cell phones in chicago!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by greatm31, Aug 2, 2004.

  1. greatm31 macrumors member


    Oct 19, 2001
    This thread probably applies only to a small number of people, but I'm hoping someone will be able to help me. I'm going to the University of Chicago (in Hyde Park) in the fall and I'm looking to switch from Sprint, which is a terrible, terrible carrier, to someone new. I don't know which carrier is any good, though. Any one used a cell phone in Chicago? What have your experiences been with different services?

    Furthermore I'm looking for a great bluetooth phone that'll work with iSync on my powerbook. I'm thinking I like the Nokia 6600 and maybe Sony Ericcson's T637, but the only way to get good deals on those phones is through Amazon.com which has steep discounts. But those discounts are only for Cingular and T-Mobile. Okay well let me know what you think. Thanks.
  2. sandmann41 macrumors regular

    Apr 5, 2004
    Frederick, Md
    AT&T wireless sevice works perfectly in Chicago.
  3. aricher macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2004
    I have Cingular - a few dropped calls but not as many as my friends with Verizon. AT & T was recently purchased by Cingular so it's basically the same service only Cingular is cheaper. I was torn between T-Mobil and Cingular. some friends have T-Mob and love it - I like Cingular's plans because you can share the minutes on two cells and they're the only carrier with rollover minutes. Cingular is based on GSM service which is a global standard - a bit skinny for coverage in the US but is getting better. I can (and have) use my phone overseas due to this GSM coverage - just changed the sim card in my phone.

    As far as Bluetooth goes - make sure your phone is on the Apple iSync page - mine was not so I have to use a 3rd party syncing program to get the job done. I bought the Motorola V-600 - great phone - just no iSync.

    Also, steer clear of Verizon if you ever want Bluetooth. Verizon does not support BT of any kind and the rumors all say that they're trying to figure out a way to charge for the amount of data transmitted via BT.
  4. OnceUGoMac macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2004
    Welcome to Chicago! I researched your very question before I moved here and I found that Verizon Wireless was consistently rated the top provider in Chicago. I had Sprint as well as Cingular and both were horrible, Sprint's service was sub-par and Cingular lied to us about almost everything, really. The #1 was Verizon, followed by Nextell as #2, and U.S. Cingular as #3. Hope this helps.
  5. MikeLaRiviere macrumors regular

    May 25, 2004
    I live in a north suburb and use T-Mobile, which works great in the suburbs. Downtown, where I work, it gets poor reception when in a building (but this is to be expected). I'm at the Field Museum, which is not too far north of you, and I get no reception in here, but I chalk that up to being in the center of the building, which is very thick-walled.

    Mike LaRiviere
  6. gallagb macrumors 6502


    Apr 28, 2004
    i've used sprint, att, and verizon all in chicago
    (as i've lived here a while)
    and Verizon tops them all
    not only in actual service
    but in customer service
    the people in the stores and over the phone are awesome

    as for the BT question- i don't know @ all
  7. Kingsnapped macrumors 6502a


    Oct 16, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I got a Motorola V600 and I love it. Once you get a few workarounds, the bluetooth is fine. The erikson phones are great with iSync and can even run things like Sailing Clicker perfectly.

    For anyone with V600 bluetooth problems, visit:
    Mac to Moto,
    OnSync (for your address cards)
    and here for everything howardforums knows about the V600.

    If all else fails, PM me or start a new V600 thread.
  8. Elan0204 macrumors 65816


    Apr 16, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    I have T-Mobile, and absolutely love it. I wouldn't object to a stronger signal in more places, but call quality is often excellent. I've found the clarity to be far superior to AT&T Wireless. Customer service is also excellent (hold times are most often nonexistent and reps are generally friendly and knowledgeable), and again is far superior to AT&T (where you wait on hold an hour to talk to someone who knows nothing). I don't know what the signal is like on the U of C campus, though. You might wait until you get to school and see what other students use.
  9. TreeHugger macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2004
    I cant say anything about T-Mobile in Chicago but in NYC its good.

    I have a Sony Ericsson T610 which works absolutely wonderfully with iSync. I have no experience about the Nokia, but I suspect the T637 will be very similar to the T610.

    You might be able to find more info on this over at howardforums.com
  10. evil macrumors 6502

    May 2, 2003
    chicago ex-toronto
    i have had t-mobile for about 2 weeks now and i really havent had any problems...in fact my girlfriend, mom, dad, brother, and his fiance all bought them. we all talk for free now. none of us has had any problems with them. my girlfriend and i are on the family plan thing. we share 400 minutes between our phones.
  11. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    T-Mobile and Cingular are your two best bets, ive lived there my whole life (21 years so far LoL) and i use T-Moble and my parents use Cingular and neither one of us have ever had any problems. ive had T-Mobile since they were VoiceStream, and they were good then too, Cingualr my parents have been with since Cellular One changed into Cingular, what it really boils down to though is what company offers the phone you want and has the plan that you want as well
  12. Koodauw macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2003
    ANother thing to keep in mind, is that Cingular an AT&T have recently (within the last 2 years) switched to newer, more advanced GSM towers.
    IMO GSM gives you the best voice quality than any other type of system. Verizon, Sprint and US Cellular all use CDMA, a different technology.

    I have had no problems with Cingular when I have used my phone in the Chicago are.

    And as for customer service, Cingular has lots of stores you can stop into for help. I've never had to call them so I don't know how the phone support is. Afterall wouldn't not having to call customer service be the best customer service of all?
  13. Elan0204 macrumors 65816


    Apr 16, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    And T-Mobile has always used GSM. So if you want a GSM carrier you can pick from T-Mobile, Cingular, and AT&T.
  14. sandmann41 macrumors regular

    Apr 5, 2004
    Frederick, Md
    thank you for those links :)

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