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"Cell" phones...

"Cell" phones...

Old Apr 10th 2008, 2:16 pm
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Default "Cell" phones...

Hi all...

Firstly, as a brit, they will ALWAYS be MOBILE phones... not CELL phones!

Now onto the question...

Which US based phone company would you guys recommend? I will be bringning my own handset (Nokia N95 which is the BEST phone I EVER had), so will only need a SIM, and I would like to get a decent deal with inclusive minutes and data...

The research I have done so far is quite dissapointing... Having to pay to receive calls? what's that about?!

It's almost as if the US is 10 years behind the rest of the world when it comes to mobile phones...
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Old Apr 10th 2008, 2:20 pm
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Default Re: "Cell" phones...

Originally Posted by robnewman View Post
The research I have done so far is quite dissapointing... Having to pay to receive calls? what's that about?!

It's almost as if the US is 10 years behind the rest of the world when it comes to mobile phones...
Yeah, it's crap. Also, cell phone is probably a better description based on what they are.
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Old Apr 10th 2008, 2:44 pm
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Default Re: "Cell" phones...

Originally Posted by robnewman View Post
Hi all...

Firstly, as a brit, they will ALWAYS be MOBILE phones... not CELL phones!

Now onto the question...

Which US based phone company would you guys recommend? I will be bringning my own handset (Nokia N95 which is the BEST phone I EVER had), so will only need a SIM, and I would like to get a decent deal with inclusive minutes and data...

The research I have done so far is quite dissapointing... Having to pay to receive calls? what's that about?!

It's almost as if the US is 10 years behind the rest of the world when it comes to mobile phones...
Hi:

As you note, it is different. You should also be aware, that in the US, our cars have the steering wheel on the left and we drive on the right side of the road.

On terminology -- in the US, the term "mobile telephone" was used for "zero generation" which was not celluar. So, when the celluar system came out, the term "cell" was used to indicate the new "hand-off" technology.

On the payment for all air-time, it should be noted that the US, unlike the UK does NOT surcharge the CALLER to call a cell-phone. BTW, several US carriers are now offering flat rate service. [I remember when CompuServe and AOL charged by the MINUTE for on-line time -- and now its dirt cheap and at flat rate].

As to the systems, the US is a big country -- there are still large blind spots [and many mini-ones -- my home is adjacent to a large hilly municipal park -- no towers allowed in the park -- so my coverage at home is spotty between no-service and "five-bars."]

Also, there are often the "legacy" systems with a fairly big installed base. The shift from analog to digital took quite a bit of time, but by now most handsets don't have analog capability and will be problematical in many rural areas which may still have functioning analog capability.

Also, the US has NOT adopted a uniform system -- I've been with VerizonWireless which generally uses CDMA for its systems. My phones can be made to work in China and Korea, no problem -- useless in Europe. And GSM is the junior system. Again, the legacy problem.

Also, since I'm not on a GSM system [my daughters are with Cingular which was T-mobile], I can't tell you about portability of the handset. As I said, my daughters GSM phones. They tell me that the "flavor" of US GSM is somewhat different than that used in Europe. One daughter lived in France for 8 months -- she researched the matter and found out that her European phone was not a model that would work in the US. But I've heard that there are models that will accept all flavors of GSM. You might want to check out if your handset will work in the US and the coverage area.

Last edited by Folinskyinla; Apr 10th 2008 at 2:47 pm.
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Old Apr 10th 2008, 2:44 pm
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Default Re: "Cell" phones...

You'll need to go for a GSM based service (uses a SIM) in order to use your N95. That rules out Sprint, Verizon, etc.

T-Mobile and AT&T are the big hitters for GSM. Which one depends on how you use your phone i.e. data usage, text, voice, etc, etc. Would recommend looking through the various plans and see what works.

EDIT: The N95 is tri-band. Assuming it's the euro version, your coverage here might not be too great. You may have to get a US phone eventually.

Last edited by hobbes79; Apr 10th 2008 at 2:48 pm.
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Old Apr 10th 2008, 2:47 pm
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Default Re: "Cell" phones...

Originally Posted by robnewman View Post
Firstly, as a brit, they will ALWAYS be MOBILE phones... not CELL phones!
I used to think that but eventually you get sick of explaining to people what you're on about and just say cell phone. The only thing I insist on is that there's no such game as soccer

Company-wise it really depends on where you live, I'm with T-Mobile and the coverage is quite poor, I always seem to be roaming and on the Cingular/AT&T network, luckily that doesn't seem to incur any extra charges.

I was quite surprised about the paying to receive phone calls and text messages too but no doubt you'll be offered a bunch of "extra" packages that cover the minutes/texts. It's certainly more expensive to have a phone over here though. My bill back in the UK was about 15 quid max, here it's $120 a month and they get about the same usage.
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Old Apr 10th 2008, 2:54 pm
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Default Re: "Cell" phones...

It depends completely on where you live. I have T-Mobile because I work in downtown Chicago and it's the best coverage by far, I'm one of the few people who's phones even work in our office. But where we live (25 miles away) T-Mobile is terrible, we get calls dropped constantly. Once our contract is out for the year we'll probably switch to AT&T. Which will suck because T-Mobile is by far the cheapest.
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Old Apr 10th 2008, 3:02 pm
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Default Re: "Cell" phones...

My GSM US phone works fine in the UK.

But now I need CDMA, and that will not work in UK.

I have kept our GSM's for trips back, I have a PAYG for UK use.
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Old Apr 10th 2008, 3:03 pm
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Default Re: "Cell" phones...

Originally Posted by robnewman View Post
Hi all...

Firstly, as a brit, they will ALWAYS be MOBILE phones... not CELL phones!
As others have mentioned, the zero technology for mobile telephones (at least in the US) was not cellular based, lacking automatic handover which is an essential component of a cell phone's operation.

A nice bit of history on mobile phones, and how they pre-dated cell phones.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phone
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Old Apr 10th 2008, 3:08 pm
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Default Re: "Cell" phones...

Originally Posted by robnewman View Post
Hi all...

Firstly, as a brit, they will ALWAYS be MOBILE phones... not CELL phones!

Now onto the question...

Which US based phone company would you guys recommend? I will be bringning my own handset (Nokia N95 which is the BEST phone I EVER had), so will only need a SIM, and I would like to get a decent deal with inclusive minutes and data...

The research I have done so far is quite dissapointing... Having to pay to receive calls? what's that about?!

It's almost as if the US is 10 years behind the rest of the world when it comes to mobile phones...
It may be a mobile to you but people here won't know what you're talking about. I soon learnt to say cell phone instead of mobile...that's one of the few American words I concede to.

BTW you are charged for incoming as well as outgoing calls on cell phones.
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Old Apr 10th 2008, 3:09 pm
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Default Re: "Cell" phones...

Originally Posted by SpoogleDrummer View Post
I used to think that but eventually you get sick of explaining to people what you're on about and just say cell phone. The only thing I insist on is that there's no such game as soccer
"Soccer" is a British term - Soccer/Rugger, ASSOCIATION football, RUGBY football. The Oxford English Dictionary has uses going back to the late nineteenth century..
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Old Apr 10th 2008, 3:13 pm
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Default Re: "Cell" phones...

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
It may be a mobile to you but people here won't know what you're talking about. I soon learnt to say cell phone instead of mobile...that's one of the few American words I concede to.

BTW you are charged for incoming as well as outgoing calls on cell phones.
I've noticed that Americans increasingly understand the term "mobile." Anyone who gets business correspondence or email from associates abroad, it usually says "mobile" and then the phone # in their signature file or contact info.
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Old Apr 10th 2008, 3:22 pm
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Default Re: "Cell" phones...

Originally Posted by robnewman View Post
I will be bringning my own handset (Nokia N95 which is the BEST phone I EVER had), so will only need a SIM, and I would like to get a decent deal with inclusive minutes and data...
Don't worry about the handset. If you get a contract, a handset will be provided a low or no cost to you. (The price will be heavily subsidized by the wireless carrier.) Whether that service is GSM or CDMA shouldn't matter to you.

AT&T (formerly Cingular) and T-Mobile are both GSM. Verizon is CDMA, but a CDMA "world phone" (one that will work in the UK) will have GSM technology in the phone for international roaming. Sprint/Nextel just sucks, and you should avoid them completely.

If you are a moderate to heavy phone user who makes outgoing calls, being in the US will save you money. The use of airtime for incoming calls is offset by the fact that there is no premium charge for calling to a mobile, as is the case in the UK. With a UK SIM card, I've ended up paying more for a week's worth of service in the UK than I have for a month in the US.

The new trend is for one-price, unlimited use plans for about $100/mo, but you can get a regular plan with plenty of airtime for $50-60 per month. And unlike the UK, it is typical to get free nights and weekends, which creates further savings.
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Old Apr 10th 2008, 3:35 pm
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Default Re: "Cell" phones...

Originally Posted by chicagojlo View Post
It depends completely on where you live. I have T-Mobile because I work in downtown Chicago and it's the best coverage by far, I'm one of the few people who's phones even work in our office. But where we live (25 miles away) T-Mobile is terrible, we get calls dropped constantly. Once our contract is out for the year we'll probably switch to AT&T. Which will suck because T-Mobile is by far the cheapest.
Are you certain AT&T are going to be any better, genereally their service is pretty sucky.

For Metro areas you really can't touch Verizon, I have looked into it a lot, but I just don't want to switch to anyone else as they all seem to have worse reception. Its a shame as Verizon really do have such a poor choice of phones and seem to put their own crappy software on them to restrict the features even further.
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Old Apr 10th 2008, 3:38 pm
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Default Re: "Cell" phones...

T-Mobile coverage round here is pretty poor, and basically non-existent if we head up to Maine to see family. No matter how cheap T-Mobile gets, if I can't make or receive phone calls, it's not much point.

I use AT&T and it's great coverage. But as said, just depends on your luck.

I pay about $80/month for 2-lines, have more mins than we know what to do with and we tagged on a text plan that gives us enough included ones not too worry. I've actually been pretty pleased with them.
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Old Apr 10th 2008, 4:01 pm
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Default Re: "Cell" phones...

Our T-Mobile costs the same I think, but I also have Blackberry service which tacks on $20 a month
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