Cell phone providers ...

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by truz, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. truz macrumors 6502a

    truz

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2006
    Location:
    Florida
    #1
    What does everyone recommend for cell phone companies?

    I been looking at amazon.com for buying a new cell phone and choosing the right network.

    1. I was really interested in Cingular, it seems they offer the best priced Family plans due to there "roll over minutes". One thing I dislike is there coverage map. Cingular seems to be #2 provider by coverage. I really like some of there phones they offer as well as amazon.com seems to be offering them -$24.95 (credit to take a phone with new contract). I really need good coverage and I would like to have a nice looking phone as well.

    2. Version was my second choice. They seem to have the same pricing plan wise as Cingular without the roll over minute option. I was looking at a coverage map on verizonwireless.com and they have, by far the best coverage then any wireless phone provider. (well, not satellite but thats another story, like $10,000 more in minutes in a years time..)

    Sprint seems to have one of the worse networks there is. I have Nextel (radio phones) which is now Sprint. They just upgraded our area and put flyers on the door saying a new tower was put up! BULL!!!! I still have to walk down the road to get a single. If you call my cell right now its out of service and while I'm driving it drops signel a few things passing by a few different schools where on there coverage map it shows FULL service but its not. I'm going to put my nextel phone to sleep ($4/month) and once the 8 months left runs out I'll cancel it as I can not handle walking down the road to use my cell anymore.

    T-Mobile is another bad network, they have less coverage then Sprint does in the US, but there pricing is better then the rest.

    Anyways, I really have my eyes on Verizon Wireless and Cingular. Matter of fact, I ordered 4 phones (replacing 4 nextels) on Wednesday and I canceld the order on Thursday due to viewing the coverage map for Cingular.

    I hear alot of bad feedback regarding Verizon Wireless phones tho. They "block phone features", "load the verizon os on phones". I have never used anything but Primco (think thats Verizon) I canceled after my phone was stolen and did not have a phone for a while and then about 5 years ago I got a Nextel and been with them since.

    One BIG problem with Verizon is I don't like the phones offered from amazon.com, which is about what Verizon offers too. They are very ugly. They also seem to be a bit high in price for a Verizon Wireless phone under a new contract. I'd be better off buying unlocked new phones from ebay.com and not having a contract with verizon.

    I'm sorry for posting so much, but if I'm about to sign a 2 year contract with another cell phone provider, I need to make sure they are not as worthless as nextel/sprint.

    I searched google and did not find a more current question like mine, I also checked these forums out and they all seem a bit old, or none related to my question. If I overlooked something please link me. If not, just post some new thoughts. Thanks in advanced! ;)

    EDIT I have to say tho, Sprint seems to have the nicest phones on the market right now (Aug 11th, 2006). There network just... ..you know. SUCKS!
     
  2. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #2
    I've been with Sprint for 6 years and used my phones in quite a few areas of the country without much problem. Service was better in Southern California than it is here in Floriduh but I can't say that any state outside of Floriduh was a problem.

    Nextel works on a different technology so I wonder if Sprint is able to combine access to one tower for both Sprint and Nextel phones.

    I was an Aerial customer before the company that became T-Mobile bought it and suffered through a few months with the new company. Service was poor. As far as plans go, all the GSM carriers seem unusually expensive, but at least Cingular has rollover minutes. They all seem to go back and forth with their plans.

    Verizon seems to be hated for what they do to cripple their phones.
     
  3. SuperSnake2012 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    NY
    #3
    I have Sprint, works fine for me in New York City. Usually get full signal no matter where I am.
     
  4. ZoomZoomZoom macrumors 6502a

    ZoomZoomZoom

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    #4
    I use Cingular. Fantastic coverage for my area, I always have 5 bars.

    However, that really doesn't mean anything. Instead of looking at overall coverage, go ask people who live in your area how their cell phone providers are. I live in Chicago and a college town in Pennsylvania, so I just looked for the provider that gave the best coverage for thoses two areas. I can care less how good Cingular is in New Hampshire. If I had gone with Verizon, I wouldn't have gotten such good reception at my Pennsylvania location, where I spend about half my year.

    That being said, I've had a good time with Cingular as a company. I know that a lot of people have problems with customer service overall with cell phone carriers, but I haven't had too many issues. When my phone broke early, they replaced it for me early. When I needed my phone unlocked to use another carrier's sim card while I was traveling in Asia, they sent one to me. No hassle, although it did take about half a week longer than expected. Overall not bad.
     
  5. apfhex macrumors 68030

    apfhex

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Northern California
    #5
    I like T-Mobile because of their pricing, but if Cingular offered competing plans I'd go with them because they definitely have the best coverage in the northern bay area. I believe Cingular IS the largest provider in the nation, but YMMV.

    Remember than Cingular and T-Mo are GSM providers, meaning that you can buy any unbranded GSM phone that has the right frequencies (Cingular 850/1900MHz, T-Mo 1900Mhz), giving you a HUGE selection of awesome phones that no U.S. providers have. Verizon and Sprint are CDMA so you're stuck with whatever phones they offer (they all look pretty lame to me, but I'm picky ;)). Not to mention Verizon cripples their phones with custom software and supposedly terrible GUI.
     
  6. thedude110 macrumors 68020

    thedude110

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2005
    #6
    Verizon is fine. I rarely drop calls, I generally have reception and I've had a decent customer service experience.

    They also have a third party handle ethics complaints from customers and employees, which at least provides the illusion of self-reflection.
     
  7. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #7
    Cingular is absolutely horrid. I can't wait until my contract is over, I'll be switching to something else the day it expires.
     
  8. Timepass macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    #8
    really it depends on the area you are in for which provider is the best. I was on spirnt for the past 2 years and never had an issue with them. Last week I switch over to cingular (more so my parents are consoldating 2 cell plans down to one) and cingular was chosen because the contract with them was not expired yet and they work better over all for the family where we spend out time. Plus cingular just got the best reviews in the areas. Plus Verizon lieing and crappy os got to my family. That stated 3 years ago that they would be expaining out to lubbock soon. Now 3 years later no progress and the phones voice mail and text messaging the the area still doesnt work. Good for phone calls and that is about it and other things tick off my mom (enough to end one of the contract earily)

    Besides all the stuff that make verizon suck I would be worried about using them as you cell phone provider. Chance are pretty good that coverage in your area is not going to be much if any better than it was with sprint. They both use CMDA and quite offen are sharing the same tower. Over the past 3 years I noticed that verizon and sprint phones will have about the same quility of singal in the same area. Quite offen using each other towers.

    That alone would want me to stay away from CMDA. It just not going to be a good in your area. Also talk with other around in your area and see what they go with. I going to say go with cingular just because it looks like CMDA phones are not going to work very well in your area.
     
  9. Tanglewood macrumors 6502a

    Tanglewood

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #9
    Here is an article that has maps of coverage area for all major carriers in the US.

    Will you be doing a lot of international travel with this phone (i.e. Europe)? If so I say go with a WCDMA/GSM phone like Cingular because your phone will work over there and you have the SIM card option which CDMA phones don't currently have.

    CDMA phones are moving to the EV-DO networks that support high data speed. Phones that fully use this technology probably won't be out in the US though for a few years. Check out new 3G phones at 3gtoday.com.
     
  10. mbryant52 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Location:
    Bellingham, Washington
    #10
    Verizon's network is definitely superior to Cingular, and with so many more subscribers the unlimited in-network calling really may be the best bang for the buck. The phones are ugly, but some are highly functional. Have you looked at the LG VX8300? It's a neat phone and you can probably pick it up for $50-100. And just so you know, I believe most of the complaints about locked features on Verizon phones are being resolved. The issues seemed to center around Bluetooth functionality and all of the Verizon phones released in the last month or two (Motorola Q, LG VX8500 "Chocolate", Samsung SCH-a990, etc.) with Bluetooth functionality are fully unlocked.

    Hope that helps!
     
  11. Timepass macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    #11
    number wise in theory that sounds good but remember in-network calling is worthless if your friends dont have verizon or people you call that use verizon. Of the 60 some odd numbers in my cell phone 3-4 of them are verizon, another 4-5 are land lines (or other carrier) and then from there it a little over 50% cingular and about 50% sprint more being being cingular.

    Also as I point out if you sprint phone was having trouble with a singal chance are pretty high that a verizon phone will have trouble as well. They quite offen are sharing towers.
     
  12. atari1356 macrumors 68000

    atari1356

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    #12
    I've used both Cingular and T-Mobile in Florida and have been happy with both of them as far as coverage goes (from Orlando down to West Palm Beach area).

    On T-Mobile, I had some weird echo from time to time... but I'm not sure if that was T-Mobile's fault, or my crappy phone.

    I'd suggest comparing both of those and find a plan and phone that you like.

    (Sony Ericsson phones are very nice, and sync very well with Mac OS X via bluetooth... although I wish my z520a stored addresses instead of just phone numbers/email)
     
  13. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #13
    I'm not sure what high data speed is to you, but the Samsung A900 that I've got now supports the 400 - 700 Kbps average/1.2 Mbps burst that Sprint offers.
     
  14. interlaced macrumors 6502a

    interlaced

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    #14
    I definitely agree that it depends on your location. I live near LA and Verizon blows everyone else out of the water. It's fantastic. I have a Cingular phone too but I don't use it as much because I can never find a signal. Plus, my cell phone is my replacement house phone and Verizon gets the best coverage (5 full bars!) both inside and out.
     
  15. Tanglewood macrumors 6502a

    Tanglewood

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #15
    source
     
  16. steamboat26 macrumors 65816

    steamboat26

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Location:
    Arlington VA
    #16
    The way i figure it...
    Verizon- largest coverage area
    Cingular- best phones
    Sprint- best download content
    T mobile- most minutes
    I have verizon, but i hate their phone selection. I think Cingular and verizon should merge :D
     
  17. truz thread starter macrumors 6502a

    truz

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2006
    Location:
    Florida
    #17
    Thanks for the feedback. I went out of town for a few days so I'm just now catching up on the boards :)

    I agree, I really like Cingular's phone choice. I see that they have a few phones that run itunes. Do you think Apple may choose cingular for there iphone?

    Verizon is really what I want to signup with, there ugly phones is what's pushing me away, cingular seems to be cheaper in phones on amazon.com then verizon, but verizon has more coverage.

    I'm in the Orlando area (Kissimmee, FL) I'm also moving to North Carolina within the year as we have 32 acres up there in Sherrills Ford, NC (Charlotte area) we are 30 minutes from charlotte, town right next to us is mooresville.

    Anyways, I really wanted to get a Cingular but there coverage map seems to have less coverage in north carolina and it looks like the charlotte area and higher (which I will be visiting in the winter for the snow :] ) has no coverage

    Verizon seems to cover Florida all the way up to North Carolina without any coverage loss. I wish some new phones would come out for Verizon! oh well......
     
  18. adk macrumors 68000

    adk

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Location:
    Stuck in the middle with you
    #18
    If coverage is truly the most important thing to you, go with verizon. You will however have to deal with their crappy phones and OS and the disabling of features such as bluetooth transfers. If the stuff I just mentioned is more important, go with cingular.
     
  19. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    #19
    I think it really depends on where you live. I live in Denver, and the two best seem to be Sprint and T-Mobile, and it seems to be pretty much that way all over the west. As for the east coast, I think Cingy and VZW are the best in terms of coverage, but I am not happy with my VZW phone (for reasons other than coverage and phone crippling).

    I really don't think Verizon is the best anymore. My family and I have Sprint and Verizon and Sprint seems to have a bigger network than VZW now. At least in the west here.

    If you're planning on travelling internationally, T-Mobile. Without a doubt. VZW and Sprint are hell when it comes to that. As for Cingular, the rates aren't as good, nor are their int'l partners.

    Oh, and that article that broke down all four of them about has some innacuracies. Sprint and T-Mob do have mobile-to-mobile free, you just have to delve into their sites to find that.

    "apfhex:Cingular 850/1900MHz, T-Mo 1900Mhz" T-Mob's roaming is 850 MHz. They've been making making agreements with Centennial Wireless, Dobson, Unicel, SunCom, and Cingular for this roaming. They're also heaving working on patching any holes in urban areas, which it seems like the other 3 have been casually working on other places, although I think it's more important to put a tower in a hole in NYC instead of Northern Wyoming.

    I don't think you should buy your phone on the "GSM/CDMA tossup" unless if you're really into unlocked GSM. I think Cingular's your best bet.
     
  20. truz thread starter macrumors 6502a

    truz

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2006
    Location:
    Florida
    #20
    I'm going to give Cingular a try. It seems they have good service in our area (Kissimmee, FL) I have not asked anyone in north carolina area, but.. It will be about 1 year before I make the move to NC and I'm getting ready to take a trip there within the next 2-3 weeks. Cingular offers 30 day no contract so if service is poor in north carolina or the trip up there I'll cancel before the contract starts and pickup another provider (verizon).

    I really wanted to hold off tho as lastnight I seen sept 19th I think is it... Cingular will have a new Motorola flip phone.
     
  21. XNine macrumors 68040

    XNine

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
    #21
    Whatever you do, don't get Tmobile. Shun everyone you know away from them! Horrible phones, horrible customer service, and horrible signal.
     
  22. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    #22
    Funny that just about every kid in america wants a Sidekick, and that they won the JD power award for best customer service.
     
  23. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #23
    I've heard both sides, but I've heard that they're bad more than they're good.
     

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