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  1. #1
    don't tase me, bro! Asylum Steve's Avatar
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    What mobile phone service do you use?

    Well, like the genius I can be sometimes, while writing the reply below, I accidently deleted my original post...:mad2:

    Anyway, this thread is about what mobile phone service you use and how satisfied are you with it. I'm thinking of switching form Sprint because of reception and connection problems.

    Feel free to add your opinion...

    I appreciate the responses. Opinions are running about as I expected, which means a virtual plethora of advice... :crazy:

    I agree with Seb. There doesn't seem to be a single provider that gives perfect service EVERYWHERE (funny, all those commercials would make you think so, eh?). So, yeah, I have to do some more homework, and look into what's working here where I live.

    That quad-band GSM info was really valuable, Seb. Thanks. Not that I'm a world traveler, but it may make me consider buying a much better phone than I have now, and that could certainly make a difference, even with regional coverage...
    "Riding along on a carousel...tryin' to catch up to you..."

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  2. #2
    Sleep is optional Sebastian's Avatar
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    Re: What mobile phone service do you guys use???

    Steve,

    You bring up the most important consideration, performance in your main area of use. Ask around and see what others in the area use, and what kind of performance their network provides.

    But to answer your question, I use a family plan through Cingular. Free mobile to mobile, and I share minutes with my girlfriend. Well, she lets me use some of the minutes. I don't get dropped calls when I have a good phone, with the exception of a few known dead spots due to a large concentration of power lines. I use quad-band GSM phones (Sony Ericsson z520 and Palm Treo 650) so I can roam on any network, even overseas. Rhianna had a cheapo Nokia and Motorola, both of which had a hard time with the signal strength, phone quality plays a role.
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  3. #3
    Viewfinder and Off-Topic Co-Mod walterick's Avatar
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    Re: What mobile phone service do you guys use???

    Steve,

    I had the exact same problems as you with my Sprint. I also had customer service problems which sealed my decision to switch. I waited for my contract to run out and and switched to Verizon. Since then, all problems have disappeared. I am very happy with them. And, my new service plan is cheaper than Sprint's. I chose Verizon because all of my friends who have Verizon consistently had better reception than me. With few exceptions.

    Before I switched I spent time looking at comparisons of all the local cell phone companies. Verizon had the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the southwest.

    The last step in my decision making process was to go to Verizon's webpage and look at a service map of my home and all the areas I travel to frequently. That sealed the deal. I am a happy customer thus far.
    Walter Rick Long
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  4. #4
    Poster Formerly Known as Michael Fanelli mwfanelli's Avatar
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    Funny You Should Ask...

    Funny you should ask as I just switched my service a few days ago!

    I have had Verizon for many years, contract and then pay-as-you-go. The service was fine and the cost was really low. However, my Verizon PAYG phone completely died and the new Verizon service is outrageously expensive. It costs $1 a day just to own it!

    So, I went browsing through Wal-Mart. The best plan (for me) was the Go phone from Cingular. It costs 15 cents/minute with no daily fees. It is GSM and I was amazed that I have a really strong signal here at the school. Verizon service was either too low to make or receive calls or just "no service." The new Cingular phone has a very strong signal, very cool.

    So, after a few days, I'm very happy with my Go phone. We will see how much I like it as time goes on.
    "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." --Mark Twain

  5. #5
    Newest Nikon Samurai zrfraser's Avatar
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    Re: What mobile phone service do you guys use???

    I use Cingular and me a mom share minutes, but this is also our mainline so there are times where we have gone over our minutes and never realized it till it was too late. Around the first of the year we recieved a 700 dollar phone bill in the mail and at the time didn't have the money to pay it. They let us spread it out over 3 months and we paid it in full, but it really put a dent in our finances. My girlfriend has Verizon and I will switch over to them when my contract runs out or until I can buy mine back. I really have no complaints with cingular and it is great if you know a lot of people than use that service, but I do not however. Just look at what kind of service providers off the best service in your area and I don't think you will go wrong.

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  6. #6
    Princess of the OT adina's Avatar
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    Re: What mobile phone service do you guys use???

    Tmobile. We had trouble with dropped calls for a little while, but that turned out to be the phone. We do have some dead zones that we are aware of, and never get service there.

    We do, however, get service in Budapest and London.
    I sleep, but I don't rest.

  7. #7
    Fluorite Toothpaste poker's Avatar
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    Re: What mobile phone service do you guys use???

    I have Verizon. It's the BEST but cost more than others unfortunately and the phone selection sucks. My plan cost more than today's plan since I've been on it for 8 years now. My night minutes start at 7PM which I like.
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  8. #8
    Liz
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    Re: What mobile phone service do you guys use???

    Steve,
    I use Verizon and IMO it's one of the best. A couple of years ago I had problems with Verizon - dropped calls, poor reception, terrible customer service. I almost left, but hung in there. Glad I did.

    In the meantime a friend of mine got Cingular and had major problems with reception in this area (New Jersey), took it back the next day because his grandmother had Verizon and was getting perfect reception in the same place.

    Today I don't think you can beat Verizon for reception in almost all areas of the country (I think they own more "air....whatever" than most others. That's what I heard - but who knows. At any rate, I only get dropped calls once in a great while when I'm in the Berkshires because many areas have no towers. Other than that, no dropped calls, good reception - and you can't beat their customer service. I mean it! They have improved 500%. They can't do enough to help you when you have a question.

    Right now I probably have one of the less complicated phones - no camera (HORRORS!) and I don't do text messaging. I have free (Verizon) mobile to mobile, free weekends and calls after 9:00 p.m., free major holidays. I pay $59 for 1,000 minutes plus $10 for sharing a phone with a friend. (She pays 1/2 the bill).

    I think there is probably a better deal I could get now. Every once in a while they offer better deals for less, but you have to check their website. The last time I was paying $5 more for 200 less minutes, so upgraded naturally.

    Just my opinion.
    Liz

  9. #9
    Fluorite Toothpaste poker's Avatar
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    Re: What mobile phone service do you guys use???

    Quote Originally Posted by Liz
    I use Verizon and IMO it's one of the best.
    Yes, it is the best

    I always laugh at Cingular and TMobile users that have to run out of their own home just to use their cell and I'm in their home using my cell

    I don't work for Verizon

    Will be getting new phones this weekend for free for renewing with them.
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  10. #10
    J!m
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    Re: What mobile phone service do you guys use???

    Verizon.

    I never had any problems that were service related; all problems I had were directly related to the phones.

    The last phone I got (have) is a nokia and the battery life and reception/clarity is the best of the three phones I've had so far.

    I also get exceptionally good reception in Canada as well, which is important to me.

    When I need a personal phone in Europe, I just rent one from Verizon, and keep the same number. I coud not justify the expense for the 'world' phone if 90+% of the time I'm in the US or Canada...

    My friend had similar reception problems where his phone did not work in his house while I kept getting fine service...
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: What mobile phone service do you guys use???

    I am anti-cell phone! I don't have one and don't use one either. I have a fast wide screen laptop with wireless, hot spot locations for wherever I am going, dialup as well as broad band ISPs with local numbers and no roaming charges, and I touch type at 45+ wpm in both English and French, so in Canada and some other places, that is all I need.

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  12. #12
    Fluorite Toothpaste poker's Avatar
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    Re: What mobile phone service do you guys use???

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnoco
    I am anti-cell phone! I don't have one and don't use one either.
    But if you did, you would probably use Verizon.

    Canon 5D MKII & Canon 7D

  13. #13
    Sleep is optional Sebastian's Avatar
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    Re: What mobile phone service do you guys use???

    To reiterate the point that service depends on location, a good friend of mine switched from Verizon to another provider because on his whole street Verizon had no signal whatsoever. Literally, a whole block of dead air. After some arguing they actually acknowledged it and let him out of the contract without a fee. So great customer service but not nearly as bulletproof a network as they would like you to believe.

    Once again, use what works best in your area.
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  14. #14
    drg
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    Re: What mobile phone service do you use?

    Cingular for voice. Can't beat the Nationwide coverage, no roaming-every call is local, rollover minutes, they've finally fixed network services so you can find out the actual usage and you can share minutes between phones.

    Verizon for data. Better coverage and cost. Nextel is significantly better for speed and the 'stickiness' of data connection, but locale dependent and spotty coverage.

    Buy a good phone, the 'free' phones are unpredictable. If you do get a plan phone, be sure to upgrade/replace it at the first opportunity. Like the original Star-tac from Moto, they are generally built to degrade to force you to get 'clearer' Tx/Rx.
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  15. #15
    don't tase me, bro! Asylum Steve's Avatar
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    Re: What mobile phone service do you guys use???

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnoco
    I am anti-cell phone! I don't have one and don't use one either. I have a fast wide screen laptop with wireless..
    Well, I certainly can't argue with the sentiment. I try very hard not to be a slave to my mobile phone. Still, for the most part, they're two very different devices...

    It's kinda hard to toss a notebook computer to someone so they can quickly call a friend, or make a "call" with a NB while driving in your car, or simply to carry the NB everywhere you go (working in the garden, painting the house, washing the car, riding a bike, etc.) during the many times when we need to be reached at a moment's notice.

    Sounds like you have a good system, but for many if not most of us (especially as a commercial photographer), a small mobile phone is a neccessity, not a luxury...
    "Riding along on a carousel...tryin' to catch up to you..."

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  16. #16
    Mi tortuga es guapo. Kokopeli's Avatar
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    Re: What mobile phone service do you use?

    I was a Sprint user for years, but got tired of their lack of coverage in many areas I traveled frequently. From there, I went to Cingular. Been with them for 4 years now and don't have many complaints. I think they are a bit expensive, (especially their Nation Wide plans) but I really like their rollover program. I get great service just about everywhere (except in my home) and rarely have dropped calls.

    I also have a phone through Verizon which my girlfriend bought for me when she went to Denver to finish off her Masters. She got me the phone so we could keep in touch and not have to worry about the minutes used since Verizon to Verizon calls are always free. I have no clue about their pricing (I just pay $10 per month to cover service on the phone and she pays the rest) and I have the same connection problems in my home that I've had with Cingular and Sprint. Also, like Cingular, I don't have any problems with dropped calls.

    Hope this helps.
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  17. #17
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    Re: What mobile phone service do you use?

    Don't you guys have 3G there yet.

    Here in Australia I have Virgin as our phone carrier now for 3 mobiles, much better than previous Telstra which is the biggest company here Telecom wise. But there is a big push here now for 3G (which is third generation mobile), and everyone I speak to seems very happy with them.

    The phone does make a big, big, big difference in reception and availablity of use. Quad bands seem to be more reliable for the sake that it has more transmitters to interact with.

    I still think of all the phone manufacturers Nokia is still a class in itself, but have seen some impressive phones. I use a Nokia 6110 (very old by todays standards but I have an in car kit and the phone works fine), my wife's is a Motorola V220 and my daughter has her previous Samsung (wife never liked it).

    If I were to change which I have been thinking about, it would still be probably a Nokia, although I have seen a Samsung I like because to me the most important thing about phones is the ability to actually read the display, which on many phones is hard these days as they cram more and more into them.

    I would see if you can borrow a few phones and try them out for a day or two, if they want your business and remember that most phones generate ongoing business for mobile phone sales (they get a % of your usage over a period of time as a kick back from the companies), the should accomodate you.

    Phones with PDA's inbuilt aren't such a bad idea as well. Just a little bulkier, but if you remember the first mobile phones, it was like carrying your suitcase around with you.

  18. #18
    Jedi Master masdog's Avatar
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    Re: What mobile phone service do you use?

    I used to use Sprint, but that was back in 2002-2003. I had them right around the time the new 3G phones came out, and I had an A500 (the first color screen phone on the market) about two months after it was released.

    Service wasn't that good in my area because they put their towers close to the highway. My dorm wasn't anywhere near the highway, and there were times where I would have a call dropped if a building got between me and a tower (which is odd for CDMA since it is spread spectrum).

    I use Cingular now. I would be dropping them, but they just put a tower in the area where my girlfriend lives, so I can use my phone when I'm visiting her. Its not perfect, but its better than paying to get out of my contract.
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  19. #19
    Digitally Challenged - Bonkers Kaelastreet's Avatar
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    Re: What mobile phone service do you use?

    Yesterday, I went to the telephone shop, Phones 4U and purchased a new contract. I have changed from 250 minutes for 35, to 1000 dropping to 500 minutes after six months for the same 35 a month. They even bought out my old contract as it had three months to run and gave me 50 cash in my hand!

    I had to have a new phone though but I was happy withthe V3RazR I had, it was simple to use, not too big and easy to interface to my palm and my PC. The phone I have now is a samsung slide phone. Its about the same size, but has agreater functionality. (Its going to take a while to get used to all the new menu's)

    The point is, I dont care what phone I have, its the budget that counts and the value of the contract, compared to other contracts around at the time.

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  20. #20
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    Re: What mobile phone service do you use?

    I went with a local service. Centurytel recently offered cell service. Since I am wired to Centurytel for everything else, it was just convenient. I have a reasonable rate, ok minutes, capable sharing minutes and free nationwide roaming and long distance. They do offer (for a charge) unlimited mobile to mobile, but as a new service, they don't have much of base yet to make it worthwhile. On top of that, I was able to purchase a Motorola V710 phone for 6 easy payments. My only contract is that I must keep the service for that 6 months or pay the phone off completely when/if I cancel.
    I'm not real satisfied with the motorola phone, but I haven't "lost" a call yet, but I do get a lot of interference, especially around my laptop and other computers. But, thats a dilemma in the filtering of signals that is inherrant in most electronic equipment equipment of today.
    As for those who don't want to be slaves to their cellphones, what is exactly that you're against? Convience? Portability? Technology? Change????
    It's time that all people stop thinking that technology and change are bad. They're not. They're just different. Yes, some of it has it's downfall, but most of it is good and is good for society.
    I say, if you're against one part of technology, then be against it all. I can suggest some very nice caves where there is little wood for "fire" and lots of bugs and other creepy crawly things to eat, if you can run fast enough or throw a rock hard enough and with extreme accuracy to knock out that lizard that is running faster than you.
    Sorry, just being a little facetious as this is kind of a pet peeve of mine.
    Anyway...Centurytel....is my choice!!!!
    Ken
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  21. #21
    don't tase me, bro! Asylum Steve's Avatar
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    Re: What mobile phone service do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by ken1953
    As for those who don't want to be slaves to their cellphones, what is exactly that you're against? Convience? Portability? Technology? Change????...
    Well, if you mean me, my definiton of slave to is to be using the phone much more than I really need to. Has nothing to do with technology, and certainly not a fear of it.

    Sure, it's convenient, but that convenience allows us to conveniently do a lot of dumb stuff with our phones that, well...basically wastes time. Given that opportunity, many folks do just that: talk on their cell phones when they should be doing something else, or at least paying more attention to what they're doing (like driving!). :frown2:

    This convenience also makes it extrememly easy for people to annoy the heck out of other people in public, something I'm sure everyone here can relate to.

    I like having a cell phone, I need to have a cell phone. I simply don't want my life to revolve around it...
    "Riding along on a carousel...tryin' to catch up to you..."

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  22. #22
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    Re: What mobile phone service do you use?

    Hi Steve, I understand what you're saying. I guess I was just spouting this morning. However, we are only slaves to things if we let ourselves be slaves.
    It's true that technology has distanced the human interpersonal touch, but at the same time, it has shrunk the world, letting everyone have access to new people. I for one would not be where I am if it weren't for technology, as I met my wife on the internet about 8 years ago. One of the best things that ever happened to me.
    And actually, I was more thinking of Ronnoco's comment, with a smattering of yours..hehe
    It was all in fun though so as to get a response going...hehe...nothing personal to anyone.
    Ken
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  23. #23
    Analog Photographer, Digital World Axle's Avatar
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    Re: What mobile phone service do you use?

    Bell Moblity (Canada)
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: What mobile phone service do you guys use???

    Quote Originally Posted by Asylum Steve
    Well, I certainly can't argue with the sentiment. I try very hard not to be a slave to my mobile phone. Still, for the most part, they're two very different devices...

    It's kinda hard to toss a notebook computer to someone so they can quickly call a friend, or make a "call" with a NB while driving in your car, or simply to carry the NB everywhere you go (working in the garden, painting the house, washing the car, riding a bike, etc.) during the many times when we need to be reached at a moment's notice.

    Sounds like you have a good system, but for many if not most of us (especially as a commercial photographer), a small mobile phone is a neccessity, not a luxury...
    There is talk of banning cellphone use on the road in Canada and it is already a factor in determining liability in auto accidents. It is also banned in some locations and viewed very negatively in others.

    I have also found that in dealing with businesses, they have a computer on all the time at their desk which indicates when an e-mail is coming in, whereas they may leave their phone on voice-mail and take several hours to a day to check their messages and phone back. Using a laptop also avoids the time spent playing phone tag. All it may take is one message and a response.

    Ronnoco

  25. #25
    Princess of the OT adina's Avatar
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    Re: What mobile phone service do you use?

    I remember when dh used a laptop, cell phone and pager. All work related.

    Really, both our cell phones are for work, and for calling each other. In a job where you need to be available 24/7, (his, not mine) it's a must. And it's a heck of a lot better than having them call the house.

    Although I am very careful about cell etiquette. Drives me nuts when people talk in restaurants or while checking out at the store. And kids with phones, oh that bugs me.

    I guess the "need" for a cell phone, depends on the line of work and lifestyle you choose.
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