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Old 02-09-2008, 12:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default t-Mobile vs AT&T & GPS on Curve

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Hello all,

Verizon Wireless customer here coming from years using the LG VX9800 (split phone with full keyboard) and have used blackberries before at work--love not having to fit everything I wanna say in 160 chars or less! I GOT a Blackberry 8830 from Verizon in January and loved it. Unfortunately, it was expensive with Verizon.

I've shopped around and found the following:

t-Mobile
Advantages:
- Best monthly costs (thank you for finally somone offering a 1,000 minute family share plan!
- Blackberry monthly costs are awesome
Disadvantages:
- Devices are expensive through t-Mobile ($249 for Curve). Question: I noticed these deals on Amazon.com for $99 with new service activation. If you are OK with the plans they have, has anyone had any PROBLEM with buying from Amazon, etc? The guy at the t-Mobile store just told me that you couldn't change the plan, can't buy insurance for the device, etc. I'm thinking buying from store is still best option but I'll be buying a phone for my wife and am thinking about the Wing. Online, I can buy BOTH for $250 after rebates. It would cost me over $600 through t-Mobile store.
- t-Mobile can't have the coverage that AT&T has--or can they???
- No blackberry with GPS?! I have heard the 8820 will be coming to t-Mobile soon which is the non-camera (business-grade) model with built-in satellite GPS.

AT&T
Advantages:
- Great coverage
- Good pricing on devices
- Blackberry Curve 8310--camera AND satellite GPS!!!

Disadvantages:
- Customer service sucks
- Monthly costs will be more for equivalent as t-Mobile offers
- Its the New AT&T, ugh...

So... I've pretty much decided to go with t-Mobile for the monthly savings in cost. My ONLY hesitation is the device. I have to wait until May to make the move because of Verizon contract (does anyone know how to get out early?!).

1.) Does t-Mobile have any plans to carry a Blackberry with camera (Curve-like) AND GPS in the future? I'm torn between the Curve (keyboard is better than 8800 series and it has a camera, which I would use to email constantly) and the 8820 coming out with GPS?!

2.) Built-in GPS on Blackberry (8810, 8820?): I know the main thing is that this is a built-in satellite receiver (does not triangulate off of cell towers so its more reliable). I really don't care about this IF I HAVE TO PAY $10 extra per month for costs. Are there ANY third-party applications you can purchase one-time and they give you turn-by-turn directions like a traditional GPS? This would be my main concern in deciding to go with a built-in GPS model.

OK so sorry for all the questions--hopefully more folks that are looking to take the plunge have similar concerns. I wonder if by May there will be something new?!?! Thanks for anything you can offer.
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Old 02-09-2008, 01:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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your hesitation on Tmobile should also be to verify the coverage. Make sure they work where you work, live, and travel. They statistically have the smallest coverage of the Big 4. ATT has the largest coverage area of any US carrier for the record.

As for your two bottom questions

1) unknown
2) 8800 and 8820 both have built in GPS. TeleNav is the most popular and easiest to use, its only $10 a month. Try it and there is a 90% chance that you will keep it.

Last edited by Sith_Apprentice : 02-09-2008 at 01:09 AM.
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Old 02-09-2008, 03:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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i suggest you get the 8320 and get one of the Freedom GPS keychains, Mod John Clark posted a review about that combo and it's the best out there (and you get the 8320's Wi-Fi, too)
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Old 02-09-2008, 07:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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at&t claims it has better coverage than tmo but it is rarely if ever true. in fact, it's bs: especially when it comes to emails. both companies are GSM based with is still behind CDMA in this country. i have a few friends with att service while i have tmo and there aren't significant differences. it's all a big marketing hustle. don't believe the hype. and if they ARE a tiny bit better, it is so insignificant that it wouldn't warrant you paying such a premium.

if you're a big national traveler and your business requires you to be in touch all the time, get verizon. that is truly better service. if you're just one of the crazy BB geeks who are jonesing for another new feature that you don't really need, save your money and go with tmobile.
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Last edited by ruechel : 02-09-2008 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 02-09-2008, 07:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (8320 Curve: BlackBerry8320/4.2.2 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/100)

ATT does have better service area, but the plans and pricing sucks.

For the amazon thing... Buying from them, they make u get a new plan, so if u already have tmo, you will need a new number to claim that price...

Like the dude above said, stick with the curve 8320 and buy a GPS reciever.
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Old 02-09-2008, 09:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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while you're at it, buy a midget that carries it for you. if you REALLY need GPS, don't waste your time on Telenav. install a professional one for your car. i have the Tmo 8800 and love the internal, free service. it works really, really well. get rid of the trendy curve and get that one. you won't be disappointed.
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Old 02-09-2008, 11:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I don't know why people think that the CS in ATT sucks. I never have any trouble getting help when I have called in. Also, keep in mind the myriad of problems with VZ's billing.

As for nationwide coverage. I travel the US extensively, and I never have any problems with coverage, in fact, when others don't have coverage, I do.

Just my opinion. I upgraded to a 8310 recently from my old BB - 8310 rocks and I don't know why you would need WIFI on a device that is always connected to the internet, but to each their own.
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Disadvantage of T-Mobile? Pricing of device (if bought through them). Expensive, and not competative especially when others are having sales.

And one thing I don't like is they have like no devices with GPS. They need to get with it, other carriers are realeasing more and more phones with GPS and already have a good lineup. I think their might be ONE with T-Mobile currently.

As for reception, I live in California (Los Angeles Area) and I would say 90% of the time (if not more), the network/reception is EXACTLY the same as AT&T (they have roaming agreements together). I can't say the same for other states, but I know a lot of areas are like this.
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruechel View Post
at&t claims it has better coverage than tmo but it is rarely if ever true. in fact, it's bs: especially when it comes to emails. both companies are GSM based with is still behind CDMA in this country. i have a few friends with att service while i have tmo and there aren't significant differences. it's all a big marketing hustle. don't believe the hype. and if they ARE a tiny bit better, it is so insignificant that it wouldn't warrant you paying such a premium.

if you're a big national traveler and your business requires you to be in touch all the time, get verizon. that is truly better service. if you're just one of the crazy BB geeks who are jonesing for another new feature that you don't really need, save your money and go with tmobile.
ATT has more coverage area than Verizon in terms of number of miles covered. They are only behind in data speed, not anything else. Tmobile outside of major cities and highways doesnt exist for the most part, take a look at their coverage map, or their coverage checker. I would never go back to Tmo after having Verizon and ATT, there just is a fantastic difference between the big two, and everyone else.
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sith_Apprentice View Post
ATT has more coverage area than Verizon in terms of number of miles covered. They are only behind in data speed, not anything else.
I agree.

As for the other part, I haven't done much traveling, outside of cali, only to las vegas really, and down to mexico, but I've pretty much been everywhere in cali. From previous statements have been true regarding tmo-att based on my experience. But then again, I guess everything in cali is practically "major."

BTW, where are you located. Might be good to know if i'm ever in that area.
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:53 PM   #11 (permalink)
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ive been to 48 states now with my job and personal travel and there is a significant difference.
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruechel View Post
while you're at it, buy a midget that carries it for you. if you REALLY need GPS, don't waste your time on Telenav. install a professional one for your car. i have the Tmo 8800 and love the internal, free service. it works really, really well. get rid of the trendy curve and get that one. you won't be disappointed.
Not sure what you're trying to say with the midget stuff. But Telenav has been as good for me as most any of the "professional" GPS's you reference. I've compared it side by side in friend's and colleague's cars, and it works great. Its maps are more up to date than most, since you're downloading them on the fly - and its just damn hard to rip that installed "professional" unit out of the car to take on business trips for use in the rental car too. Telenav is a great app and service - very few who have used it would say you're "wasting your time" with it.
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Old 02-09-2008, 11:09 PM   #13 (permalink)
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actually, very few of anybody would say that you are wasting your time with it. 90% of the people that try telenav keep it.
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Old 02-10-2008, 11:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Decisions, decisions, decisions...

Thanks for all the replies guys. So I guess I'll tell my story...

I've been a Verizon customer for about 5 years now--was Cingular before FOREVER. Cingular wasn't bad but a family friend told me he had Verizon for 15 years, solid company, solid service. So, I needed a new phone, like many of us do, and went to a competitor to try them out.

I live in Birmingham, AL now (lived in Tuscaloosa while I went to school there to get my MIS degree--ROLL TIDE HEISMAN 2009=JULIO JONES SABAN ERA IS HERE WOO HOO! (sorry had to put in my obligatory cheer). I must say Verizon IS a solid service. Here's the main thing I say about Verizon (CDMA) when comparing to AT&T/t-Mobile (GSM):

CDMA: WHEN CONNECTED, call never drops. You may not get service in as MANY areas, but for the MOST part where I live and go (which is local--no major travel for me except the beach), I'm good.

GSM: Connects more often, but may disconnect. Static in line, clicking noises, disconnections. More coverage areas. This has PROBABLY gotten better as I have admit I have not used a GSM phone regularly EVER. This is just from experience of my friends.

Blackberry NEED: Well, I really don't have one. I am a business consultant for a company that works for AT&T (no I don't get discounts, lol). I work from HOME! I like having email PUSHED to me, and thats about it. Plus, I check movies, stocks, news, etc on the Internet through mobile. GPS is a true plus for me and I like knowing that the satellite capability doesn't rely on cell towers. Unfortunately, I AM hearing that you can't JUST use the satellite portion WITHOUT having cell coverage BECAUSE MAPS are loaded on the fly (through cell towers?). If this is true that sucks majorly and built-in GPS has a place further down my priority list.

Cost IS a factor because I can't rationalize blackberry service IN THE FIRST place so thats why t-Mobile appeals to me. BUT I do tend to agree that AT&T probably will incorporate technology/G3/upgrades faster than t-Mobile on the whole.

t-Mobile's blackberry pricing is cheaper and they have a better suited calling plan (the 1000 minute family share plan, for my wife) rather than 700 (to small) OR 1400 (to large)--a problem I have dealt with using Verizon and it looks like AT&T as well.

QUESTION: When in an AT&T contract, can I start with the 1400 minute plan, keep for 3-4 months, let rollover accrue, THEN switch to the 700 min? OR does rollover RESET when you change plans? Just wondering if I could cut some costs this way.

Device Comments:

Curve: Looks nicer, camera is a plus, keys are separated, more easy to press the intended one, comes in different colors (not so important), and GPS (I know 8800 series has GPS too)

88xx: I had the Verizon 8830 and truly liked it. It is a SOLID piece of equipment, more so than the Curve. It FEELS like a more business-grade (metals, no flimsiness at all). Keys are do-able, yet, closer together and easy to fat finger. No camera (the good thing about a camera on a BLACKBERRY is ability to use your LIMITLESS email!!! I know the limitations of some companies and know this is why 88xx don't come with.

Ugh, so I'm still stuck. With the Curve, I'm tempted to consider nothing but AT&T's 8810 with built-in GPS. I will look into this key chain thing (never heard of it) for use with t-Mobile's 8320.

I'd like to keep monthly costs under or around $140 for my wife and I:

AT&T:
Would have to go with 1400 FSP/200 Texts per line/Insurance on hers/Blackberry PERSONAL ($30--no BES, would forgo putting my company's email on my device, would be nice to have if i have a Blackberry already) (can't insure my BBERRY!?!) for $134.98 before taxes. Est @ 12%, im at $151

t-Mobile:
1,000 FSP/400 texts per line (for only $5 each woohoo!)/Insurance on BOTH (if I bought devices from t-Mobile--can't add insurance if you get from Amazon or other place with discounted equipment)/Blackberry Corporate (everything unlimited blackberry for $30) and my total would be something like $121.94 before taxes, $136 after.

So what do I do? I want to trust t-Mobile so bad just don't know much about them. On the other hand AT&T has cheaper devices (although not insurable for most expensive ones) and rollover is still nice to have, if I can change plans mid-way.

Sorry for confusion... my contract with Verizon ends in May. Any reason to WAIT it out for any NEW devices for either t-Mobile or AT&T? I'm not staying with Verizon because I need coverage in zip code=36744. t-Mobile and AT&T DO BOTH have great coverage here and around here--no Verizon to be found.

Thanks again for the comments so far and any help based on experience would be wonderfully appreciated!
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:10 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I was on verizon for around 10 years and had plenty of dropped calls and plenty of other probs. I don't get why people think they are so great. I've even had to go for days without service cuase they made a mistake 3 times in a row and then the comp locked them out from fixing it. 3 mistakes in a row and their comp locks them out from working on the account for 24+ hours. Ill never use them again.
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:51 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjogran View Post
QUESTION: When in an AT&T contract, can I start with the 1400 minute plan, keep for 3-4 months, let rollover accrue, THEN switch to the 700 min? OR does rollover RESET when you change plans? Just wondering if I could cut some costs this way.
Afraid not - I'm on AT&T and thought that would be a great strategy too. They reset your rollover minutes to zero when you change plans.
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Unfortunately, I AM hearing that you can't JUST use the satellite portion WITHOUT having cell coverage BECAUSE MAPS are loaded on the fly (through cell towers?). If this is true that sucks majorly and built-in GPS has a place further down my priority list.
Yes, that's true, maps are loaded on the fly. I really don't understand why you say that "majorly sucks" though. The maps are more up to date than maps stored on a GPS device normally are this way - and there's not enough memory to store maps for the U.S. or even a significant region on the device, that would take too much memory.
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Old 02-11-2008, 01:55 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Despite what anyone might claim in this thread, coverage is going to vary based on location. Determine real world coverage in areas where you need it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bithacker View Post
I don't know why people think that the CS in ATT sucks.
Years and many, many calls to at&t, TMO and Verizon doing corporate BB support. ;) However, coverage matters above all else which is why they're my carrier if you look the left.

Last edited by takeshi : 02-11-2008 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 02-11-2008, 04:32 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I have had service with all the major players, AT&T, cingular, TMo, Sprint, Nextel, Verizon, Pactel, Airtouch and Skypager. Since last year I will only use either AT&T or Verizon and i'll explain below. TMo coverage is terrible in non metropolitan areas. When I moved from Atlanta to florida it was hell. Even though I was an hour south of Tallahassee and 1 hour east of Panama city TMo didnt offer coverage even though AT&T did. TMo's pricing sucks on their phones, but if you go through wirefly.com you can get a great price if not free and still get insurance. I even made $25 when I ordered my Pearl thru them. And I was still able to change plans prior to my move, but I hear thats only the case when you up your rate plan and not lower it. But coverage sucks so if you travel a lot TMo is not for you.

Sprint/ Nextel is a cluster f$#k. The hybrid phones are nice in the since that you do not have to wait for sms to download and you still get cdma coverage along with direct connect. if you can get the sero plan (email me and i'll explain) the rates are phenomenal. I was paying $50 for 1300 minutes, unlimited texts and picture messages, unlimited direct connect, and free nights and weekends that started at 7pm. To add BIS it was an additional $30.Thats where the fun ends though. OTA updates are nonexistent and any sort of phone related issue will send you to at least 3 different departments in customer service. Sprint/ Nextels phone selection is way behind the times too. They just got pearls a few months ago and if you want a cool phone they are seriously lacking in that department. Coverage was pretty good, but the merger severely crippled Nextels formerly wonderful customer service. Sprint/ Nextel is a trainwreck moving at the speed of business.

I wont go into Pactel, Airtouch or Skypager since they are no longer around.

Verizon is actually pretty good. I honestly have no beef with them other than the phone selection. Their Blackberrys come out a little after the fact, but the white and silver Pearls are hot! Coverage was always good as was customer service. Rate plans werent too bad either.

Now on to my current provider, AT&T. I like AT&T. My wife has had them since '98 and they have always had solid coverage. The rate plans are a little on the pricey side, but with rollover it makes it worth it in my opinion. Their phones kick ass and thats not even counting the iPhone. I like my red 8310 and the price was good. Granted I could have gotten it cheaper through wirefly or letstalk.com, but I would not have been able to add my wifes line to make a family plan. However, if you and your wife are getting new phones at the same time definately use wirefly or letstalk.com. You will probably even make money on your phone purchase through them since the rebates are typically more than the phone's out of pocket cost. There are some issues with the website since cingular was refolded into AT&T, but a call to customer service has always quickly rectified them. I have never spent more than 5mins on the line with them including when I had to change my rate plan, add text messages, change my number, and take off caller id... and that was all in one call including holding time.

In short if you travel a lot, like few hassles and for your phone to work I would stick with the AT&T or Verizon. Wifi is nice, but I need my phone to work on its own ie power outages, tornados and shotty dsl connections. I don't mind paying $5-10 more per month so long as my equipment works. But to each his own. If whatever you choose doesn't fit your needs return it and find something that does.
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Old 02-11-2008, 04:39 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arson451 View Post
When I moved from Atlanta to florida it was hell. Even though I was an hour south of Tallahassee and 1 hour east of Panama city TMo didnt offer coverage even though AT&T did.
That is in the middle of hell.
Scrub pines and possums don't carry BlackBerrys!

I agree on most of your points.
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Old 02-11-2008, 05:35 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Buy an AT & T GoPhone and a T-Mobile Prepaid phone (don't know which one it is). Use them in the places that you frequent and see which one gives you the better coverage.

Who cares how much money you save, if your calls don't connect.
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