I live in the country of NJ and was wondering how the service is. I'm switching over in Jan from VZW for the iPhone but I'm just curious on people's opinions on the service in the area or in any rural area you may live in. Thanks guys!
This is excellent advice - by far the best way to do it.NJ is pretty heavily covered, and for the most part, the "big three" (Sprint, Verizon, AT&T) have roughly equal coverage. Whether or not you have good AT&T coverage though, depends on how deep int he country you are. There are still some backwoods areas of NJ (primarily in the south, like in Atlantic County and parts of Cumberland County) that don't have 3G, so this may be an issue for you.
You might want to see if you can borrow someone's AT&T phone (preferably with 3G) to see what kind of signal you get. Or, spend $20 or so and get a GoPhone.
The most accurate indicator would be to just sign up and use the 30-day trial. Don't port your Verizon number over initially, and don't cancel right away. Let AT&T activate your iPhone on one of their numbers. Then, take it home and try it out. If the service is bad, return the phone and you still have your old number on Verizon. But if the coverage and service turn out to be good and you're happy with the iPhone, just call up AT&T within the 30 days, and tell them you want to port your Verizon number over to your existing AT&T line. They'll take care of the rest. The AT&T phone number will go away, your Verizon phone number will transfer over to your iPhone, and your Verizon line will automatically cancel. The process takes a couple of hours, though bear in mind that sometimes it can take up to a day for text messaging to fully work again after a port.
I've been all over NJ, and have been fairly lucky I guess, with good service all around for the past year. There were places up in Jersey City that I ran into some rough patches for data, however, but that was a long while ago.