Wireless providers in the US

Kevin Dean kevin at foreverdean.info
Wed Jun 11 21:10:28 CEST 2008

On Wed, Jun 11, 2008 at 1:03 PM,  <paul at buede.com> wrote:
> Could those of you in the US, who have the prior phone,and who plan to get
> the new one, share what providers you are using?

T-Mobile. Been with them 5 or 6 years and zero complaints.

> Also, any details would
> be great.  I am going to be leaving Sprint, and ditching my Treo 650 for
> the new phone.

Dropped Motorola RAZRs for a Neo 1973 and Neo Freerunner.

>  It is very exciting, but I am a little lost as to what all
> my options are.

I'm assuming for a moment you're planning on purchasing an Openmoko
phone since that's what this list is about. Any cellular carrier that
uses GSM works with the Freerunner and 1973. This pretty much means
anything BUT Sprint or Verizon (and Verizon will be transitioning to
GSM in 2009 in the metro DC area, from what I've heard). Assuming the
mobile companies don't restrict phones they're not familiar with,
every contract plan or prepaid plan should work.

> It is further complicated by the way in the US everyone
> seems to offer regionally based plans, rather than having the same plans
> available throughout the country.

I have to say I disagree unless you're interested only in a small,
local based provider which Sprint is NOT. T-Mobile and AT&T both offer
nationwide plans and the plans are the same coast to coast.

>  I am in the D.C. area.

A friend of mine lives in northwest and T-Mobile doesn't work well for
her (though Verizon is starting to fail in her building too). I get
excellent service in Frederick, Alexandria, Gaithersburg, Reston,
Herndon, Sterling. Come to think of it... Other than being in like the
Baltimore tunnel, I don't think I've ever NOT had service and I drove
out to Jersey a few months ago to buy my car.

> Thanks
> P.S.  My intended uses are as a phone, as a modem or tethering device for
> my laptop,

I support Openmoko but let me give my realistic opinion - the decision
to use 2G and include wifi isn't the best for Americans in metro
areas. From what I gather, data over cellular is still pretty
expensive in Europe so the inclusion of Wifi benefits the most people
there. In the USA where unlimited data plans are quite affordable,
where people commute signifigantly longer distances and cellular
coverage is more reliable and more readily available than wifi
coverage lack of 3G sucks really REALLY badly.

If you're tethering for cellular data connection, a Freerunner will
disappoint you. The fact that there's not a cellular connection fast
enough to support streaming audio on my daily commute is serious
enough that I questioned if I'd pay money for a Freerunner.

> as a web browser when I am on the road, for calendar and such,
> for texting.  I am interested in GPS features as well.

A Freerunner would work well for all of those, and with the GPS being
tacked on, I'm not sure I can think of many devices that would combine
all of those features.

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