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Cellular provider opinions - bluetooth support
laudre From: laudre Date: April 18th, 2003 12:29 am (UTC) (Direct Link)

Well... it's dated info...

But back a few years ago, when I was selling wireless for a living (for Verizon, when it was still Bell Atlantic, and for Sprint PCS), and shortly after, I had quite a bit of first- and second-hand exposure to all of the carriers.

I had an Omnipoint phone back about three years ago; Omnipoint was eaten by VoiceStream, which has become T-Mobile. Back then, Omnipoint's customer service was worse than Sprint PCS' legendarily horrifying and evil customer disservice department (as I had to deal with both, at many points, having been a customer of both companies). As for AT&T Wireless, I can't say much, other than that all of the customers who I spoke with about them absolutely hated the service. This was three years ago, though, so they could've improved, but I've got the impression that AT&T coverage in New England hasn't improved much.

Now that I'm once again working in the Wonderful World of Wireless, though in a different part of it, here's what I can say, as someone who takes over 4,000 calls from wireless customers on their phons a week (including the market where you'll be using your phone):

Sprint PCS, which we've just started working with, seems to have improved their network over what it was like back when I sold their phones, and their network falls into the "as long as you've got enough of a signal to get bars, it works well" category. I don't often get a call where I can't make out what a PCS customer is saying.

I never seem to have substantial reception problems with Verizon phones in Northeast markets, except in some rural areas (VT, NH, parts of upstate NY). During the day, when the networks are running above capacity, I see a fair number of dropped calls, though, often without warning.

And Verizon is running on CDMA, which has a much higher user capacity than TDMA (AT&T) or GSM (T-Mobile) (and, yes, I know TDMA and GSM are close relatives), if I'm remembering how the technologies work right. While you might have much better luck with AT&T's customer service, for instance, I'd be uneasy about relying on the things during peak hours. Cellular providers have gone to the point of exceeding their capacities in the attempt to remain profitable (which they do only marginally), and doing that with an inferior (if cheaper) technology seems like a bad idea.

Just my two cents, give or take.
krellis From: krellis Date: April 18th, 2003 07:45 am (UTC) (Direct Link)

Re: Well... it's dated info...

AT&T's legacy network is actually more correctly described as IS-136. Both IS-136 and GSM are TDMA technologies; calling one or the other TDMA isn't technically correct (and AT&T's way of doing that really annoys those of us who know the truth :)). AT&T is actually deploying/deployed a GSM network, now - I think New England is covered under it. A friend of mine on their old IS-136 network hated it and got rid of it as soon as he could.

For a pretty detailed description of CDMA vs. TDMA, if you care, check out this site - it goes into a decent amount of detail about all of the differences between the various transmission methods, protocols, and codecs, including the capacity handling differences that you mentioned.