[geeks] Opinions on T-Mobile and Verizon
James at jdfogg.com
Sat Nov 24 06:27:51 CST 2007
> Next up is where to move to from Sprint.
> Verizon seems to get high marks for coverage and signal.
> Does anyone have any experience with T-Mobile?
This is the bottom line on coverage -
Verizon and US Cellular are CDMA. Everyone else is GSM or some less
represented (in the US) technology. There is way better coverage for
CDMA, and US Cellular and Verizon have an infrastructure sharing
agreement, so you can seamlessly use each others systems with no roaming
I have a Cingular Treo. It works fine in NYC, but only as long as I'm
above ground. My personal VZ phone works in all the road tunnels, all
the rail tunnels and the subways. You would *think* in NYC, the
country's largest market, the GSM providers would cover you in
subterranean situations. I've stood in Iowa cornfields and had my VZ
phone work, but not the treo (or just about anywhere in Iowa). Unless
you are in city limits, don't expect any coverage from a GSM phone.
The CDMA network is the old TDMA network, which is the old AMPS (analog)
network. It's the oldest system and has been continuously expanded from
it's beginnings 20 years ago. The GSM network is far newer, and the
providers are financially much smaller and not willing to invest in
infrastructure. And I don't care what Cingular says, dropped calls and
sucky connections are a much bigger problem in GSM-land. CDMA solved the
inter-cell drop problem that TDMA had. Sometimes VZ calls fail to
complete though, but at least you aren't mid-conversation.
> From what I have read, they don't lock the phones up as
> much, and almost all unlocked phones work with their service as well.
And, does it matter? Most things you want to do can be done with a
work-around. VZ has begun to welcome using a cell phone as a modem,
sometimes even by Bluetooth (more often by USB). I find only children
use the big pay-for features like sending photos, watching videos and
> The plans are another story: none of them are what I want,
> and all of them cost more than I want to pay, but there seems
> to be no way around that.
VZ is a bit more expensive. But after 3 years with them I find it worth
the money. If you want to use the VZ network (but not their nice
software) look at US Cellular.
> On a related note: cell data plans cost too much. Are there
> any decent phones out there with WIFI?
I'm not sure what you are trying to accomplish here. If you have WiFi,
just use a laptop (I know, big and heavy). I think some PDA's and
Smartphones have WiFi, but it seems like overkill and it's counter to
your phone-only desires. Honestly, I find only techie business users
really ever push a phone to it's full abilities. That's why I got the
Samsung with the keyboard. I rarely use the advanced features, but they
are there in a tiny package. I use a business Treo and as a pocket
access device it's cute, but they all *suck* and are hard to use
compared to a laptop. After the gee-wiz factor fades they are a distant
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