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Old 07-19-2005, 09:56 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Janet's Husband
Truth be known, All cell phone companies are at the same point the old Ma Bell system was just before it was taken apart.
They are abusive, expensive, they stop inovation, and they require people to purchase un-needed equipment to increase revenues.
Their is "no" technical reason that requires someone to only purchase phones from the cellular service provider.
Ma Bell use to rent phones because they also said any other phone would cause damage to their system. False statement then and false statement now.
Phones that work on any system in the world can be purchased from second party suppliers, and they will work just fine. But if you listen to the network suppliers they are the only people who know how a cell system works.
I would be willing to bet that there are not any cellular providers in the US who build their own phones or cell site equipment.
They purchase their equipment just like any individule could purchase.
To be frank about the situation the US is way behind the rest of the world in cellular technology and service. This is a well documented in many trade journals.
It is time that our lawmakers act on our behalf just like they did with the Bell system back in the 70's.
Take them apart, open up phone sales, increase compitition and reduce costs.

OK here it is with no BS. My 18 years in this business. I have been in sales, I am a Level 2 Repair technician for Nokia, Motorola, Ericsson. I have enough certificates for repair and service to cover about 4ft x 10 feet of wall with the certificates touching inf I dragged the all out. Now I work in Network related and get the Cellsite equipment repairs and help with the Logistics of network upgrades.

I have worked for Cingular, Bellsouth Mobility and several agents of theirs and PacTel/Airtouch. I did contract installation work for everybody around 13-18 years ago. I have seen it all and done it all in this business. Here is facts.

The law makers are what caused most of the complaints in this thread. The FCC is a really screwed up organization. You are correct. We are 10 years behind the rest of the world and the FCC is why. Cingular and AT&T have made most of that 10 years up over the last 4 but its still an ongoing process. The next big step the rest of the world is making we are about 2 years behind. UMTS and and 3G. Thats going to be the BIG speed data.

Coverage is all about the towers. The more people in a given area the closer the towers need to be to provide capacity. Every tower will always have somebody that will have a problem about it being there and will take a LONG time to get zoning clearance.

If they could just walk onto a piece of property and build a tower with the Telco and power connections already on site it would take about a week to build a working tower that could handle hundreds of phone calls. Most of that week would be waiting for Concrete to dry.

It takes 1.5 years to get to the point where they can build.

The last thing I want is the law makers involved because I actually know the truth. They got involved in the gas company....said that competition would cause lower prices. My gas bill TRIPLED in 6 months (before this gas crunch) even though I did home improvements that should have lowered it.

As far as price....you couldn't be more wrong. 15 years ago the CHEAP phone was $1000. I know because I was installing them. I been at this for 18 years. The great plan was 300 minutes for $129.99. Long distance was extra.
Now its 39.99 for 450 minutes WITH UNLIMITED MOBILE TO MOBILE and 5000 nights and weekend. NO long distance EVER if its to a US location (and that does include some places like Puerto Rico).


Yes you can buy phone from anywhere you want. You are absolutely correct.

Yes you can get service without contract.

You give up the Mobile to mobile to do it on Cingular.

You also give up the $100+ Perk that the carrier puts in with a 2 year contract.

You give up the Manufacture rebate as well in many cases.

Phones DO NOT cost $20 new. The least expensive phone that Cingular sells cost Cingular about $95 plus shipping and all the Stuff it takes to get it to you. So the carrier is selling the phones at a deficit to get your business. ALL of them do it. Thats why they make you sign the contract so that they know they will eventually make a profit. It takes about 14 months on the average customer to make a profit. The average customer

Personally I think the Carriers have made their own worst enemy by continuing to do this because people have no value in the product if they are getting it nearly free. They think they are being ripped off because of all the legal BS that a carrier has to do and stipulate to protect themselves.

How about If they did no contracts and sold the phone for the typical mark up of 100% that most products and serviced have. Then things would not be like they are now. They would get their profit right up front and be fat and happy. You could leave anytime because the carriers would not start out in the hole with new customers. The Cost of acquiring new customers in this business is right at $300. If they didn't do the $100 discount, Fired all the repair support people then mark up the product they would be dead even to start with.

O yeah I forgot this, If you buy your phone through a different source you also give up the warrant repair services that most carriers do for you. It will be up to you to contact the phone manufacture, provide proof of purchase, Pay for the shipping, and wait for the 7-45 business days it takes most manufactures to repair product. So instead of getting a replacement in 3 business days with the carrier eating the shipping by Providing you with a paid return shipping like the carriers now do with you spending a little bit of time on the phone or Internet. After all standing in line at the Post office and paying for shipping and insurance is no big deal right?

After all that 2 year contract is BS and you get nothing for it do you?

This is a Switch. This is what it takes to make a system work. This is what you don't see. They cost millions for a small one.
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Old 07-19-2005, 10:20 PM   #16
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You put alot into that post, you're not my target, and I'm going off rant now, except for one thing all phone service providers are guilty of:

When American cell phones catch up with the rest of the world, I'll be the first to sign up, until then I just want a phone. Not a camera, not a mini gameboy, nor a text messenger. These enhancements get in the way of what I would guess most people want - a phone with buttons big enough to hit accurately with adult digits. You are right on about the cost of phones. I'd buy a simple phone with the options my landline provides (sans internet). People who want/need all those extras should pay for them.

I could get basic satellit tv for around $30, but I want the extra channels, HBO, pay per view, an extra receiver, and a dvr - so I pay extra for the service and hardware. It mystifies me why some marketing genius at a cell phone company hasn't come up with a basic 'economy phone'.
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Old 07-19-2005, 11:08 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtpalms
You put alot into that post, you're not my target, and I'm going off rant now, except for one thing all phone service providers are guilty of:

When American cell phones catch up with the rest of the world, I'll be the first to sign up, until then I just want a phone. Not a camera, not a mini gameboy, nor a text messenger. These enhancements get in the way of what I would guess most people want - a phone with buttons big enough to hit accurately with adult digits. You are right on about the cost of phones. I'd buy a simple phone with the options my landline provides (sans internet). People who want/need all those extras should pay for them.

I could get basic satellit tv for around $30, but I want the extra channels, HBO, pay per view, an extra receiver, and a dvr - so I pay extra for the service and hardware. It mystifies me why some marketing genius at a cell phone company hasn't come up with a basic 'economy phone'.
Oh I'm not taking it personal at all. I want people to know the absolute truth about it all. I'm trying to educate. There is so much misinformation about wireless providers. I want the record straight.

I agree about our service not being up to par. Its really awful in many respects to other places in the world.

See the US took a step the rest of the world Bypassed thanks to the Misguided rulings of the FCC.

The majority of the world has been on GSM for nearly 12 years now. Because the FCC required that Analog be around for "X" years the Carriers were screwed when GSM was hitting the rest of the world. At the time nobody made a phone that was Analog and GSM. They were still sorting out GSM and couldn't figure out how to integrate a Analog transmitter with a true digital transmitter. GSM does crazy things.

So GSM was modified into a simpler form that they could make work with Analog in the same package. TDMA is trimmed down GSM. CDMA is a variant using a different way to do things. The reason a digital technology was so important is capacity. Analog is a bandwidth hog. In TDMA and CDMA you can put three calls into the same bandwidth as one analog call. The importance here is instant tripling of the capacity without building any sites. In GSM you can get 8 (the 9th channel is a control channel).

Then to really screw things up the FCC stuck it to the bigger companies when PCS frequency was released. So instead of the big companies taking that spectrum and making it GSM right off the bat it became a fight of technologies and smaller companies. SO it further delayed the US going to the Standard the rest of the would for the most part adopted....GSM.

Now the rest of the world is interested in Data and understand what drive this. The US is relatively new. Phones were a part of our life early on and in the planning of our relatively new cities it was easy to integrate. Think about what it takes to integrate a phone/cable/electric system into a 800year old city in Europe.

Wireless makes it it so much easier then trying to bring new hard wired technology into a ancient infrastructure that much of was built before electricity.


Now look at a third world country with minimal to no real infrastructure. A single sell site can cover hundreds of miles. So its cheaper to integrate a wireless technology where there is almost no technology. You have a tower and you put a device in the hands of the end user....your done.

Getting the PCS frequency was a milestone too. We have a Shortage of bandwith....Again our government hard at "waste". When Europe went to GSM they just said the hell with anybody that was on that frequency and took it over. Built the system and went. Whens the last time you watched UHF? Hell I think maybe 1 of the TV's I own might beable to tune it. Its just sitting there but the Government that people say should get involved just does nothing. Do you realize how much Bandwidth our Military has that it doesn't use but still wont release?

You also need to consider something too. Many of the Cell companies in the rest of the world are government owned and operated. 13 years ago they told all the Analog customers "Tough luck we are changing technologies and Analog is gone...end of discussion". Meanwhile, we still have Analog available here. It was early enough in the game that wireless was still a rich persons thing. Imagine doing that now with 50 million customers.
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Old 07-19-2005, 11:18 PM   #18
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Ohh and your friend with the week old phone. Call corporate. Sounds like the bought it from a Agent. Cingulars policy is if you are not happy with a phone in the first 30's days bring it back for a full credit. The stipulation is you have to have box and packaging and the phone not have obvious signs of abuse Ie- doesn't look like you kicked it across a parking lot in the rain.

The Agents are required to honor that policy but it does have to go back to the agent if it was bought at an agent.

Its right on the web site.
http://www.cingular.com/customer_ser...n_phone_return

I love agents. You might pay a few more bucks at a company store for some things but your shouldnt get that sort of BS out of them when you are not satisfied with a product.
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Old 07-20-2005, 08:15 AM   #19
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I have Sprint PCS service and use a Sanyo PM8200 with unlimited wireless web (no waiting for nights and weekends). All I need is a data cable (USB) and the driver (www.driverguide.com). On Driverguide the Username is "drivers", and the password is "all". You can rigister if you want, but that's the name and password they give everybody. Do a search for you phone.

After installing the phone as a modem useing the driver you just downloaded, use the internet connection wizard and select your phone as the modem to use. The username and password for your connection is the same as your wireless web username and password. #777 is the number that you use to dial out. It's four times faster than dial-up (230k), it doesn't cost you a dime extra, and you've got Internet access anywhere in the Sprint area. I have a Nationwide plan.

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Old 07-20-2005, 09:05 AM   #20
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A simpler solution that works for us: we are with Verizon and have a single LQ3200 phone. Bought the wireless office kit for it which is basically a cable to hook the cell to the laptop and a disk full of drivers.

After you load up the software you can sign up for and get "National Access" which is high speed and costs extra (either flat rate or per Mbyte).

or

You can use the "Quick 2 Net" which is slow (14K) but costs no extra (just uses minutes like any other call).

We went this way as we only need the cell phone hook up occasionally and mostly to check e-mail. If I want to do anything large (download pictures or anti-virus updates etc.) I just wait until I mosey across a WiFi site. The Quick 2 Net works just fine for simple things.

Mike
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Old 07-20-2005, 09:08 AM   #21
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We've been using a Cingular wireless card in our laptop for a little over a year now. It is EXPENSIVE and it is SLOW but we get a signal almost anywhere and it is for an unlimited number of minutes at around $90 a month, OUCH! Leadville and Rocky Mountain National Park were the only places we couldn't get a signal at all (while our cingular cellphone did work). We've been from Maine to Key West and then west as far as CO. with this thing so far and are pleased with it other than the cost. Just my two cents worth, which is about all I have left after paying the monthly cost.
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Old 07-20-2005, 10:19 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivetedude
I have Sprint PCS service and use a Sanyo PM8200 with unlimited wireless web (no waiting for nights and weekends). All I need is a data cable (USB) and the driver (www.driverguide.com). On Driverguide the Username is "drivers", and the password is "all". You can rigister if you want, but that's the name and password they give everybody. Do a search for you phone.

After installing the phone as a modem useing the driver you just downloaded, use the internet connection wizard and select your phone as the modem to use. The username and password for your connection is the same as your wireless web username and password. #777 is the number that you use to dial out. It's four times faster than dial-up (230k), it doesn't cost you a dime extra, and you've got Internet access anywhere in the Sprint area. I have a Nationwide plan.

Ben

I use the same basic setup...got my cable fromGomadic they also include a disc with the drivers on it. So far it has been pretty dependable. In one location in OK it was the ONLY choice, there was no local dialup available.

Aaron
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Old 07-20-2005, 11:24 AM   #23
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I've tried the rest...Sprint's the best!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZoominC5
We've been using a Cingular wireless card in our laptop for a little over a year now. It is EXPENSIVE and it is SLOW but we get a signal almost anywhere and it is for an unlimited number of minutes at around $90 a month, OUCH! Leadville and Rocky Mountain National Park were the only places we couldn't get a signal at all (while our cingular cellphone did work). We've been from Maine to Key West and then west as far as CO. with this thing so far and are pleased with it other than the cost. Just my two cents worth, which is about all I have left after paying the monthly cost.
I carry Sprint's best plan for around $110 per month. That includes 2000 ATM's, Unlimited Vision (Text, Web, Pic & Vid mail), Long Distance included, Nights and Weekends starting at 7, an extra phone for my wife...yada yada yada. I could go on and on.

I can easily justify that cost because we have replaced our home phone, long distance provider, and internet service provider by having our Cell phones. I figured it up and I only save about $10 per month, but it's worth it to have the portability, freedom of use, and free internet at quadruple the speed! I'm very happy with my Sprint service and would reccommend it to anybody.

Ben
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Old 07-20-2005, 12:16 PM   #24
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We went with a Verizon Aircard (separate from the phone) and get high speed broadband in almost 50 cities and speeds about 5x faster than dialup (8x faster than cellular dialup) most other places. We like it well enough that we now use it as our primary internet service whether we are home or traveling. Its a little pricey ($79) but has unlimited use and is independent of your cell phone service. In addition, its always on, just like other broadband services.
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Old 07-20-2005, 12:58 PM   #25
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Hi, Dave (Grizzy),

I'm interested in Verzion's plan, too. Do you use an external antenna on your Aircard? I'm trying to decide if I want to get an Aircard, external antenna, and automatic 3-watt amplifier, all of which costs together less than half of the "Internet in Motion" setup in Vintage Thunder.

My job requires me to be online from 10 to 12 hrs most days, but it doesn't demand WHERE I should be online FROM. Sometimes I look around here and think it's time to get the hell out of Dodge.

Thanks for any info,

Lamar
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Old 07-20-2005, 03:33 PM   #26
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I use the Sierra 580 Aircard for our Verizon service. I have an external antenna I use at our place in the Mountains where there isn't high speed Broadband service -- it improves the signal slightly, but it is not the full 3 watt amp, just an external antenna designed to plug into the aircard. I believe the Aircard 580 gives you somewhat better options for connection where High Speed Broadband isn't available than the standard aircard that comes with Verizon Broadband/Nationwide access. This is the case at ourplace in the mountains, and our speed is still about 100-140 kbps. In Mesa where we have a high speed signal available the speed is between 450 and 650 kbps -- not too bad. The service is the best we have ever had with zero down time in the last 4 months.
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Old 07-20-2005, 03:47 PM   #27
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We're looking into the 3-watt boosters for our voice service (Verizon). Frequently I find myself in marginal coverage areas where our Internet-in-Motion system works but the Verizon phone doesn't, at least not very well. I assumed that the difference is that the IIM system has a really good external antenna and the 3 watt capability (although I understand that with CDMA (digital) frequencies it is limited to 2 watts).

So I thought a booster would be the solution to my voice connection problems. But everyone in the industry I have talked to so far says that the boosters don't really get you much on the voice side. Basically you get back to the performance you would have gotten just by standing outside the trailer. In some cases, the "low loss cables" to the external antenna actually cause enough signal loss to wipe out the gains from having the external antenna!

To check this out, we are requesting trial units from the manufacturers now for testing. The Mobile Technology columnist for Airstream Life is a former engineer/manager/tech for various cell phone companies, so we have the capability to do valid testing. We will be reporting on our recommendations in a future issue of the magazine.

For those who are technically inclined, I routinely get online with the Internet in Motion system with signal strength around -110 db. Unfortunately, with the spotty nature of cell signals in this country, that's a common requirement.

You would never get online using an Aircard inside your trailer at that signal strength. If you go the Aircard route and getting online is important to you (for work or whatever), you definitely will want an external antenna and a booster at a minimum. Otherwise, one day you'll find yourself sitting outside in the rain (or mosquitoes) trying to get online, and cursing the cellular networks all the while...
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