've had to hang up and dial from a landline or the call has been completely dropped.

If you look closely, you'll see that Cingular's new ad campaign about the fewest dropped calls is in reference to the metro New York area only. While I live in Boston, what most would assume to be a well covered area in the way of cell phone use, it certainly doesn't apply with the 8700 from Cingular.

Lastly - tonight I performed a test. A friend has the 8700 from T-Mobile. I called myself from his 8700 and then called him from my 8700. The results:

When I called his T-Mobile phone from my Cingular phone, my call was terribly staticy and garbled. The same background noise was heard when listening through his phone.

When I called my Cingular phone from his T-Mobile phone, the call was crystal clear on his end, but was received on my Cingular phone again as terribly garbled and echoy.

Perhaps I'll just go back to the rotary dial phone. I'm so tired of all these cell phone companies.

I am in Boston all the time and have no problem with Cingular. The only problem areas in New England that I have found over the last several years are on I-89 between Concord and Lebanon, north of Augusta, ME, and in a few areas inthe hills of CT. BTW, I have an 8700c.

sivartyad
06-03-2006, 07:44 PM
I am in Boston all the time and have no problem with Cingular. The only problem areas in New England that I have found over the last several years are on I-89 between Concord and Lebanon, north of Augusta, ME, and in a few areas inthe hills of CT. BTW, I have an 8700c.


I'm in Boston every day of the week and you can't tell me that it works well because I know at least three dozen people in my company that are all having the same poor voice quality that I am in the city. Same can be said for dropped calls, lack of signal, etc. Cingular may be great and the new 8700 may be great - but the two combined are ruining my life. There must be a problem considering there are A LOT of threads on here about the issue and everyone seems to have the same complaint.

In reference to your problem areas over the last several years - not sure that it applies because this is in reference to the 8700 which hasn't been around for several years.

whoscalling
06-03-2006, 10:02 PM
Perhaps it is a coverage problem. How strong is the Cingular signal. I know with my 8700, when I go into areas with weaker coverage (2 bars or less) I have had connection and voice quality problems.

I have these problems with a strong signal and it just gets worse as the signal gets less strong (kinda obvious)

Also, I don't know if this is 8700c or Cingular related but I too have the issue of dialing a number and having to wait 30+ seconds for it to begin to ring or it just sits there and says "dialing" but never goes through. On occasion it will give me some strange tone sequence and I have to retry the call.

Finally, has anyone on Cingular placed a call and after the press dial the audio that comes through is almost like a loud bad connection with extreme static? This doesn't happen too regularly but when it does it sounds more network related rather then device.

serpico
06-04-2006, 02:02 AM
I have a 7100 on TMO, and voice quality for my callers is pitiful. They hear lots of background noise. My prior phones were LG and Motorola Startac, both on VZW; both much better voice quality.
In the 7100 forum, there are lots of threads that complain about poor voice quality for the 7100 series on various providers, so it may not just be a Cingular issue.

I've seen a number of posts here and in other threads that suggest that CDMA is better for voice than GSM. Anyone try CDMA and GSM versions of the same phone in a major metro area?

whoscalling
06-04-2006, 09:50 AM
I have a 7100 on TMO, and voice quality for my callers is pitiful. They hear lots of background noise. My prior phones were LG and Motorola Startac, both on VZW; both much better voice quality.
In the 7100 forum, there are lots of threads that complain about poor voice quality for the 7100 series on various providers, so it may not just be a Cingular issue.

I've seen a number of posts here and in other threads that suggest that CDMA is better for voice than GSM. Anyone try CDMA and GSM versions of the same phone in a major metro area?

I would bet it is the 7100. The background noise cancellation on those devices is not very good at all.
________________________________________

I am convinced that it is Cingular (in my case). My RIM product(7130e) on Verizon was crystal clear.

serpico
06-04-2006, 10:30 AM
I am convinced that it is Cingular (in my case). My RIM product(7130e) on Verizon was crystal clear.
7130 is a different design from both 7100 and 8700, so maybe that had something to do with why it sounded so great on VZW? Also, PC Mag had a review on the 8700 where they described voice quality as "mediocre". It seems to me that most commercial review sites are not nearly as harsh as they should be on products (CNET being the worst offender IMHO), so when I see "mediocre", I interpret that to mean "very poor".

serpico
06-04-2006, 10:34 AM
I had the same issue going from the Razor to the BB8700c. The Razor had great audio quality on my ear and no one on the other end complained about my audio. However, when I went to the 8700c the audio on my ear was fine but everyone complained about background noice. I tested this on my office voicemail and it is true. The BB8700c does not cancel out the background noice. I have tried several different Bluetooth devises but there is still lots of background noice.
I see you've tried the Plantronics 645 - that's their top-of-the-line, right? With DSP to provide noise cancellation? How does it compare to the Scala 500 (which is what I'm currently using)?

sanjeevjoshi
06-04-2006, 11:15 AM
I had a Nokia on Cingular before my 8700c, my call quality (on my end, and as reported on the other side) actually improved with the switch, across my travels in the US and abroad. Only issue I have noticed is an occasional glitch in connection with my Motorola 810 (or perhaps 850) headset, occasionally people have trouble hearing at the other end. Could be an issue of compatibility with the headset, not sure. No issues with the wired headset.