Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Giving T-Mobile a Bigger Nod

After several weeks on the road, we have returned with an even greater respect for T-Mobile. Also, we realize how much farther AT&T has to go. Most of our trips are across the Southwest where some carriers still have significant coverage holes.

With more Alltel sites now displaying "Verizon Wireless", we begin to realize just how much Verizon has acquired. It also makes us a bit squeamish knowing that in all those places where T-Mobile phones just show "Roaming" is a GSM signal being supplied from a newly-converted Verizon cell site. At the same time, we notice that T-Mobile seems to preparing for these former Alltel GSM sites to go away. There are lots more new T-Mobile sites along our travels in AZ, NM and TX.

What we don't see are any new AT&T sites. We will assume all of AT&T cell site efforts`are going to converting Alltel sites, and there are still quite a few areas without them. So we adjusted our Reviews to show AT&T suffering from the lack of their own coverage in the West, and continued dependence on roaming partners. T-Mobile roams, too, but a comparison of each carrier's prepaid coverage shows a distinct advantage of T-Mobile's native plus roaming capabilities.

The Alltel sites that will be added to AT&T's inventory over the next year will improve that situation, but there may also be a loss of GSM roaming for both carriers as Verizon Wireless ends GSM coverage at the end of their Alltel GSM roaming agreements. But what if? What if Verizon decides to make GSM roaming available for the foreseeable future? There may also be peace between Middle Eastern countries, dogs & cats, and tastes great/less filling. There's always hope.

1 comment:

Ian said...

On the other side of the coin, West Central Wireless (which has owned Five Star Wireless for a few years now) is keeping CDMA on for the foreseeable future, mostly for roamers but also for the double-handful of CDMA customers whose phones are perfectly fine and aren't *that* old (Five Star moved from TDMA to CDMA in 2005 or so). WCW's network, which now covers 26 counties (thanks to the acquisition of Mid-Tex Cellular), is GSM, is the B-band cellular carrier in the area and is generally awesome as long as you aren't pushing data over it.

Oh, and they have a $20/mo unlimited "local" prepaid plan...calling from or to any area in the 26 counties for a flat rate. No phone subsidy, but they don't overprice their phones to force a two year contract either.