Cell phone users: What cell phone provider/plan should I go for?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael D. Bunting, Apr 30, 2002.

  1. Michael D. Bunting

    Michael D. Bunting Screenwriter

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    I just moved to Seattle, WA - from Biloxi, MS - where I was a Cingular Wireless customer...I liked them (except for a few billing questions/errors one month) but my wife didn't really care for them all. Anyway, we ended up cancelling our Cingular contract before we left Biloxi.

    And now - I think we are ready to start a new plan here in Washington. I mostly need it for work - but it's noa an absolute necessity.

    Can anyone recommend me a good cell phone company/plan?

    We have 2 phones already (1 Nokia and 1 Ericsson) and would like to keep them with our new plan if at all possible. Is this possible? Would I have to go back w/ Cingular if I wanted to keep the phone(s) we have currently?

    I hear good things about Verizon ("Can you hear me now?")

    Free Long Distance is a must - as well as mobile to mobile being included (if we go for a family share plan) as well.

    I may just go with a 1 phone plan (versus both of us having our own phones and going with a family share plan).

    Are there any sites that compare all these different cell providers?

    Any help is aprecciated!! Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    Most cell phone providers use technologies that are not compatible with each other. This is important to remember if you plan on using the same phones.
    Cingular uses GSM, CDMA, and TDMA so its important to know which one your phone uses. Generally, if your phone has a SIM card in it (tiny little card that slips in the back of the phone), its a GSM phone. If it doesn't have a card, then its CDMA or TDMA. If your phone is a GSM phone, then I recommend going with Voicestream because, AFIAK, they are the only other major GSM provider in Washington.
    If your phone is a CDMA phone, then go with Verizon because that's all they support. I don't believe there are any major providers that are strictly TDMA, so its unlikely your phone uses that.
    Each phone, if purchased from a provider, comes "locked". This means that the phone will not operate with any other provider until it has been "unlocked", usually be entering some magic code. Because you're going to be switching providers, be sure to contact the new one and let them know what type of phone you have and if they will unlock it for you. If they don't then you'll probably need to just buy one of their phones. Hopefully they'll be nice to you and unlock your phone so you can use it with their service. In any case, be sure to tell them what type of phone you already have to verify its compatible with their network.
    As far as rate plans go, they are all fairly competitive. I'm sure you'll find what you need from either Voicestream or Verizon, or whichever you ultimately end up going with.
    Hope this helps. [​IMG]
     
  3. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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  4. Michael D. Bunting

    Michael D. Bunting Screenwriter

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    Leila,

    Thanks for all the information - you have provided a ton!

    I'm checking out the link now...and visiting voicetream.com as well!

    Thanks again
     
  5. Michael D. Bunting

    Michael D. Bunting Screenwriter

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    It looks like my phone is TDMA - It's an Ericsson, Model # R278D - which according the Ericcson web site, is TDMA

    So - I guess I'll need a new phone(s)
     
  6. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    You're welcome. Let me know if you need any other questions cause I'll be more than happy to help.
     
  7. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    That sucks about the Ericsson. The nokia should be alright, though. [​IMG] Most of them are CDMA or GSM. [​IMG]
     
  8. Brian W. Ralston

    Brian W. Ralston Supporting Actor

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    Not that my 2 cents here will recommend a provider, but in general......GSM is a better system and the GSM phones are "cooler". They have more features and capability.
    I am currently with AT&T on their one rate plan, for $89/month I get 1000 anytime minutes/long distance free and my home calling area is the entire US and Canada (including Hawaii and Alaska and a few miles off shore for those occasional boat trips). [​IMG]
    Their service has been very dependable for me. And I am excited to know that AT&T is in the process of changing to a GSM system, so in a year or so, AT&T people will all have to get new phones........but this is a plus. Like I said, GSM is much better.
     
  9. Michael D. Bunting

    Michael D. Bunting Screenwriter

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    Thanks for your input Brian
    I'm doing my homework here now - and I was wondering what the main differences were between GSM and TDMA, etc. were... if it's better (GSM) - that's what I'll go with (if available).
    Found a decent deal (I think) by visiting a cartoys.com website (they are located near me)
    Seems like a good deal to me anyway:
    Samsung N105
    Digital PCS (GSM 1900MHz)
    http://www.cartoys.com/showcontent.a...=featuredhome3
    FamilyPlan (2 lines) is $69.99 per month w/ VoiceStream INCLUDES: 800 anytime minutes and Unlimited Weekend Minutes. Unlimited Minutes between phones on plan. $50.00 Activation Fee. $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Certificate
    I can't find out the price of the phone though (I think it's +$200)...and I need 2 of them...and I'm not sure I want to spend that much right now...
     
  10. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    GSM is definetely better, so go with that if possible [​IMG] Its kinda funny, but pretty much all of Europe uses GSM and somehow most providers in the US do not. Anyway, that plan sounds decent to me. I know the phones are expensive. You can always try Ebay for a cheaper deal but its not likely you'll still get the $100 rebate. I'm not sure though, it may be dependent on you getting the phones from them. Check it out though. [​IMG]
     
  11. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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  12. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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  13. Tony_Faville

    Tony_Faville Supporting Actor

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    On a laymans note, I have Voicestream and absolutely love the service I have received, both the customer service and the cell service. I pay $39.99 a month, have free long distance, 500weekday minutes and unlimited weekends. I also have 500 text messages a month for that.

    I started with Sprint PCS and could only take one too many reps hanging up on me because they refused to answer my questions. IMO, PCS=PrettyCrappyService
     
  14. Michael D. Bunting

    Michael D. Bunting Screenwriter

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    Well...I'm back from CAR TOYS
    We went ahead and signed a contract w/ VoiceStream (Family Plus Plan for $69.99)
    Purchased 2 phones (buy 1 get 1 free) for $49.99
    Samsung N105 - It's a real nice phone - with lots of features that I'm sure I'll never use [​IMG]
    We get a $100 Amazon Gift Certificate also! (can you say DVD's!!!!!)
    I'm impressed w/ VoiceStream's customer service thus far - I have called them a couple times already with questions.
     
  15. AllanN

    AllanN Supporting Actor

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    You would have to get a new phone but I have had Sprint PCS for two years and absolutely love them. Reliable service, good customer service, cutting edge technology (aka first to announce that NATIONAL coverage of 3G will be available this summer vs. Verszon opening 3g in select market). Sprint has 1 network and 1 backend system vs. the patchwork clusterf*&k of conglomerates like Versizon. Other than sprint the only other company I would go with is Nextel or AT&T because I know allot of people who are very happy with them. AT&T also seems to have the best prepaid plan. Its obvious I dont like verizon and its because they screwed over some of my friends and family with shitty service and even worse customer service. They then switched over to either Sprint, AT&T or Nextel.
     

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