January 30, 2002 3:32 PM   Subscribe

Nice or not. It looks like Verizon manages to get kudos on their service while getting relatively little exposure while they are trying to lock-in their customers. What do you think? Does it make sense to go to 3G with Verizon or should one go with competitive content providers who are willing to let you keep your phone numbers when we leave them? Which is more important?
posted by Adman (7 comments total)
Thanks for the link (I'm the author) but I don't thin there is really a parallel here. On the one end, Verizon will most probably offer low quality service and, unless enough people pay attention and get in touch with their congressman and with the FCC, Verizon will probably get its way and kill number portability. But it's not just Verizon that's guilty on the wireless number portability end. Most of the big providers are just about as guilty. For example, I use Sprint and am not thrilled with their service but am kind of sticking with them for now because I've had the same phone number for 4 years and it would be too much of a hassle to switch.
posted by TNLNYC at 6:54 PM on January 30, 2002

For me, the real obstacle to switching is not having to change your number, but--much worse--having to buy an entire new phone. Not only are there three incompatible wireless standards currently being used in the US, but even if you want to switch from one provider to another that uses the same system, you generally cannot get the phone reprogrammed--you have to buy a whole new phone.
posted by Rebis at 11:12 PM on January 30, 2002

Changing your number occasionally is good. It gets rid of the riff-raff. Only people you want to have your number will have it.

Wireless carriers are so eager to get you as a customer, phones are basically free now anyway. Maybe $50 if you want a nicer one. No big whoop. Here in Seattle you can get service from Verizon, Qwest, AT&T, Sprint, or VoiceStream, and all of them but Sprint are giving phones away. (Sprint doesn't, generally, their business model is different.) One of them (AT&T I think) recently ran a TV spot promising to give you up to four free phones.
posted by kindall at 12:18 AM on January 31, 2002

It would be nice to be able to change phone often and some carriers allow for that. As long as a carrier is GSM compliant, you can change phone to your heart's content since you only have to use a SIM card. A friend of mine routinely gets new GSM phones on Ebay. Unfortunately, GSM doesn't seem to have taken off in the US, with only a limited number of providers using that standard. Right of the top of my head, I can only think of 3: Voicestream, Cingular, and Bell South. Any other out there?

posted by TNLNYC at 5:55 AM on January 31, 2002

you are right; I've been with Sprint for the last few years, which is why I've been paying for phones. I haven't been all too satisfied with their service, so I might well change when the contract runs out.

Yes, the GSM model seems appealing. People I know who use Voicestream here in Seattle have been satisfied with the service, but I do not know how good coverage they have nationwide.
posted by Rebis at 12:30 PM on January 31, 2002

Rebis --

Coverage is exactly the problem these days with GSM. I'm actually considering moving to GSM but, according to the voicestream map, they don't offer coverage in areas like Virginia, which means that when I'm down in that area (my fiancee's sister lives there) I'd have no coverage. A shame but not necessarily something that would stop me from changing. The bigger thing is that I'm waiting to see how the wireless number porting thing shakes out. I'd love to keep my existing number and I'll know this year if that's possible. Either way, I'll be moving to VoiceStream before year's end as I'm getting increasingly annoyed by my existing provider (Sprint PCS).
posted by TNLNYC at 1:33 PM on January 31, 2002

Oh, forgot to mention Cingular, they're in Seattle too. Six wireless carriers available to us here. Seven -- forgot Nextel. Viva competition!

Although Voicestream doesn't offer coverage in Virginia, some other GSM provider might -- maybe Cingular? You can roam with GSM, right?
posted by kindall at 8:27 AM on February 1, 2002

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