I apologize if this is a topic beaten to death, but a cursory examination of the forums didn't turn up information that I need. I'm in a situation, with the new phones dropping soon, to either renew my contract with AT&T or move to another provider. Here are some things to consider...
What I like? I've never had any real problems with AT&T customer service, but that may be due to the robust nature of my beloved 9810. I've never had a problem with it, so I've never had to bug AT&T much about it. Their service seems to work smoothly in my area and I've not noticeable problems with dropped calls. I will admit, however, that coverage is not great with some rural areas I travel to once or twice a year.
No big deal, really.
I have two other family members on my account at a cheap rate, which is nice even if that's not a feature exclusive to AT&T. We all share a pool of minutes and, thanks to the rollover plan, we have never come close to running out of talk time in the years that we've belonged. Two of us also have 'unlimited' data plans which are scarcely used thanks to the prevalence of WiFi.
So that's okay. I have some things I might want to stick around for.
What don't I like?
AT&T's policy of charging for both HotSpot tethering and Playbook tethering. I'm also under the impression that they will not activate said features without forcing us off of the unlimited plans.
Which seems a little less than cool, but I understand why they have to limit data useage with their equipment. Still, since both my Playbook and Torch have decided to no longer get along with the WEP open WiFi network I have at work (an issue already hashed out in another thread), I'm not actually able to use my Playbook's internet connection while on the job. This plays **** with Evernote, an application I used to use all the time during meetings with my old Android tablet.
Does anyone have solid recommendations for switching carriers when we go get our BB10 devices? I'm looking to match a solid family plan with unlimited minutes and data useage (because my data will go up considerably if I'm allowed to tether my Playbook). I'm also looking for quality customer service, and I know that AT&T has a horrid reputation for that. I can only assume that a day will come when I need AT&T to support me on an issue and they'll not come through -- or so states their common reputation.
I'm honestly hoping that the WEP problems will clear up once 10 rolls out. That, of course, also assumes that some upgrade to the Playbook will be required. If not the device itself, then at least the Bridge. I suspect that the connection issues actually started once the paired devices began exchanging information over a shared WiFi network. Anyone who's actually worked with this problem, however, should know that's just a guess.
So anyone out there with new suggested carriers that might be better suited to make use of all the fine Blackberry features? In particular, new features that will be made available with BB10.
Last edited by Cale M; 01-14-13 at 05:18 PM.
- 01-14-13, 05:06 PM #2
I would prefer to be with Sprint or TMobile.
I despise AT&T, and I dislike Verizon even more... I try to do as much as I can to support Sprint and TMobile with my business.
But to address your last question. AT&T and Verizon would actually be better suited since they have large established LTE networks. Sprint is very, very little growth right now, and TMobile is non-existant.
Luckily for me, LTE isn't even a notion of whether or not I'm going to pick a carrier. 3G and a good wifi connection is all I need. HSPA+ is more than enough for my needs. I don't really stream from my mobile device, and if I do, it's only music. HSPA+ is heaven for me as it is.
- 01-14-13, 05:26 PM #4
Yes they do. Activation fees can be waived and there is usually signing incentives that waive the activation fee, but that varies from dealer to dealer.
As far as Bridge for the PlayBook, currently the way things go with the current PB OS and BB7, you don't need to pay for a tethering plan with Sprint or TMobile (and I think that goes for Verizon too). AT&T requires a tethering plan to use Bridge, however there is a workaround that's pretty simple.
Aside from Bridge, all carriers charge for tethering/mobile hotspot. I believe TMobile is the cheapest with their pre-paid plans and charge a flat $15, and there is no cap for mobile hotspot meaning whatever your data package is you could use all of it as a hotspot if you wanted to. Other carriers usually only allow hotspot up to 1GB or 2GB and you have to pay extra after that. This is why T-Mobile is so popular, especially with Android users, who can now pay $70 a month for Unlimited HSPA+ 4G data and unlimited talk and text. Add $15 for hotspot and now you have unlimited 4g everything for only $85 a month with no contract. Bring your own phone of course... If you have a BlackBerry and want BIS (push email and such), you need to add another $10 a month so now you're at $95 for unlimited 4G data and mobile hotspot and BIS.
I've done the math several times and TMobile and Sprint have the best plan pricing for unlimited talk/text/data, though they might not have the best reception or fastest speeds in as many areas as the other two guys. Personally, Sprint has never failed me, but have yet to remark on their data speed because I mainly use wifi. T-Mobile will generally have faster data speeds than Sprint, but I get weaker cell reception with TMobile and I've always had a signal with Sprint in areas my TMobile phones did not. That's over here in Northern California. Could be different for your neck of the woods.
- 01-14-13, 06:00 PM #6
- 01-14-13, 09:07 PM #7
Don't get locked into a contract with Sprint. Their data speeds are, well I would probably get banned if I used the words to describe it here. Let's just say I remember basic dial-up back in the 90's being at least twice as fast as Sprint's network. Now from what I've seen though, T-Mobile is fast, and has good prices. I would recommend them.
- 01-14-13, 09:22 PM #8
T-Mobile coverage checker
OP, if you can, ask around other T-Mobile customers what type of speeds they get. A better indicator than that would be a test with a prepaid SIM, or evaluating the service and canceling within whatever your state's grace period is (you'd owe usage charges for at most a month, maybe prorated down.)
Don't go solely off of the link above (unless it says 2G only...in which case I'd look elsewhere.)
- 01-14-13, 09:36 PM #10
Customer service and coverage are important to me and I am very happy with Verizon. But the above posts are correct, Sprint has the only true unlimited data plan. T-Mobile has a pseudo unlimited. Spring's coverage is less than ideal in my area though and I've read (rumor) they are going to be one of the last to carry the new BB10 units. Even with five smart phones, we have never exceeded 4 gigs/month on our 'Share' plan. Another 2 gigs is only $10/month. Changing carriers is a tough decision. Best of luck.
- 01-14-13, 09:50 PM #11
T-Mobile doesn't allow mobile hotspot on the unlimited postpaid plan for obvious reasons. I'd be really surprised if they did on prepaid.
- 01-14-13, 10:50 PM #13
According to their website, their prepaid "Monthly 4G" plans allow mobile hotspot for their $70/mo unlimited no throttling 4G. I read the fine print and it does not have any restrictions other than the disclaimer that hotspot isn't available for all devices since not all devices support mobile hotspot.
- 01-15-13, 01:54 AM #14
Re: Which Carrier
@ JR, thanks. That's very interesting they've decided to allow it on prepaid rather than postpaid. I would've expected it to be the other way around.
It's starting to sound like there's quite as much incentive to move away from AT&T as I thought there would be. But at the very least I have some additional information to go on and some things I need to check out locally before making up my mind.
- 01-15-13, 01:57 PM #19
So the only way he'd be able to take advantage of Nextel's coverage is if he went with Sprint and got an iDen phone, and the latest phone I heard of that supported iDen was the BlackBerry 8350i... And to be honest, iDen isn't the best network for calls nor data.
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