Monday, November 29, 2004

I switched to Cingular

To Cingular from Nextel.  Although I have been a supporter of Nextel for quite some time, they are simply too far behind where I want to be with my phone; the opportunity cost of not having a smartphone now outweighs the PTT Nextel functionality.

I lucked out in that I was able to pick up a Motorola MPX220 at Best Buy on Saturday for $349 less a $300 mail-in rebate; I also bought the Best Buy replacement policy for $39, which apparently was enough spending for them to give me a $25 Best Buy gift card.  What was especially nice about this deal was that I only had to sign a 1-year contract, rather than a 2-year deal (most smartphones require a 2-year deal to allow the carrier to subsidize the price of the phone).

They couldn't activate the date package for me at Best Buy, but I called today and activated the unlimited internet package and international roaming (another Nextel deficiency) with no problem at all, which is nice as I do travel outside the country sometimes.

I have yet to find a place where the Cingular signal is worse than my Nextel signal and in most places, especially in my office, the signal is stronger.

A few additional added bonuses to Cingular:

  • Being able to put my SIM card in any unlocked GSM phone.
  • Rollover minutes (I tend to use many more minutes in the summer than I do in the winter).
  • International service (yes, I know I already mentioned this).
  • Amazing customer service -- I have not waited any longer than 2 minutes to talk to a rep.
  • Free in-network calling to any Cingular/ATT subscriber -- I know a lot of people with Cingular/ATT phones.

The MPX220 sync'd very easily with Outlook.  I was not looking for push e-mail service, although Motorola is supposed to release a Blackberry client for the phone and, if my IS&T department allowed it, the phone syncs over the air with Active Sync that is built into the Exchange 2003 server.

All in all, I have to say that I am very satisfied.


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