1. electriicdigits's Avatar
    is it decent service?
    06-29-2008 03:21 PM
  2. iLoveiPhones's Avatar
    I've had pretty much every cellular service and AT&T was the best out of all of them. They have the most coverage and the best deals on phones. Not only that they carry the iPhone

    Another thing about AT&T is their prices. They're a bit pricey but it's worth because they have the best service and your calls don't drop. Just check the service map on the AT&T site and see if you have enough coverage in your area and if the service is right for you.
    06-29-2008 03:29 PM
  3. HawaiiMacAddict's Avatar
    Aloha electricdigits,

    It really depends on your area. I've had both T-Mobile and AT&T and both of them have their plusses and minuses. One of the biggest draws to (Cingular) AT&T, at least for me, was Rollover Minutes. Unused minutes from any particular month are "rolled over" for the next 12 consecutive months, or until they are expended completely. On my Family Plan, we have three lines and 700 minutes. Currently, we have over 2,800 rollover minutes. We will NEVER run out of minutes.

    Other than that, the service is getter in some areas (as compared to T-Mobile) and not as good in others. It's kid of like "6 of one, a half dozen of the other." Take a look at AT&T's coverage maps for your area to make sure.

    HawaiiMacAddict
    06-29-2008 03:30 PM
  4. Kupe#WP's Avatar
    Another thing about AT&T is their prices. They're a bit pricey but it's worth because they have the best service and your calls don't drop. Just check the service map on the AT&T site and see if you have enough coverage in your area and if the service is right for you.
    Search on JD Power and Wireless to see what the real ratings are - by region (a couple of examples here and here). AT&T competes with Sprint for last place across the board. T-Mobile and Verizon are at the top. Maybe you just don't understand good quality when you see it. Maybe you buy in to AT&T's hype (long ago debunked)
    06-29-2008 09:19 PM
  5. Sinistar's Avatar
    I'm not too familiar with ATT, 99% of everyone I know has either Verizon or Sprint (no ATT 3g here til next year I hear). But I'm planning to get a 3G iPhone anyways (ipod/safari/apps biggest reasons). And hoping 3G will come sooner and be content with edge til then. If service is too bad I'll prob go back to Sprint and get an Instinct or BB as their signal is really nice here and 3G is available.
    06-29-2008 10:12 PM
  6. supermum's Avatar
    It really depends on where you live. Here there is NO Sprint store... no one I know has Sprint except for someone who just moved in the area and is quickly switching. They sell it at Coscto but no one is sure why...
    Also, I only know one person (out of 100 or so people in my phone book) who has TMobile. While there are authorized agents that sell TMobile, I am not aware of an actual TMobile owned store within 50 miles. (I just checked the website... the closest TMobile owned store is about 120 miles away).
    Where I live everyone has Verizon and AT&T. They both are equal in their (fairly excellent) coverage. Each company has a few dead spots.. unfortunately I have lived in Verizon's for many years and that is why I am ready to make the switch. I used to have AT&T when they were Cingular and I hated them with a passion. However, I live in an AT&T monopoly and love the idea of free calls to AT&T landlines included in my family plan. Also, the discount I will be getting for combining services (and actually getting service in my home!!!) will be enough to make me try this company again.

    Oh.. and did I mention the iPhone? (How could I forget???)
    06-29-2008 11:42 PM
  7. volsfan0911's Avatar
    I have had three carriers (Sprint, VZW, ATT now). I'm a consultant and have literally used all three from EWR (Newark, NJ) to LAX (LA) and probably most airports in-between. VZW signal & call quality is great everywhere EXCEPT MY HOUSE (Maryland)! Sorry for the rant & all caps . VZW customer service sucks big time. So does their pricing and device-crippling (no GPS on BB's, etc.)

    TMOB is used by many in my company (based out of Dallas). If you're in Dallas or other major markets and the coverage is good, they love TMOB for great customer service and low prices. If you aren't, then not so good.

    ATT seems to be hit or miss. I was expecting a nightmare based on friend's experiences, general reputation Cingular earned, etc. And have been very pleasantly surprised. Good to very good reception, signal, call quality, etc. Of course, BB Curves do have above average reception which helps I'm sure. Customer service has been great although I've never had to use it.

    Sprint? If they're around much longer, I was happy with them. The $99 all you can talk/data/eat/etc. plan would be a no-brainer for me if they had the iPhone. Which they don't.
    Last edited by volsfan0911; 06-30-2008 at 09:03 AM.
    06-30-2008 08:52 AM
  8. dhp1080's Avatar
    In Chicagoland I have never lost service anywhere. I suppose it's because I live in the suburbs of Chicago, but nevertheless, if you live near any populated area I'm sure AT&T will provide adequate service. Also, their customer support and service is great.
    06-30-2008 01:58 PM
  9. supermum's Avatar
    Someone correct me if I am wrong but CDMA (Verizon and Sprint) is able to penetrate buildings better than GSM (ATT and TMobile).
    I was told this a few times. Maybe someone can shed some light on this?
    06-30-2008 02:12 PM
  10. Jeremy's Avatar
    Someone correct me if I am wrong but CDMA (Verizon and Sprint) is able to penetrate buildings better than GSM (ATT and TMobile).
    I was told this a few times. Maybe someone can shed some light on this?
    I've seen no evidence of this before... For example at home, in the basement with Sprint I would get 1 bar or no service. With At&t I get all 5 bars in the house including the basement... so at least for me that theory does not hold up well.
    06-30-2008 02:26 PM
  11. pink2's Avatar
    I have been very happy with AT&T. I have compared to T-Mobile and Verizon and I get better connections with AT&T - more bars in more places!!
    06-30-2008 02:30 PM
  12. volsfan0911's Avatar
    Someone correct me if I am wrong but CDMA (Verizon and Sprint) is able to penetrate buildings better than GSM (ATT and TMobile).
    I was told this a few times. Maybe someone can shed some light on this?
    Yes, that's true currently. If you go look at the guidelines, GSM has a smaller broadcast radius than CDMA and less penetration as a guideline. Tons of variables in that statement and anyone who has used a cell phone has experienced those. So, you'll generally see more GSM antennas/repeaters per area than CDMA. I think I'm close in saying that GSM's broadcast "umbrella" is 30KM whereas CDMA is around 70KM (18.6 miles to 43.4 miles line of sight). The radiowave engineers could tell you much better than me. If VZW sucks in one basement though as opposed to ATT/TMOB being "good" it could be a tower closer, you are in a convergence zone, etc.

    So, as a generalization, you would expect to get more penetration from VZW/Sprint indoors versus ATT/TMOB. There are exceptions to everything and frequently, I get plenty of reception indoors with ATT. It's rare that I cannot get any signal at all and that's usually way inside with no windows or basements, etc.
    Last edited by volsfan0911; 06-30-2008 at 02:40 PM.
    06-30-2008 02:31 PM
  13. coachpete's Avatar
    The only beef I have for AT&T is the 3G coverage area or lack there of in my state. The state of Michigan I understand a pretty big state to cover and especially the upper peninsula but my problem lies with me working in the Capital of Lansing and not having 3G coverage within 45 miles of the radius around Lansing.
    06-30-2008 03:23 PM
  14. Kupe#WP's Avatar
    Someone correct me if I am wrong but CDMA (Verizon and Sprint) is able to penetrate buildings better than GSM (ATT and TMobile).
    I was told this a few times. Maybe someone can shed some light on this?
    You might be thinking of cell radio frequency (band). Verizon's network has a large proportion of 850 MHz towers and some 1900 MHz towers (the two frequencies used by CDMA in the US). Sprint's tower's (the CDMA ones, not the iDEN ones) are exclusively 1900 MHz. Watt-for-watt, lower frequencies have better structure penetration which gives Verizon an advantage over Sprint. Additionally, the 1900 MHz towers are limited by the FCC in output power. So, in general, Verizon has better building penetration than Sprint, but because Sprint roams on Verizon's network, the difference is diminished somewhat.

    In the GSM world, AT&T is also heavily into the 850 MHz band while T-Mobile is in the 1900 MHz band.

    So, the answer to your original question is: It's impossible to say. Verizon and AT&T will have similar building penetration while Sprint and T-Mobile will be similar to each other. However, other issues come into play like proximity of a tower, phone sensitivity, addition of repeaters (common in big buildings like airport terminals and skyscrapers) and overall tower availability (maxxed out by subscribers/shortage of bandwidth). Your individual situation will drive the answer to you question.
    06-30-2008 04:08 PM
  15. supermum's Avatar
    I meant... given that the two towers were in the exact same location... CDMA penetrates better... I thought that was a given. OF COURSE if the tower is closer or in a better location you will get better service.
    Anywhoo... mixed responses to this but I had cellular techs tell me this several times. Still unsure how true it is but I believe there is some truth behind it as the cell techs weren't tied to one company or another and had no reason to lie (although they could have been misinformed).
    06-30-2008 07:29 PM
  16. volsfan0911's Avatar
    You might be thinking of cell radio frequency (band). Verizon's network has a large proportion of 850 MHz towers and some 1900 MHz towers (the two frequencies used by CDMA in the US). Sprint's tower's (the CDMA ones, not the iDEN ones) are exclusively 1900 MHz. Watt-for-watt, lower frequencies have better structure penetration which gives Verizon an advantage over Sprint. Additionally, the 1900 MHz towers are limited by the FCC in output power. So, in general, Verizon has better building penetration than Sprint, but because Sprint roams on Verizon's network, the difference is diminished somewhat.

    In the GSM world, AT&T is also heavily into the 850 MHz band while T-Mobile is in the 1900 MHz band.

    So, the answer to your original question is: It's impossible to say. Verizon and AT&T will have similar building penetration while Sprint and T-Mobile will be similar to each other. However, other issues come into play like proximity of a tower, phone sensitivity, addition of repeaters (common in big buildings like airport terminals and skyscrapers) and overall tower availability (maxxed out by subscribers/shortage of bandwidth). Your individual situation will drive the answer to you question.
    Kupe - excellent info & feedback. He brings up the main reason everyone (major cell carriers & Google) had the big bidding war when the FCC whored themselves out - I mean, held the spectrum actions for the soon-to-be-vacated analog TV bands (700 Mhz?). Back in the day (analog Dark Ages) those were the best available because building penetration was superior to anything else. Think rabbit ears (Gawd, I actually had a set of those along with buying my own TV at age 12 or 13 from Sears. And yes, it was a B&W 'cause they were so much cheaper - please shoot me!). I seem to remember reading that VZW had agreed "in principal" to the LTE standard months ago (Long Term Evolution or 4G/5G GSM down the road). I mean, 10 years from now it'll be a moot point, landlines will be something totally different and I imagine we'll take wireless voice/video for granted more than likely. Looking back at my 1998 Bell Atlantic Mobile/NYNEX days (soon to become Verizon) and a vintage Moto StarTac, I have to laugh. Although for just voice, that was one of the best damned cell phones I've ever owned............
    Last edited by volsfan0911; 06-30-2008 at 11:11 PM.
    06-30-2008 11:01 PM
  17. jmeiners's Avatar
    My experience with Sprint is the same as Bad Ash (I am in the Chicago burbs). T-mobile is similar as well. Some of my family has AT&T and when the are in Chicago there is never a service or coverage area and they make the drive from Dallas to Chicago through some pretty rural areas. I am pretty stoked about switching to AT&T. Well, as stoked as you can get about a phone carrier.
    07-03-2008 12:48 PM
  18. skim's Avatar
    AT&T's coverage is consistently better in San Diego than Verizon's - fewer dead zones.
    07-03-2008 02:07 PM
  19. sterling's Avatar
    I've only been with AT&T for about a year and never really had a problem with AT&T's service, other than the occasional incompetent service rep

    However, I am a supervisor w/ Verizon wireless customer service (call center, not a store) and I know that we go way further for the customer at my call center than AT&T has ever gone for me. In fact, I helped one of my reps process a couple of port-ins from AT&T last week who ported because of dissatisfaction w/ AT&T customer service.

    But I'm still an ATT customer, cant bring myself to got to a CDMA network (and the iPhone plays a small role, I suppose )
    07-03-2008 02:52 PM
  20. Nakheel's Avatar
    I wish we had AT&T in Canada. Our rates at Rogers for the iPhone are horrible!

    You are so lucky that you have unlimited data and will never have to worry about downloading too many things!
    07-03-2008 05:06 PM
  21. whmurray's Avatar
    is it decent service?
    If you are asking about customer service, they are somewhere between Ma Bell and Sprint.

    If you are asking about voice coverage, they are very good. EDGE coverage is fair. 3G coverage is no where near Verizon or Sprint but better than T-Mobile. On the other hand, T-Mobile has promised to build out in the next year. Of course, unless you live in a densely populated area, you may never see 3G.

    I have two phones on AT&T Wireless. I moved to Cingular because The Treo gets much better signal in my home (local coverage trumps everything) on AT&T than on T-Mo. The iPhone will make and receive calls in my home only if it is docked. One the other hand the BT on the iPhone allows me about two rooms of range from the dock.
    07-03-2008 07:00 PM
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