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Old 04-07-2006, 09:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Why is the Cingular BB ad-on twice the price of TMobile

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I'm getting ready to buy the 8700 for Tmobile (hopefully in only one more week), so I went to the local Cingular to get a small preview and check out prices. Rate plans always vary between all the companies but I nearly jumped when I saw Cingular's Blackberry ad-on plan is $39.99 per month when I only pay $19.99 with Tmobile. Anybody have a clue what extra, if anything, you get with a Blackberry on Cingular service for paying double compared to Tmobile?
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Old 04-07-2006, 10:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Check out a coverage map from Cingular and T-Mo and compare the differences, especially if you travel anywhere other than a major city. Since many Cingular areas have some 850MHz coverage, you'll also get better service inside a building.

Cingular does have a flat-rate international data roaming plan for the BB, but I'm not sure if T-Mo does -- a quick look of their international roaming site didn't seem to mention it.

Nextel and VZW also are charging about $40/month for unlimited BB data, with only T-Mo being different. So it's not just Cingular when it comes to the high prices, it's everyone.
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Old 04-07-2006, 10:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Just because a company has a bigger coverage area shouldn't mean they can charge twice as much for the same service. But I guess since all the companies are $40 and Tmobile's the only one that's $20, then maybe the better question is what isn't Tmobile providing by only charging $20.
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Old 04-07-2006, 10:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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starting last august/september, TMO signed contracts with Cingular and other companies to use their 850MHz towers in non-competitive markets. it appears that they ended up covering some competitive markets' neighboring area with these deals as well. i know i can pretty much now travel ANYWHERE down this way without dropping a call due to coverage.
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Old 04-07-2006, 10:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I was just thinking that too cause I have coverage with my Blackberry on the 850Mhz band all the way up through Vermont into Canada with some service USA390. I've never had a problem with coverage with Tmobile but I haven't traveled to ever corner of the country.
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Old 04-07-2006, 11:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If there is any TM signal that's what you get even if it is much weaker than roaming. Corporations give alloted $s per month. So people choose reliability if they travel alot. In my firm with 13,000 BB's TM isn't even a preferred vendor. There's a reason, not sure what it is. So that's why we have democracy. You have free choice.
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Old 04-07-2006, 11:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Certainly don't want to speak out of turn here but how many people are in "non-competitive" markets? Any clarifications as to what that means, jibi?
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Old 04-08-2006, 12:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't know about all this network hype. All due respect, but I think it's just an easy justification for Cingular's higher rates.

For example, I had Cingular here in the Bay Area (CA). Now, reception was fine but I dropped calls often enough. Eventually, better rates drove me to port my number over to T-Mobile. Guess what? Now, I rarely ever drop a call. But not just in the Bay Area. Everywhere. Washington D.C., Lexington, New York, San Diego, Reno, Chicago, Las Vegas (I could go on).

I pay $60 a month for: 1000 nationwide minutes + free night/weekend + unlimited BB. That includes ALL data charges, even 3rd party apps. All at EDGE speeds.

With Cingular, the same plan is $75, only you don't get true unlimited data (use of some 3rd party apps will cost extra) and you don't get to use the latest version of BIS.

Now, I admit, most the places I go aren't off the beaten path. But here's another example. While traveling to The Plains, VA (a rather remote town in terms of cellular service) I had my T-Mobile'ed 8700c with me. My dad had his 2 cellphones, one on Cingular and another on Verizon. My brother had his Sprint phone. What I'm trying to say is that we had the spectrum pretty much covered in terms of carriers.

In this order, here's how long each phone was able to maintain a signal. Cingular wasn't even in the Top 2:

- Verizon
- T-Mobile
- Cingular
- Sprint

My point is, I understand there's always going to be a difference in terms of carriers and reception, but unless you live in an area you know doesn't get good reception from T-Mobile, always go with T-Mobile over Cingular. Better service, more features, less expensive.

Last edited by tfaz1 : 04-08-2006 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 04-08-2006, 12:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Does Blackberry offer each company a different price for service depending on how many Blackberry subscribers they have? Or is Tmobile just that good to offer it at half price.
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Old 04-08-2006, 02:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mymitsu3kgt
Does Blackberry offer each company a different price for service depending on how many Blackberry subscribers they have? Or is Tmobile just that good to offer it at half price.
The prices are carrier set. Tmo just has a better deal
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Old 04-08-2006, 11:12 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Additionally, Cingular doesn't offer a BIS-only Blackberry add-on. Granted, Cingular's add-on is still a bit pricier than TMO's BES add-on. You don't get anything extra with Cingular. Their Blackberry add-on is equivalent to TMO's BES add-on. In fact, you get an older version of BIS and tethering only at an extra $30 per month (tethering's included with TMO). Cingular seems to have a track record of having the better device exclusives and earlier device offerings if that matters to you. I bought my 7290 and 8700c from Cingular while I was with TMO because of that.

Coverage is always a YMMV issue. After two years of putting up with no TMO reception at my house in central Houston I switched to Cingular and have had perfect reception since then. I'm in the middle of the city and not off the beaten path by any means. It's probably worse in this situation because it's likely that I'm surrounded by TMO towers with weak signal which keeps me from roaming on a competitor's tower with better reception.

Discussing coverage is pretty pointless unless the two people discussing it are in the same market. Always fully check coverage in various locations before your trial period with your new carrier is up. I do agree with the recommendation that if TMO coverage is at least as good as Cingular's then you should go with TMO. Cingular CS reps are widely known for being inconsistent and billing and provisioning issues (sometimes randomly popping up even though you've been fine for months) aren't uncommon with the orange jack. Note that even my experience is only anecdotal but I'll state that the IT department I work in supports several hundred Blackberries. 90% of them are TMO. However, calls to Cingular make up the majority of our support calls to the carriers. What's worse is that calls to Cingular seem to take more of our time, on a per-call basis, than calls to TMO. Make of it what you will -- that's just my experience. As I said, YMMV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mymitsu3kgt
Just because a company has a bigger coverage area shouldn't mean they can charge twice as much for the same service.
You're definitely in the minority. People do care about call reception with wireless carriers. However, I could personally care less about what a carrier's coverage maps says. The TMO personal coverage map indicates that my home should be in an area of good coverage. It's not. The majority of the time, it's impossible to place or receive calls or there's so much distortion due to poor reception that my phone is barely usable. I have no such issues at my home with Cingular. The price difference is definitely worth it to me. A cheap unusable carrier is still unusable. Or, to use a variation of your words, poorer coverage is not "the same service".

However, if you don't have to worry about quality on your voice calls then you could probably make do with poor coverage. Data packets can get through with short and intermittent periods of coverage. In other words, coverage that might be unusable for a phone call can be perfectly fine for receiving email on your Blackberry. Browsing might be a different story though...

Note that really poor reception will eat your battery life faster as the device boosts its transmit power to try to compensate. It becomes an even bigger issue if your home or place of work (or any other place where you might spend a lot of time) is in an area with poor coverage.

Last edited by takeshi : 04-08-2006 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 04-08-2006, 12:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by takeshi
Discussing coverage is pretty pointless unless the two people discussing it are in the same market.
Even people in the same market is relatively meaningless in my mind because unless the other person lives and works exactly where you do, it's impossible to compare coverage. My girlfriend is on a stint in Houston and over at her apartment in Houston, I get decent coverage on my TMO, here in Irvine, around the office I get great coverage, coming home I get pretty decent coverage. But on Sprint, I couldn't even pick up a signal in the house.
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Old 04-08-2006, 01:11 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I have no problem with Tmo's coverage area. I don't sacrifice call quality for a better price. As you stated, if you're having so much trouble with Cingular's service, then why should they charge double what Tmo's charging.
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Old 04-08-2006, 01:13 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I can have a perfectly clear conversation with only one bar of service.
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Last edited by mymitsu3kgt : 04-08-2006 at 01:15 PM.
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