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Old 01-18-2008, 03:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Which Carrier/Data Plan?

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I'm a new member, and I'm not sure if this is the right forum for this question but here goes. I'm planning on getting a BB when my current Verizon runs out in a week or so, and I'm looking at the 8130 if I stay with Verizon. Generally, my phone service has been ok with Verizon except it generall seems a bit more expensive. And if I get their basic bundled 400 minutes plus data plan it's about $79 which is a bit pricey for me. I live in the bay area (NorCal) and based on looking at coverage maps and talking to people I know, T-Mobile and ATT seem to have good coverage where I live and work. T-Mobile looks interesting but here's some questions.
1. As I understand it T-M has slower data services than Vzm (slower than ATT as well?) but if I'm primarily interested in email does it matter?
2. T-M has a "BIS" bundled plan (1000 m + unlimited data) for $59 and a similar "BES" plan for $69. My company is getting a BES server in Q1, so I guess I need the BES plan but is there some technical issue for this costing more, or is T-M pricing for "what the market will bear"?

VZN and T-M seem to be my best options but am I missing a less expensive but "good enough" BES data plan option with another carrier?


Old 01-18-2008, 04:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Coverage is the most important factor in any decision about mobile devices. Coverage, coverage, coverage! Make sure your carrier gets a signal at your house too. Nothing more frustrating than getting no signal where you'll spend a considerable amount of time - at home.

I have T-Mobile in the NYC area and coverage is superb. I have a Family Plan for minutes that includes both my kids. We split 1000 minutes per month, and for us that's overkill. The BIS add-on for me is $20/month. It's unlimited data but no text messages are included. T-Mobile seems like the overall cheapest carrier. And I've always found their customer support (24/7) to be superb.

They're using EDGE as their "high speed" network, which is not so high speed. AT&T has a 3G network, but no Blackberry can use it. RIM hasn't released a North American 3G BB yet, and nothing concrete on when they might. I've heard that AT&T's EDGE network is faster than T-Mobile's, but I haven't seen any evidence that this is so. Everything I've seen has been annecdotal and subjective. Verizon's EV-DO is the speed king in the Blackberry world right now. It's pretty impressive, and makes a real difference with web browsing. For email, with attachments, it will also give you a big boost. For regular text email you won't see much of a difference between any of the networks. Text emails are small enough that speed differences will be insignificant.
Old 01-18-2008, 04:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You need to look at which carrier provides the coverage when and where you need it , where you live, work, travel and play. All carriers are not alike and all carriers have coverage gaps. Do not trust the coverage maps, talk to friends, family, coworkers, etc and get the straight story. Cost and phone selection should be secondary to coverage since with no coverage, the cheapest service is too expensive.

Verizon and Sprint EVDO is faster than ATT and T-Mo's Edge and about as fast as the ATT 3G network. No BB has 3g yet however. IMHO, speed is no big deal when it comes to email. It makes a bit of difference in surfing and more of a difference if you tether to your PC/laptop.

I would not recommend placing a personal BB on a company BES as the company IT Policies can severely limit what you can do with the device. Plus if they so desire, they can read all of your personal mail that comes into the BES via the BB. Not saying they will, but they can. If they want you on their BES, have them provide and pay for the BB.

In general, if you are happy with Verizon, I would stick with them. Verizon and ATT have the best national coverage with Sprint 3rd and T-Mo bringing up the rear.

Before you make the leap tot he 8130, make sure you are comfortable with SureType. People either love it or hate it. Not much in between.
Old 01-18-2008, 04:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The first 2 posts are pretty accurate but I figured I'd toss in my $0.02.. Tmo is the cheapest for unlimited data and while evdo is faster than edge many of the new devices have WiFi which kinda makes that irrelevant.. In the end coverage is probably the most important though...
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