Posts Tagged ‘T-Mobile’

T-Mobile and Tethering

3 June 2012

In the past, I’ve tethered my laptop to my Blackberry with a fair amount of success. In particular, I stayed 14 weeks in an Embassy Suites in Dallas (Park Central) last year, and the hotel wifi was so bad, I asked for a room on the north side so I could poach from the Holiday Inn Express on that side. When that didn’t work, I would tether my computer to the phone, and I could get a megabit per second consistently (it was solid 3G).

I haven’t done that for a while, until yesterday. I couldn’t get good wifi where I was, so I tethered. This time, T-Mobile put up an intercept page, and offered to allow me to pay for the privilege.

This sucks. I am paying for a data plan, and it’s unlimited. Whether I am looking at it on my screen, putting it on a SIM and moving it to another machine, or moving it over a USB cable, it’s my data. It’s crappy of T-Mobile to start wanting to soak me for using a built-in capability of my laptop and Blackberry to share my data.

It’s another reason to drop T-Mobile as soon as I can.

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Next time, No Blackberry, *OR* T-Mobile

30 April 2012

This photo illustrates why my next phone will not be a Blackberry, and my next carrier will not be T-Mobile:

The phone on the left is my son’s Samsung Gravity, and the phone on the right is my Blackberry 9780.

That is my second Blackberry. The main problem that I have with the Blackberry is that the cell reception, in a word, is deficient. You could say that the reception sucks.

So the situation in the photo is that we were at a restaurant in Jones, OK. Ian’s phone had voice and data service, and my phone had squat.

Ian actually had access to three networks. My phone could see AT&T, but would not connect to it.

If I’m in downtown OKC, of course, I have no issue at all. But all over while traveling, the kids phones have service, while Raegan and I (we both have the same Blackberrys) don’t.

I’ve talked to T-Mobile about this repeatedly. In every email, every phone call, I describe the problem, and in just about every case, it triggers the script: “I understand you are having trouble making phone calls…”, and they want to tell me how to turn the damn thing on. I’ve posted to support forums, post to the Crackberry forums, and several others. There are no solutions. I’ve tried a new SIM, many settings, T-Mo has looked at the phone configuration, reprovisioned it, etc. It’s not just my phone, since Raegan has the same issues. I also had my phone replaced last summer.

In a lot of cases, one of the other phones would have service (say, 3G), while the Blackberry has one less level (in this case, EDGE).

Why is this? It could be that the basic Blackberry has a problem with its radio, but I don’t think that is the problem. I have been with other people who have Blackberrys, with other service providers, but they get service just fine. I think the problem is how the Blackberry is connected to the T-Mobile network. It won’t roam very often; like I said before, a lot of times I can see one or more other service providers, but the phone won’t connect to them (it says it does, but no voice or data).

We’ve been T-Mobile customers since 2005. We had been AT&T customers since we got our first cell phones back in 2002, and when AT&T merged with Cingular, the customers in two markets (OKC and Tulsa) were given to another company (Alltel?) under some term of the merger. That company didn’t do international texting (which Raegan does a lot of), and so we went with T-Mobile.

T-Mobile has really not been of any help in the four years I’ve had Blackberrys, especially in the past couple years, with the 9780. I like a lot of what the phone does. It’s got good battery life, runs a couple apps that I use regularly, and it’s been fairly reliable. But there are times that the phone connectivity that has driven me wild, like when our house was threatened by a wildfire last summer, and it was having trouble connecting from San Diego, of all places. It’s simply unacceptable.

I’ve had it.

A Cell Phone Mystery

24 July 2009

I have a pretty good understanding of how cell technology works. That being said, there are some things that mystify me.

I have a Blackberry 8220. My very cute and cell-toting roommate has a Blackberry Pearl. My son has a Nokia phone, the least expensive one we could buy. We are all on T-Mobile.

We are currently in Omaha. We were at a local eatery, and I only had emergency service. Raegan had 2 bars, and was on the AT&T network. Ian had four bars, and was on the T-Mobile network. WTH?

I put my phone right down next to Raegans, no change. I tried to manually switch networks, and it said Emergency Service only. A couple minutes later, the phone locked onto T-Mobile, but only for a minute, and then showed emergency service only.

Very strange. When we got back to the hotel, I looked up the coverage maps, and the T-Mobile “tower” was a US Air Force water tower that was about 100 yards from the restaurant. Even stranger. I would have guessed that the nearest tower would have been far away, instead we were in the shadow of it.

I’ve tried to bring this sort of thing up with T-Mobile, both over the phone and via email, and I have yet to have anything more than a clueless response.