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Old 12-04-2005, 02:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Let The Battle Begin - TMO vs. Cingular

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Since I seem to be good at posting the relativly simple yet involved question, here comes another one:
I have been a TMO Blackberry user for about 2 years, and really have no problems with it whatsoever. It works great for all purposes, internet can be slow, and coverage can cost me a bit, but its all part of the BB lifestyle. I think . . . Recently, I found out as an Apple employee I get a good deal on phones and plans with Cingular. Nothing amazing, but priced out similarly to what I have with TMO currently it could save me 10, 15 bucks a month. I love the 8700 from what I've seen, and my contract with TMO ends this month. SO here comes the question:

Why switch? I think we should pop brain power together and come up with a comprehensive list of the benefits and downfalls of the two providers, and help not only me but all of the BB users out there come to a conclusion.

I'm curious to see where this leads . . .

ben
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Old 12-04-2005, 03:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The benefits that Cingular offers over T-Mobile, IMHO, are:

-Larger coverage area (my folks live in the sticks of MO and T-Mo has no service there)

-Better reception in buildings due to the 850 MHz band.

-Better offering of phones for those of us who want the latest & greatest.

T-Mo has better rates, but it's worth it to me to pay more and get more.
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Old 12-04-2005, 03:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have Tmobile and for signal strength and maintence T-Mobile sucks...
However T-mobile has great and free broken phone replacement policies (I get it cause I've been with them 5 years since the voicestream days) and fairly good customers service (however the service is getting worse and sloppy)...I also find their software somewhat buggy on my 7290 and slower than the cingular 7290 carrier software package.

However Whiles cingular has way better phones & smartphones, broader coverage, and possibly better customer service, The cingular plans and fine print on their contracts are very shady. Even the guy in the cingular shop told me that i didn;t have to read that because he can bypass all those terms and fees for me if i buy the phone from him....(yeah, right!)

Also cingular is expensive and seem to have fees for just about EVERYTHING...
however if you go with T-Mo because it's cheaper you'll pay less for plans but when you don't get a signal and can't use free minutes (which is often) you're not saving any money at all.
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Old 12-04-2005, 03:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Many have mentioned the BIS difference

Can someone explain the differences:

Why is T-Mobiles so much better - I have heard multiple reply from addresses but don't know more that that.

Does anyone know Cingular's plans to upgrade.
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Old 12-04-2005, 03:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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T-Mobile can only be "arguably" better because it's focuses on quality for cheap (less costly plans, less phones, less customer base, less coverage area). That is not to say that T-Mo has achieved high quality standards. In fact they are far from it. But they are trying. Cingular focuses on the big picture and quantity. More new phones, more plan types, more customers, more stores, more staff, more more more...and that may mean that you as a customer may be ignored or drowned out when your handheld gets old and you have questions.

Cingular can only be "arguably" better because the have a broad coverage area and possibly better customer service. T-mobile really sucks at coverage and signal. Also T-mobile voicemail system and customer service specific for data phones bothers me.
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Old 12-04-2005, 03:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Don't underestimate the 850 spectrum where there is coverage

With only the 1900 spectrum, you don't have good service inside buildings. For me this coverage issue is critical. What good is edge without a connection.
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Old 12-04-2005, 05:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I say don't mess up a good thing. I've been w/ T-Mobile since they were Powertel...before Voicestream....and I've only experienced minor problems. I'm extrememly satisfied with the rate, the plans, the customer service, the reception, the options, the equipment and everything else under the sun. The biggest complaint I've heard about Cingular is that they have poor customer service. If you've got a problem, you want it fixed and T-Mobile goes above and beyond the call of duty, whereas Cingular does not. I guess I'm a needy person, but to me so long as the rest of the package is good, I better have damn good Customer Service.
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Old 12-04-2005, 05:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I keep reading TMO coverage sucks, but that isn't my experience so far.
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Old 12-04-2005, 06:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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All depends where you are. I got excellent CIngular coverage. T-Mo would not work for me unless I went outside my office and held the phone over my head. "Their" map showed I had good coverage, but the signal strength said different.
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Old 12-04-2005, 06:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkf747
I keep reading TMO coverage sucks, but that isn't my experience so far.
You probably stay in or around a rather large-sized city or near an interstate. For those areas I'm sure T-Mobile is adequate for some, but there's no denying that Cingular's coverage area is vastly more expansive. And it is a fact that Cingular, using the 850 MHz band, will have better reception in buildings than T-Mobile because T-Mo only uses the 1900 MHz band.

For people who rarely stray from the city or highway, T-Mo is probably just fine. For those of us who leave the city and work in buildings Cingular might be the better option.
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Old 12-04-2005, 06:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I've had T-Mobile for about four years. I tried Cingular last year keeping my Blackberry on Cingular and phone on T-Mobile. In September I went back with T-Mobile for both.

Cingular didn't work well for me in the Northern NJ/NYC area. Probably had more to do with Cingular moving from joint venture T-Mobile/Cingular network to AT&T than coverage.

As for T-Mobile's coverage, they just signed a bunch of roaming agreements. Go to www.howardforums.com and someone posted a map, I believe available on Amazon, showing the new coverage. It is sizable. It has taken place for many areas but I believe I read the remaining gets activated at the end of the year.

Another big benefit of T-Mobile is the new BIS. I think it is a big imporvement over Cingular's BWC. Not to mention the cost, I get a 3000 anytime minute regional plan + unlimited blackberry corporate + 400 SMS for $85/mo. Coverage in my area is very good.

On the downside, phone selection is poor if you want a T-Mobile phone. If I were you, I'd try Cingular and if it worked as well as you need, go with it since you'll save some money.

Regards-Michael G.
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Old 12-04-2005, 07:29 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Mike G,

You referrenced that you are now using Tmobile for all your lines. Also, you mentioned Northern NJ/NYC area - which is exactly where I am.

Can you comment on your satisfaction with tmobile in the northern nj/nyc area - specifically for blackberry?

I understand there will be dropped calls, etc - but for the most part - you satisfied?

Regards,
dolo
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Old 12-04-2005, 07:48 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dolo
Mike G,

You referrenced that you are now using Tmobile for all your lines. Also, you mentioned Northern NJ/NYC area - which is exactly where I am.

Can you comment on your satisfaction with tmobile in the northern nj/nyc area - specifically for blackberry?

I understand there will be dropped calls, etc - but for the most part - you satisfied?

Regards,
dolo
Dolo,
Conveniently, I'm from Essex County myself. Using TMO there I havent had much trouble at all, though that is not a very descriptive way of commenting on it. Data coverage has been fine, but the area, at least where I am specifically from, has for the majority of the time low signal indications in coverage. MEANING, you will have no problem placing a call, but the second you turn on to the wrong road, that call is dropped. I know for a fact this doesnt happen on Verizon, not to sure about Cingular. But I think I'm making the problem sound much more severe than it actually is. Satisfaction would be about 80 - 85 percent.

Ben
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Old 12-04-2005, 07:56 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Ben,

Thanks for the quick reply - to the OP, my apologies in advance for the OT post.

I understand exactly what you are saying and your 80-85% sums it up perfectly!

Thanks again,
dolo
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Old 12-04-2005, 08:08 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I can't comment on TMo, I have been with Att/Cingular for the last 2 years or so and BB for the last 6 months.

I believe the compelling factor should be coverage and cost. I have never had any problems with Customer Service, and I have logged my share of calls and emails to CS. In my time with them, I also have never been charged for anything above the standard rate for any overages. For me that is about $82/month total after taxes, etc. I get a 19% corporate discount on service.

You do have 30 days with Cingular to terminate and give it back if you don't like it. Just another thought, they currently have a 7290 & 7100 series rehab phone for $69 on the web, that you could use for 30 days to determine if you like the service and then trade up to a new BB if you like it.
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Old 12-04-2005, 10:01 PM   #16 (permalink)
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What advantage will Tmo updated BIS have over Cingular's?
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Old 12-04-2005, 10:22 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I, before reading Mitch's post, followed this path with Cingular and ordered the refurbed 7290 from Cingular. I am just wondering why Cingular's taxes are so much higher? This defies logic. I understand that a small change would occur in cost between TMO and Cingular because of the price differential, but I am offended on principal that Cingular is charging such significantly higher monthly taxes. In my "welcome" package, which I thought was a very good idea, they gave me a sample bill and I was gobsmacked by the taxes. I do not have the paperwork in front of me at the moment but a bill of roughly $89 a month with taxes is around $110.
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Old 12-04-2005, 11:10 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (ATTW/

Cingular-Blue 7290 BI: BlackBerry7290/4.0.2 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1)


I'm on Cingular-Blue (7290) under a perferred supplier discount program only saving $3/mo. TMo won't sell in my area in Iowa. They use an affiliate, i-wireless to sell service. I-wireless doesn't have BB's.

My deaf friends have TMo Sidekicks, but they buy them online and let the phone number assignment be from DesMoines, since they don't use their voice plans. So, TMo GPRS is present around here, only "i-wireless" shows up as the carrier on the phone.

Funny about Cingular being better in buildings than Tmo. At work, I sit along the windows and have good data coverage (4-bars). BTW: 5 miles away in my home, I have 5 bars, probably same tower! Anyway, the restroom is in the center of the building, where I catch up on my news, etc. I set mt network to automatic. When I'm in there, I lose the Cingular signal and i-wireless (TMo) takes over, about 2-bars. Cingular comes back when I return to my area. Though, last Friday, it was stuck on Cingular GMS until I popped the battery to reset.

I'd love to have TMo's $30 unlimited data rate. I have a 400+100 minute voice plan + $46 BB Data. I never use up the additional 100 that came with the sign-up! No loyalty here, I'll be watching - if there's an opportunity, my wife and I will switch even if we have to get unlocked BB's or wait until the next one is out.

Oh, while x-mas shopping yesterday, I stopped by the Cingular kiosk and asked about the 8700, the gal there said she had one 7100 that was the latest one, but I corrected her. She was clueless about it.

I'll never be happy with customer service, so that's not a selling point for me; Reliability, not having to call is.

Steve
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Old 12-05-2005, 01:21 AM   #19 (permalink)
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we can sit and argue about coverage and who has better customer service but the truth of the matter is .... what service works where you are located ... but the BIG BIG difference between cingular and tmo is there bwc .... tmo has it down .... i just switched from tmo to cigular for the 8700 .... tmo web client is where we need to be ... from your handheld you are allowed to (when you have multiple addresses ) change which email address you want to send from per message .... this feature is amazing .... it also tells my gmail accounts that the mail has been accessed .... cingular's web client is giving and old school blackberry effect .... at the launch party cingular rep and rim rep said that cigular was the original blackberry host ... if that is so then why did tmo move into the future and cingular left behind .... other service providers need to get on the tmo kick and get up to speed
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Old 12-05-2005, 04:25 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dolo
Mike G,

You referrenced that you are now using Tmobile for all your lines. Also, you mentioned Northern NJ/NYC area - which is exactly where I am.

Can you comment on your satisfaction with tmobile in the northern nj/nyc area - specifically for blackberry?

I understand there will be dropped calls, etc - but for the most part - you satisfied?

Regards,
dolo
I'm in Rutherford and have the 3000 min/mo regional plan. I use about 2300 min/mo in the Northern NJ, NYC, LI and Westchester Area. Verizon definately has the best coverage, but where I use T-Mobile, I rarely have no signal or a dropped call. I tried Cingular's voice service and had problems the two times I tried it (about 8 months apart). At that time there were a couple of threads complaining in howardforums about NYC.

Cingular charges as much as Verizon but they aren't good in execution if not perception. I think that's why they are hurting in contract signings last quarter. I believe Verizon more than doubled the number of new contract over Cingular and even T-Mobile, half Cingular's size, signed more than Cingular.

As for T-Mobile, the 3000 min plan is great if it works for you. As someone mentioned, use the 30 day Cingular trial and see how you like it. I'll probably give it a try again in the next month or two. I have a lot of people I work with on Cingular so using it would cut my monthly minutes by half since I'd get M2M.

If I had to pick a number I'd say 90% satisfied with T-Mobile network coverage. However, I do always worry as I travel around the state, will I need to make that off ramp and go into a no signal area. According to the T-Mobile map there are a lot of holes. It just hasn't been an issue for me yet.

Also, check the T-Mobile web site, they have an excellent street level coverage map.

Regards-Michael G.
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