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Old 06-11-2007, 03:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi, I recently got a T-Mobile Unlimited BB plan. The plan itself is great, but the places where I physically am the most (work and home), the phone does not get reception very well. The phone gets 0 bars at work and just constantly says "searching" all day long, and when I am at home, the phone gets 1-2 bars but when I pick it up and move to the middle of my house it goes to "searching." As far as being out and about, the phone always gets some sort of signal. I do not use the phone for voice, just pure data (email and internet) so I do not need a strong signal all of the time. I just need something reliable enough to get emails and if I reply and set the phone back down it'll fire the responses off. It drives me crazy that it doesn't work at all at my job. I am in a 4 bar "green" zone on T-Mobile's coverage map, but inside the building I don't get diddly squat.

Anyways, I am seriously switching to Cingular/ATT Wireless and paying the $35/month (instead of $30/month) but I have heard horror stories about their customer service and billing issues. Does anyone have any advice they can give me, or any kinds of heads up concerning making the switch. I JUST got T-Mobile so I have 12 more days left in my trial period. Anyone with personal experiences to share, please feel free to vent and let me know, along with any advice you might have.

Also, if you live in the Philadelphia, PA area (specifically suburbs) and you have T-Mobile, could you let me know what kind of coverage you get?

Thanks!

-Josh (Philadelphia, PA)
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Old 06-11-2007, 05:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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make the switch, no point in paying Tmobile if it does not work where you need it. You will always hear about bad customer service, but how often do you hear about GREAT customer service? It's hit and miss with every rep, for most carriers. So far (just over 3 months) I have had no problems with Cingular/at&t.
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Old 06-11-2007, 05:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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at&t has great bb plans, if you plan to test message as well, there is an unlimited Blackberry internet plan + 1000 text message for 39.99. Its not too bad of a deal, we have them on all 4 lines.

Hope that helps!
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Old 06-11-2007, 05:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalikidtx View Post
at&t has great bb plans, if you plan to test message as well, there is an unlimited Blackberry internet plan + 1000 text message for 39.99. Its not too bad of a deal, we have them on all 4 lines.

Hope that helps!
It's now 1500 messages, and it would be $5 more ($45) for them without a voice plan which is what they said they are considering but yes great plan I have it.
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Old 06-11-2007, 06:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (8700g: BlackBerry8700/4.1.0 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/100)

About reception at work and at home, is it only a problem in the building and the house but ok when outside? If that's the case, swithing carriers may not help. And I wonder what others in your office experience, and if their BB or phone carrier makes a difference.
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Old 06-11-2007, 06:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I am a supporter of T-mobile but if it doesn't work where you live and work, why keep it? You might as well switch.

Just a side note, keep in mind that AT&T charge you extra for tethering. (Hooking up your laptop to your Blackberry to use it as a modem for the Internet)
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Old 06-11-2007, 06:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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All the horror stories about their customer service and biling are 100% True!! I can't say that the service isn't good....but if you are managing a multiple line account with Cingular.....it's a nightmare!!
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Old 06-11-2007, 06:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I would talk to your co-workers, friends, relatives, etc., as another poster recommended, and see which carrier they use and how their service is and use that to pick the carrier.

I have been with Cingular for over 5 years now and have few complaints. They have the coverage where I need it (other than in the hills of northern NH and Vermont) and the price is reasonable. However, I also carry a Verizon phone for those areas where Cingular/ATT isn't usable.

Keep in mind that T-Mo is lower cost for a reason, they have fewer customers and their network isn't quite as large and robust as Verizon, ATT or Sprint. So to attract customers in their market, they offer lower prices. Or at least that is my opinion.
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Old 06-11-2007, 07:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubdub View Post
I would talk to your co-workers, friends, relatives, etc., as another poster recommended, and see which carrier they use and how their service is and use that to pick the carrier.

I have been with Cingular for over 5 years now and have few complaints. They have the coverage where I need it (other than in the hills of northern NH and Vermont) and the price is reasonable. However, I also carry a Verizon phone for those areas where Cingular/ATT isn't usable.

Keep in mind that T-Mo is lower cost for a reason, they have fewer customers and their network isn't quite as large and robust as Verizon, ATT or Sprint. So to attract customers in their market, they offer lower prices. Or at least that is my opinion.


Thank you for all of the info guys. Keep it coming hah.
Yea, I have asked my other co-workers who have Cingular/ATT as their BB provider and they say they get 3 bars or about half of the bars. They are able to make and receive calls and send and receive emails just fine.
As far as being able to get a signal outside the building...yes I am. Once I step outside the building I am able to to get a signal. When I am home, I get a signal if I leave the blackberry near the window. once i start walking around with it in my house, i lose signal. Cingular/ATT claims they have "best" rating coverage in my areas, where as T-Mobile on their coverage locator says I get 1-2 bars. I'm really starting to think that Cingular/ATT is the better choice.

Concerning the tethering capabilities...with T-Mobile I can do free tethering? What kinds of speeds do I get when I tether?


-Josh
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Old 06-11-2007, 09:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You will only get EDGE speeds - average 50-90 kbps or a bit faster than dial up, with a max of 236 kbps or approx 300 on an upgraded tower. Keep in mind that the speed is also determined by the connection, the processor, available memory, distance to the tower and tower congestion. Voice takes precedence over data.
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Old 06-11-2007, 09:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry_Black View Post
All the horror stories about their customer service and biling are 100% True!! I can't say that the service isn't good....but if you are managing a multiple line account with Cingular.....it's a nightmare!!
I've been with Cingular/AT&T for almost 3 years now and I can say that I have yet to have a billing or CS problem with them. Maybe I've just been lucky.
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Old 06-11-2007, 09:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubdub View Post
I would talk to your co-workers, friends, relatives, etc., as another poster recommended, and see which carrier they use and how their service is and use that to pick the carrier.

I have been with Cingular for over 5 years now and have few complaints. They have the coverage where I need it (other than in the hills of northern NH and Vermont) and the price is reasonable. However, I also carry a Verizon phone for those areas where Cingular/ATT isn't usable.

Keep in mind that T-Mo is lower cost for a reason, they have fewer customers and their network isn't quite as large and robust as Verizon, ATT or Sprint. So to attract customers in their market, they offer lower prices. Or at least that is my opinion.

if i take my unlocked 8700g phone into cingular/att wireless...they shouldn't have a problem activating it on a data plan right?
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Old 06-12-2007, 12:47 AM   #13 (permalink)
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It's possible to "preview" the signal of another carrier. On my Pearl, I am able to see the signal strength numerically if I go to Options -> Status. I'm with T-Mobile and the signal inside my house ranges from -110 dBm to about -95 dBm, sometimes even -90 when I'm right by the window. That's about equivalent to 1-2 bars

When I go to options and set mobile network selection to manual, I'm able to select AT&T (Cingular). Even though it won't let me register on the network, I can go back to the status screen and see a signal ranging from -80 to -65 dBm - 5 bars!

What sucks about this is that T-Mobile has a roaming agreement with Cingular, but it's only valid in areas where there is no T-mobile coverage at all.

Looks like I might be switching to Cingular pretty soon.
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Old 06-12-2007, 02:28 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I ordered my Curve yesterday and AT&T gave me a promotional offer of UNLIMITED DATA and SMS for $19.99!! I couldn't believe it either, I might have to switch from TMO if my signal are better with AT&T.
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Old 06-12-2007, 07:06 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by flash24 View Post
I ordered my Curve yesterday and AT&T gave me a promotional offer of UNLIMITED DATA and SMS for $19.99!! I couldn't believe it either, I might have to switch from TMO if my signal are better with AT&T.
There is a catch obviously. That is probably $19.99 on TOP of a voice plan. I am just using strictly data. But hey...if you need voice and data that sounds like a really really good deal.

SO...I think I have found a solution to my coverage issues with T-Mobile. Apparently I was using an out-of-date version of the software on my phone so I updated that. Then, I noticed that my phone (in the weak signal areas) kept switching in between Cingular and T-Mobile networks. For some odd reason, it would lock onto the Cingular network (which it can't connect to in this particular area because T-Mobile doesn't have a deal with Cingular with the particular tower that I get signal from at work). The phone would act "stupid" and keep trying to connect to Cingular, but it wouldn't connect to T-Mobile. It would just sit there saying "searching...". I changed the network mode to MANUAL and selected T-Mobile.
Turns out, I get 2 bars, sometimes 1 bar, at my office building. So...T-Mobile is here to stay for now. I just thought I would share that with everyone and see if anyone has had similar issues. If for any reason I do not get a T-Mobile signal, I simply will do a network search and see if there are other networks to connect to (T-Mobile has contract deals with rural GSM companies in the northeast, which is where I live).

Whew...for a second there I thought I would have to pay for another activation fee and a fee to get my phone unlocked.

Anyways...keep the advice coming. I am a new T-Mobile customer so I am all ears when it comes to experiences with either T-Mobile or Cingular
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:10 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by JGBerry View Post
Anyways, I am seriously switching to Cingular/ATT Wireless and paying the $35/month (instead of $30/month) but I have heard horror stories about their customer service and billing issues. Does anyone have any advice they can give me, or any kinds of heads up concerning making the switch.
You really have to choose based on coverage.

at&t CSR's are nowhere near as good as TMO's IMO. I've used both carriers personally and at work about 80% of our deployed BB's are TMO with the remainder on at&t (so I have dealt with them for work as well). However, as long as you're knowledgeable about what's going on you can always call back until you get a CSR with a clue. With a little leading from you even the less knowledgeable CSR's can help out from time to time.

I haven't had any billing issues so far...

Last edited by takeshi : 06-12-2007 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 06-12-2007, 02:26 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by flash24 View Post
I ordered my Curve yesterday and AT&T gave me a promotional offer of UNLIMITED DATA and SMS for $19.99!! I couldn't believe it either, I might have to switch from TMO if my signal are better with AT&T.
19.99 for BIS service or just data? I called them and they didn't seem to offering such a promotion.

Let us know! (Please give any info you can)
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Old 06-12-2007, 06:31 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by JGBerry View Post
if i take my unlocked 8700g phone into cingular/att wireless...they shouldn't have a problem activating it on a data plan right?
As long as it is unlocked and you have closed out your BIS account to release the IMEI and PIN, you should have no problems.
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Old 06-12-2007, 07:40 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGBerry View Post
Thank you for all of the info guys. Keep it coming hah.
Yea, I have asked my other co-workers who have Cingular/ATT as their BB provider and they say they get 3 bars or about half of the bars. They are able to make and receive calls and send and receive emails just fine.
As far as being able to get a signal outside the building...yes I am. Once I step outside the building I am able to to get a signal. When I am home, I get a signal if I leave the blackberry near the window. once i start walking around with it in my house, i lose signal. Cingular/ATT claims they have "best" rating coverage in my areas, where as T-Mobile on their coverage locator says I get 1-2 bars. I'm really starting to think that Cingular/ATT is the better choice.

Concerning the tethering capabilities...with T-Mobile I can do free tethering? What kinds of speeds do I get when I tether?

-Josh
It's faster than dail up but slower than DSL. You will get 115kbps

I have heard few people say that AT&T (Cingular) is slightly faster than T-mobile but not much.

Since you have to pay extra to do it, I recommend getting Verizon. At least you can get high speed connection that comes close to DSL speed.
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Old 06-13-2007, 07:21 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by secrecyguy View Post
It's faster than dail up but slower than DSL. You will get 115kbps

I have heard few people say that AT&T (Cingular) is slightly faster than T-mobile but not much.

Since you have to pay extra to do it, I recommend getting Verizon. At least you can get high speed connection that comes close to DSL speed.
you have to pay extra for tethering with T-Mobile? I thought you could get away with the service for free?
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