Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by NavySEAL6, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. NavySEAL6 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 13, 2006
    How good is Cingular exactly? I'm looking to switch from Nextel to Verizon, but now that the iPhone looks incredible, I'm considering Cingular. So from anyone who has cingular, how is it?
  2. Eckels macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2006
  3. levitynyc macrumors 65816

    Aug 19, 2006
    I had Cingular....its was horrible. Verizon is 100 times better.

    Apple made a big mistake making this exclusive to Cingular
  4. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    Statistically speaking, Cingular is supposedly the best, but it all comes down to your location. You'll see plenty of comments like levitynyc's, but you'll see just as many that claim the opposite from people who live in a different area.

    On a nationwide scale, the difference between Verizon and Cingular is pretty minimal.
  5. interlaced macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2005
    Where I live, Cingular is AWFUL. Very poor reception and dropped calls all the time. I laugh at their commercials with the dropped calls because that is exactly how their own service is around here. The service provider of choice around here is Verizon. They're top notch. That being said, the iPhone is cool and all but I'm never going to get to use it.
  6. Eckels macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2006
    As far as my experience goes, I was pretty happy with their customer service, and I never had a problem with the phones I owned, but the service in my area was very hit and miss. They promised us a few times that they were going to strengthen their service area near us, but after a year of a two year contract, I ended up buying my way out of it. I couldn't justify 50$ a month (for two phones) with the amounts of dropped calls and unintelligable conversations that had to be endured. I don't commit to contracts anymore.

    I've never really liked cell phones anyway, but in my business I have to have one, so I went with Virgin Mobile's pay as you go. I rarely get a poor signal, and VERY rarely ever get a lost call. Plus I only have to pay 20$ every 90 days (unless I use it a whole lot - which I don't) On top of all that, the phone I bought, an "OYSTR" - cost me a measly 25$, and it works just fine. In fact I bought two just in case I ever inadvertently destroy the first one.

    Getting back to Cingular though, their service signal will depend on your location. Don't believe the maps they give you either. The little orange blobs that are supposed to display service area are often swollen much larger than they should be, it seems. Seek first-hand advice from people in your immediate vicinity.
  7. Sean7512 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2005
    Cingular in Pittsburgh is near perfect. No dead zones that I am aware of. Even down in this one valley, NO ONE gets service except for Cingular :D Your best bet is to go to Cingulars website, and you can get a extremely detailed map of coverage for your area. The map zooms in to street level and shows you how many bars you get where. But as I said, here it is perfect.
  8. Felldownthewell macrumors 65816


    Feb 10, 2006
    Here in Portland, in the city center, all carriers are equal. However 10 minutes away, near the burbs but still among a few trees, where I live, I had 1 bar from verizon and the call quality was awful. If someone called I would have to call them back on the land line.

    With Cingular I currently have full bars at home, and the call quality is excellent. However T-Mobile has 0 service at my house, which is iritating for my friends with T-Mobile. I'm also partial to Cingular because the salesperson I spoke to gave me not only the upgrade price of $200 on my new phone even though I was only 5 months into a two year contract, but gave me an extra $100 off, for a grand total of $100 for a BlackJack. Also, GSM phones are easier to re-sell, because the buyer can pop in their SIM card and make sure it all works. I sold my RAZR for $115 and ended up making $15 on getting the blackjack. :D
  9. siurpeeman macrumors 603


    Dec 2, 2006
    the OC
    i agree completely. it all comes down to location and how cingular would work where you live. cingular works pretty good for me in southern california.
  10. ForeverUnknown macrumors regular

    Dec 30, 2006
    Same here. My ex had VZ and reception was horrible in the apartment. There were only a few spots in the apt where you could get a clear signal. Switched to Cingular and bam everything is great.

    I've been on Cingular for years, and it's always been fine for my areas. No complaints.

    Never base your carrier decision on phones unless you know for sure service will be equal where you use it most. Otherwise, you're going to be disappointed with your new toy.
  11. Shrek6446 macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2006
    Here in Phoenix, i haven't had any problems so far, no dropped calls/ good sound quality, only complaint is it drops to 2/3 bars inside malls and grocery stores but think thats my phone fault not Cingulars. Calls still come through without any decrease in quality even at 2/3 bars
  12. phungy macrumors 68020


    Dec 5, 2006
    I would say it really depends on your location. In a huge college town like Gainesville, Cingular blows. Many friends of mine went from Cingular to T-Mobile. Outside of Gainesville could be different.

    I personally have had Cingular, switched to T-Mobile and haven't looked back.

    Are you thinking about switching to Cingular just because of the iPhone??
  13. jtown macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2003
    It depends on your location. And I don't mean "Pacific Northwest" location. I mean your precise location. 123 Fake St., Apt. 12, Portland, OR. The exact location(s) you will be using the phone. A few blocks from your location will be completely different. The south side of a building will be different than the north side. It all depends on your position relative to the nearest cellular towers and the obstructions between you and those towers. That's the nature of wireless.

    Find a friend who has Cingular service, borrow their phone, and try it in the locations where you'll want coverage.

    As for switching from Cingular to T-Mobile, that's like switching from Chevy to GMC. :) Same technology, same frequencies, and often the same physical cellular towers. I did it but only because T-Mobile's data plan was better and gets me access to all T-Mobile hotspots. I still use my old, unlocked Cingular phone 'cause it's better than the one T-Mobile gave me.
  14. buffalo macrumors 65816

    Jun 5, 2005
    Colorado Springs / Ohio
    I use Verizon and get better reception than my friend on Cingular. Depends on location though, usually both are fine.
  15. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    I could not put it better my self. I know at Texas Tech it is an great example of this because the building here are great for destroying wireless signals of any type. The different between no signal and full bars can be as small as just 5ft in one directions. And this does not apply to just Cingular phones but Verizon, sprint, T-Mobile ect. And different networks work better at different location on campus. It all relative to where you are to each of the respected tower. I believe there are 2 CMDA towers and 2 GSM towers around the campus. I am not exactly sure where they are but based on the phones there locations are at least slightly different.

    But as whole Cingular and Sprint both work great in Lubbock. Verizon is the worse and T-mobile is so so
  16. killr_b macrumors 6502a


    Oct 21, 2005
    interlaced I'm not picking on you, just using this line for my point.:)

    Lot's of people lately have been saying "Cingular sucks where I live," but no one says where that is exactly! And they don't list their location!
    Even the OP didn't list their location.

    I vote that all posts involving questions of cell service be accompanied by an exact location from now on. Especially if your reply is "So and so sucks."

    Where I live Verizon doesn't work in my garage. Everywhere else is fine but my garage. Weird right? Cingular works great everywhere around me.
  17. ITASOR macrumors 601


    Mar 20, 2005
    Cingular reception isn't very good where I live, so everyone basically has Verizon. I can't switch to Cingular because we would go over the minutes with the lack of Verizon to Verizon free calling. :(
  18. Rend It macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2003
    United States
    I think Apple really dropped the ball with an exclusive Cingular-only deal. Consumer Reports has consistently ranked Cingular near the bottom in terms of network performance and customer satisfaction (many major metropolitan areas were studied). Their claim of "fewest dropped calls" is totally bunk. I really believe T-Mobile was the right way to go. But, I think the decision against T-Mobile was probably based on the fact that their network won't be able to handle the iPhone's features until sometime in 2008. Verizon was obviously out because then the iPhone would have to be US-only (CDMA).

    In any case, maybe someone will find a way around the Cingular requirement, legal or not. Then again, I hear that Apple will be supporting the phone so perhaps you get the usual fairly-high-quality Apple customer service with a fairly-average network. :rolleyes:

  19. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

    May 2, 2005
    Cingular is awesome for me.. I live in Houston FWIW.
  20. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030


    Apr 14, 2006
    Clemson, SC
    Cingular rocks for me both at school (in upstate South Carolina) and at home (near Detroit, MI).
  21. yoda13 macrumors 65816


    Sep 26, 2003
    The Cingular thing is a deal breaker for me too, but not because they suck or whatever, but all my family and friends (mostly) have Verizon and that free calling between Verizon customers is the only thing that keeps me from having hideous phone bills...:eek:

    Also, I am pretty sure that Verizon sells a phone, or at least they used to, that was GSM and CDMA so that their customers that travelled a lot wouldn't have to get new phones when they were overseas, so Apple could have built both technologies into the phone. Of course, this might be cost prohibitive, I don't know..
  22. Rend It macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2003
    United States
  23. Saluki Alex macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2006
    Where I live, Verizon is pretty much the only carrier that provides consistent service. This is in reference to where my house is, but at school I know a few people who have Cingular, but they still get really poor service. Which is odd considering people have everything from Verizon (like me), Nextel, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc. and have no problems (except Nextel whose service is sporadic).

    This is all in Southern Illinois by the way.

    I for one happen to really like Verzion, I've had them for around 4 years and have never had any problems.

    Looks like I'm going to get Motorola KRZR when my contract expires in March, unless someone wants to make another suggestion.
  24. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030


    Apr 14, 2006
    Clemson, SC
    If they didn't give Cingular exclusive rights to the phone, then the iPhone wouldn't be at all. As it is now, carriers dictate exactly what manufacturers can put in their phones. Cingular was the ONLY one that would give Apple "special treatment" and allow Apple full reign on their design - most cell phone makers have to follow VERY strict guidelines.

    On top of that, Cingular had to do a complete overhaul of their current voicemail system to prepare for the iPhone, and other carriers will have to follow suit before the iPhone will even be compatible.

    ON TOP of that, Apple HAD to have carrier backing in order to subsidize the cost of the phone - which is already very much on the high end price-wise.

    Why can't anyone seem to understand these things???
  25. Rend It macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2003
    United States
    I understand these things, as do most people upset about the issue. However, I don't agree that the iPhone HAS to be locked. Many, many other smart phones are purchased unlocked. So, clearly there's a demand for that aspect. On a global basis, it might even account for as much as 1%. Also, the people who want such an unlocked phone are willing to pay a premium to offset the lack of subsidization from the service provider. Secondly, as I understand from all of the interviews with Jobs and Co., their main impetus for making the iPhone what it is in the first place was a reaction to the absurd amount of control that carriers demand of phone manufacturers.

    I don't have an axe to grind with Cingular. I would be just as upset if it were Verizon or T-Mobile. I just don't think that locking SEVERAL devices over a period of SEVERAL years is really good for the success of the whole iPhone idea. Just my $0.02. I guess we'll know about this time in 2009.


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