Tethered to My Wireless Carrier

Treo 600All year long, I’ve been waiting for the FCC’s mandate on wireless portability to become law, so that I could switch from Sprint PCS without having to give up my number, and without having to send out one of those unseemly emails imploring friends and family to “Please note my new cell phone number.” This situation finally became reality on 24 Nov, but as I began to casually shop around for a new carrier I found that the coverage quality provided by the competition is generally even poorer than Sprint PCS.

A friend of mine who switched to T-Mobile earlier in the year describes it as “half as good as Sprint,” which sounds to me like doubling one’s frustrations in life. What I want is the quality of Verizon Wireless, which I had several years ago and which provided truly excellent coverage in New York City, but their handsets are completely lackluster, a problem they’ve had for as long as I can remember.

So, after all that waiting, I’m very nearly inclined to actually stick with Sprint PCS, the main reason being that they’ve begun offering the very sexy Handspring Treo 600. I know at least four people this month who have bought this phone, and two weeks ago I had a chance to look it over in person when a friend showed me his, and I was duly impressed by its size and build. What makes it so tempting is that Amazon.com is offering an almost ridiculous combination of rebates on it which would lower the US$599 price to somewhere around US$250. That’s cheaper even than a new PDA, which I’ve been trying to convince myself all week that I really, really need anyway.



  1. You soooooooooo need it.

    Then again, I’m that person who when going shopping with, is the devil on your shoulder telling you that you need ______(insert product here).

    Ultimately, I live vicariously through other’s purchasing. Especially with sexy new technology and toys.

  2. Have you thought of ATT? I think you can get a Treo 600 for them. They’re coverage was pretty great in NY and across the country (using TDMA mind you).

    But beware, I’ve had and have heard of lot’s of horror stories dealing with ATT (customer service, etc.).

    Also, don’t forget about being able to take a GSM phone around the world with you; something you can’t do with your sprint (or Verizon) CDMA phone…..

  3. I had AT&T for a brief month in 1998 — the service was so terrible I returned it within a week or so. It may have improved, but that’s the first I’ve heard of it. Many people I’ve talked to say it’s pretty much the poorest performing wireless carrier in the NY region.

  4. I write this from the airport via my Sprint PCS powered Treo 600. I’ve hopped between Sprint and AT&T for years. At this time Sprint’s PCS network is better than AT&T’S aging TDMA and new GSM network in the SF Bay area. The Sprint Treo 600 combination ROCKS!

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