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« The week of February 11th in My Digital Life | Main | Birdsoft eXtreme Agenda v3.1 review »

February 12, 2008


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Tariq Bamadhaj

Yeah I have to agree on the phone selection which is really paltry. Why can't they just provide us with more options?

As for their features like HotSpot@Home (and myFaves), couldn't they just create a CAB file and let Windows Mobile users install it to our device to use? What's so tough about that?

As for 3G, well good news is that they just announced an addition of 15 000 base stations on top of the 10 000 that they currently have which is planned to be completed by mid year which is when they plan to switch it on. Hopefully that's true.

Chris Carlin

Tariq: HotSpot@Home seems to be a little more complicated than is obvious. There are indications that the programming for the feature may require information from the underlying cell network, which may not be available to normal Windows Mobile programs.

Also, word is they've been having a good deal of growing pains with infrastructure for the service; I'm sure they'd be hesitant to encourage any sort of "user space" access at this point.

Chris Beard

Funny you write this, because lately I have been wondering the same thing. A new ROM update was promised for the Wing (supposedly) last week to fix the memory leak problem, now I read that this update has been delayed until this summer. Until I hear it from T-Mobile itself I won't believe anything, however I have tried calling tech support and even they won't give me an answer as to when the update is coming.

The 3G problem also is detrimental for me, as I switch between a Verizon and AT&T card (depending on signal strength) for my notebook.

T-Mobile Germany is hurting big time and unfortunately I think T-Mobile US is bleeding for the German bottom line. That's the only explanation I have for it, since T-Mobile Germany is at the forefront of technology, offering great handsets and great pricing options as well as having good infrastructure in place. T-Mobile Germany's biggest problem is perception, as the former governmentally controlled Deutsche Telekom was run by bureaucrats and poor service and expensive prices in the past are still keeping German customers away.

But all this shouldn't affect our service here.

Right now I'd say I'm at 60-40% for switching to AT&T after my contract expires, especially in light of the savings I could have by being bundled with my local, DSL and TV (Dish Network) service. I'd like to stay with T-Mobile, but not if it means I have to stay in the dark ages from a technology standpoint.

Stephen Skarlatos

Tariq and Chris C.: Actually there is no architectural issue with Windows Mobile and UMA (HotSpot@Home technology); HP sells a device in Europe, the iPAQ 510 . This device is manufactured by HTC the same people who supply T-Mobile with WM devices. T-Mobile has chosen not to sell it in the US. For me, this is just another nail in the coffin.

Atlatna Rene

I switched from T-Mobile to AT&T for 3G and the Tilt.

3G coverage in Atlanta is spotty in the suburbs and AT&T customer service is horrible. Ultimately, I spend the majority of my time on EDGE, paid more for my service and got worse customer service. However, to AT&T's credit the BlackBerry connect service on the Tilt works well as long as you do not run a chat program.

Overall, if you can use the Tilt on T-Mobile and you have a real time e-mail solution, then you are not missing much.

Larry Bank

First of all, you're rants about phone devices is irrelevant. I have been with T-Mobile since the VoiceStream days and I use any GSM phone I feel like (currently the HTC Vox). I use their $5 data plan for unlimited email and web browsing. I use their 1500 minute family plan for only $80 per month (2-lines). They don't drop calls and I have had excellent coverage everywhere I've been in the US. AT&T is rife with problems. A little patience and you will see T-Mobile roll out their 3G at a much better price than their competitors.


God. Thank You. You hit the nail on the head. Seriously, WTF is wrong with T-Mobile? I live in a small market and AT&T already has 3G available here. I've stayed with T-Mobile because I had a really poor customer service experience with AT&T a few years back, but with T-Mobile dragging its heels like this on 3G, I'm considering giving AT&T another shot.

However, there are a few biggies that T-Mobile seems to have up its sleeve. First, AT&T's flagship phone, the iPhone, doesn't support 3G, so right now only early adopters are hopping on AT&T's 3G bandwagon. If the iPhone were to get 3G, you'd start seeing increased public awareness of 3G, and with it you might see a mass defection from T-Mobile to AT&T. Secondly, T-Mobile finally seems to get the hint that it needs more business-class phones, or at least something really cool to restore its image and make it seem hip and relevant again. There are signs that the new Sony-Ericsson Xperia X1 is going to be coming to T-Mobile, which, if true, would be awesome. Finally, as someone mentioned before, T-Mobile still beats AT&T on price, customer service, and often reliability as well, making switching to AT&T a risky venture for those who have been disappointed with AT&T in the past.

Chris Carlin

These comments, taken with the original post, are sort of interesting.

Initially Stephen criticized TMobile for losing ground on differentiation of its service, but at the same time suggested that it should copy the other services by implementing the same technology. Everyone else here seems to be mostly in agreement that this 3G feature is critical.

Here's the thing, though: how many consumers actually care about 3G? I honestly don't know, so if there are statistics feel free to post them, but I doubt that the average consumer actually cares that much.

One thing to indicate this is the traffic statistics of the iPhone you Stephen posted earlier: 3G or not 3G hasn't proven to be the key feature.

So what it comes down to is this: if you don't like TMobile because it doesn't offer 3G then fine, it's not being marketed to you. It's differentiated itself by going in a different direction, and when I was recently shopping for cell service TMobile's price was significantly lower for my needs.

Don't write off a company because it doesn't happen to offer what you personally need.

Chris Beard

I spoke with a T-Mobile rep this evening and was reminded why I like T-Mobile. Their customer service has always been outstanding, in my opinion. Anyway, the rep was understanding about the 3G problem and said that the biggest hangup has been that the Dept. of Homeland Security has not stopped using those frequencies. He assured me that the infrastructure was in place and was originally planned to be activated last year, however Homeland Security still occupies these frequencies. Also, they are releasing new 3G phones coming up. The rep said their latest goal for test rollouts will be in May 08. We'll see, I guess.
I realize this is probably a canned response from T-Mobile, but it may offer an explanation for the delay. By the auction I believe T-Mobile will have the largest 3G network in the US, so perhaps the wait will be worth it. I won't be switching (if I do at all) before May/June anyway, so perhaps we'll know more by then.
I agree with Chris C. that T-Mobile's pricing is the best for my needs, for both voice and data plans. That, plus outstanding customer service is a large hurdle to overcome to convince me to switch. I'm not saying I won't switch, but right now I'm rooting for T-Mobile to get things done with a 3G network and better business-class devices.

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