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Old 09-10-2012, 09:12 PM   #1
mosco
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Default To switch to verizon or not stay with ATT

I have had ATT for about ~9 years. On wednesday I will be pre-ordering the iPhone 5 and I am trying to decide whether to stay or not. I am leaning toward staying.

Right now I pay 74 dollars after taxes/fees for 550 minutes, unlimited data, 200 SMS and a second line with a dumb phone. This includes a 23% discount for a company I no longer work for. I have been using an iPhone 4.

If I switched to verizon, my fiance would too and she would join my plan. The dumb phone plan is actually my parents (who are retired) and I would keep them on it.

For Verizon for 6 gigs of data, it would come to 190 dollars for for a share plan. That's a ton of money.

For ATT, if I switch to the family share plan for 6 gigs of shared data, it would come to about 150 dollars after discount which is more bearable.

My usage: less than 100 minutes, not many txts because most of what I do is iMessage. Data is around 1.5 gigs max but my fiancÚ uses more.

The last two weeks I have been using a International One X(no LTE) on ATT, which has given me a taste of ATT "4G" and it seems fast enough, but I haven't tried LTE for any long period of time.

I live 10 minutes outside of Boston, and work in Boston. According to the latest PC world Test, ATT still leads in the northeast in terms of speed, but Verizon has much better LTE coverage, including a stretch of CT that we take a lot to NY.

So far as I can see:

Verizon Pros
--------------
Better Coverage Nationwide
More LTE coverage
I have fios, so its one less bill

Verizon Cons
--------------
3G is really slow
Cost

ATT Pros
--------------
Cheaper
Faster non LTE
Faster LTE

ATT Cons
--------------
Slightly 'worse' coverage
Worse LTE coverage
They are ATT

Based on this, I am leaning toward staying with ATT, as much as I don't really like this as a company. Any thoughts?
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:05 PM   #2
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That's a tough call. I'm thinking of doing the same but I live in Colorado where Verizon seems to have better coverage. Verizon has let here but AT&T doesn't have let at all here.
I plan to do the 14 day trial thing before fully committing to Verizon. I believe they just pro rate the days and charge for your days used. I would suggest doing this just in case.
However from what I've read AT&T 4g let is faster than Verizon everywhere except 1 location, especially towards the east where you live.

Everything these days is about money and us getting screwed by everyone. I honestly would save the your money and stay with AT&T unless you currently have coverage issues. Coverage is the main reason why I want to switch plus either my iPhone 4 or AT&T is slow here to me. Maybe a combination of both.

Best of luck with your decision
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:53 AM   #3
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You sound like currently you have a great price. Why you'd want to walk away from that is beyond me.
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:51 AM   #4
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i wouldnt give up an unlimited data plan. i have a similar situation, i got my father an iphone that i pay for every month for convenience, but i just got him a separate plan, theres no reason to do shared plan.

i prefer verizon to att and with the new iphone coming out it would be a good time to switch, if you didnt have unlimited data.
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:10 PM   #5
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Just one thing to note, is that there's Verizon the company that has been gobbling up baby bells on the eastern seaboard, and then there's Verizon Wireless. They are two different companies, despite the name. Just like how FedEx Ground and FedEx Express are two different companies. So you won't necessarily be able to consolidate your bills.

As for the rest, wouldn't your parents and fiance be chipping in a little since they would all be on the same plan? That might actually make things cheaper. Also, if the AT&T coverage is fine for the areas you care about, who cares if VZW has better coverage overall? I'm in the SF Bay Area, so what do I care about Verizon coverage in say North Dakota? If I had a job that required me to be flying around the country all the time, then it might make a difference, but otherwise I basically care about the SF Bay Area and maybe the little narrow stretch of IA where I'm from and sometimes go to visit family. To some lesser extent the airports I might pass through along the way, but I'm usually killing time with my Kindle or maybe a DS/PSP. So, unless it's really important to have LTE service in that narrow area you travel into NY, seems like a non-issue.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:02 PM   #6
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Pretty sure if you get the iPhone subsidized thru ATT with another 2 year plan, you'd be forced off the unlimited data to one of their new plans. I know that's the case with Verizon.
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:13 AM   #7
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Pretty sure if you get the iPhone subsidized thru ATT with another 2 year plan, you'd be forced off the unlimited data to one of their new plans. I know that's the case with Verizon.
That's not the case with AT&T AFAIK.
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:15 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by cl-scott View Post
Just one thing to note, is that there's Verizon the company that has been gobbling up baby bells on the eastern seaboard, and then there's Verizon Wireless. They are two different companies, despite the name. Just like how FedEx Ground and FedEx Express are two different companies. So you won't necessarily be able to consolidate your bills.

As for the rest, wouldn't your parents and fiance be chipping in a little since they would all be on the same plan? That might actually make things cheaper. Also, if the AT&T coverage is fine for the areas you care about, who cares if VZW has better coverage overall? I'm in the SF Bay Area, so what do I care about Verizon coverage in say North Dakota? If I had a job that required me to be flying around the country all the time, then it might make a difference, but otherwise I basically care about the SF Bay Area and maybe the little narrow stretch of IA where I'm from and sometimes go to visit family. To some lesser extent the airports I might pass through along the way, but I'm usually killing time with my Kindle or maybe a DS/PSP. So, unless it's really important to have LTE service in that narrow area you travel into NY, seems like a non-issue.
He will be able to do so. I know because I did that same exact thing for 2 years and saved $10/month on my bills.
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Old 09-12-2012, 02:36 AM   #9
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Well, you've got the pro's and con's down correctly in line with what I've seen. Verizon certainly has more coverage (and I've driven through plenty of areas where Verizon simply 'owns' it), but the quality of Verizon's service doesn't seem as good as AT&T's.

I've been with AT&T for about 10 years. The one big reason why I stick with them is because it's GSM and SIM card. Picking up any phone that's GSM that I please and popping in the SIM card and it working is pretty...awesome. No registration, no fuss, everything instantly works. Going to Verizon means you're locked in and always going to get bloatware, unless you register the ESN on their site (and it's whitelisted by Verizon). Even then you're going to run into problems with certain features on that phone. Not to mention, GSM systems cover the majority of the rest of the world. Go overseas and your phone works.

Regarding your grandfathered unlimited data plan and losing it if you purchase a new subsidized phone, that absolutely depends on the representative that sets it up. Some will, some won't. Officially, AT&T is supposed to update your plan to accomodate a new phone contract. Simply find an agreeable rep and you're golden or pay for unlocked phones.

I'd just stick with AT&T. The whole horrible customer experience from them I've never had, and they've actually saved me $210 from an error that I inadvertently walked into and wasn't their fault at all. They also revoked and refunded $40 worth of scamming text services my number somehow got signed up for. I pay ~$58/month for 450 minutes, 200 texts, and unlimited data and it's more than enough for my needs, and cheaper than discounted, comparable plans from Verizon.
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:34 AM   #10
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Well, you've got the pro's and con's down correctly in line with what I've seen. Verizon certainly has more coverage (and I've driven through plenty of areas where Verizon simply 'owns' it), but the quality of Verizon's service doesn't seem as good as AT&T's.

I've been with AT&T for about 10 years. The one big reason why I stick with them is because it's GSM and SIM card. Picking up any phone that's GSM that I please and popping in the SIM card and it working is pretty...awesome. No registration, no fuss, everything instantly works. Going to Verizon means you're locked in and always going to get bloatware, unless you register the ESN on their site (and it's whitelisted by Verizon). Even then you're going to run into problems with certain features on that phone. Not to mention, GSM systems cover the majority of the rest of the world. Go overseas and your phone works.

Regarding your grandfathered unlimited data plan and losing it if you purchase a new subsidized phone, that absolutely depends on the representative that sets it up. Some will, some won't. Officially, AT&T is supposed to update your plan to accomodate a new phone contract. Simply find an agreeable rep and you're golden or pay for unlocked phones.

I'd just stick with AT&T. The whole horrible customer experience from them I've never had, and they've actually saved me $210 from an error that I inadvertently walked into and wasn't their fault at all. They also revoked and refunded $40 worth of scamming text services my number somehow got signed up for. I pay ~$58/month for 450 minutes, 200 texts, and unlimited data and it's more than enough for my needs, and cheaper than discounted, comparable plans from Verizon.
I just want to point out a technical error: Verizon has SIM cards in its 4G LTE devices, and because of the FCC Spectrum Auction rules, they can't ban devices they don't like. You are free to swap your SIM card between 4G LTE devices all you like (putting it in a 3G CDMA device will nuke the SIM though).

The problem however is because no one shares band frequencies, you are still limited to whatever devices Verizon sells to begin with, which is why GSM is always a better advantage since you can get some guaranteed level of 2G service and often 3G service as well (some Korean phones only work on EDGE here though).

Sprint has embedded microSIM cards in its LTE device, so they deserve to burn in a pit of fire.
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Old 09-12-2012, 02:25 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the comments.

I think it just kind of re-iterated what I was thinking.

In terms of unlimited data, I am probably going to want to get off of unlimited anyway, because my fiance and I both want mobile hotspot and we don't use that much data.

In terms of my parents, I don't charge them. They are retired and don't use their phone that much, but its the least I can do for them.

I also just found out that my new job might be giving me a 90 dollar credit for my bill since i do mobile development so I will think about it a little more, but it seems like even then I should stick with ATT.
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Old 09-12-2012, 02:28 PM   #12
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That's not the case with AT&T AFAIK.
But is the AT&T unlimited even unlimited anymore? I thought they started throttling people around 5GB for a while now?

Verizon's unlimited is still truly unlimited, at least on LTE (heard about 3G throttling).
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:50 PM   #13
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PagePlus cellular has a $55 plan with unlimited talk, text, and 2 gb of data. Uses the Verizon network. 3g only. But you can bring your own phone there. I've been on PagePlus with the family for a few years. I use a reseller at www.kittywireless.com that is great....
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:22 PM   #14
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But is the AT&T unlimited even unlimited anymore? I thought they started throttling people around 5GB for a while now?

Verizon's unlimited is still truly unlimited, at least on LTE (heard about 3G throttling).
Yes, it still "technically" is unlimited and yes, they start throttling after 5GB.
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:49 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post
I just want to point out a technical error: Verizon has SIM cards in its 4G LTE devices, and because of the FCC Spectrum Auction rules, they can't ban devices they don't like. You are free to swap your SIM card between 4G LTE devices all you like (putting it in a 3G CDMA device will nuke the SIM though).

The problem however is because no one shares band frequencies, you are still limited to whatever devices Verizon sells to begin with, which is why GSM is always a better advantage since you can get some guaranteed level of 2G service and often 3G service as well (some Korean phones only work on EDGE here though).

Sprint has embedded microSIM cards in its LTE device, so they deserve to burn in a pit of fire.
I'm glad you noted how Verizon's LTE operates because I didn't know that. Thanks.
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:57 AM   #16
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You sound like currently you have a great price. Why you'd want to walk away from that is beyond me.
This, especially for an iP5. Unless there was some headline feature (hint: there is no headline feature) you are sorely missing right now.
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:50 AM   #17
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But is the AT&T unlimited even unlimited anymore? I thought they started throttling people around 5GB for a while now?

Verizon's unlimited is still truly unlimited, at least on LTE (heard about 3G throttling).
Verizon's unlimited is really unlimited, you just have to pay full price for your phone if you ever want to upgrade. Granted, if you use more than 2GB of data per month, you still come out ahead, but just realize that your $350 subsidy (or $450 if it's an iPhone) is going towards keeping that unlimited plan now.As such, it would behoove a person in this situation to NEVER purchase a phone directly from a carrier, but instead wait a month or two and buy a brand new device on craigslist. Cheaper by $150 or so because you don't have to pay sales tax.
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:13 AM   #18
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Verizon's unlimited is really unlimited, you just have to pay full price for your phone if you ever want to upgrade. Granted, if you use more than 2GB of data per month, you still come out ahead, but just realize that your $350 subsidy (or $450 if it's an iPhone) is going towards keeping that unlimited plan now.As such, it would behoove a person in this situation to NEVER purchase a phone directly from a carrier, but instead wait a month or two and buy a brand new device on craigslist. Cheaper by $150 or so because you don't have to pay sales tax.
That's how I've operated for a while now. I sell my current phone, and upgrade to a newer device. I would use my contract upgrades to get the new iPhone and then immediately sell it for profit.

In some ways I'm glad Verizon has removed the upgrade path. This will keep me from being tempted to continuously renew my contract, and when I'm finally month to month I will feel free to jump ship if the need ever arises.

"Unlimited" on AT&T is pointless IMHO if they're throttling you. There's no reason to keep something that doesn't work as advertised.
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:13 AM   #19
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I just check the rates for iP5 plan, holy cow vz is expensive.. 100/month. im more or less in the same boat, should i pay 20bucks more for better coverage because at&t drops calls like crazy in nyc
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:16 AM   #20
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I just check the rates for iP5 plan, holy cow vz is expensive.. 100/month. im more or less in the same boat, should i pay 20bucks more for better coverage because at&t drops calls like crazy in nyc
I thought the minimum was ~$80? Or did they change the texting options forcing you to pay extra?

My phone bill (old unlimited) is $80 for 450 minutes, 250 texts, and unlimited data.
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:22 AM   #21
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This, especially for an iP5. Unless there was some headline feature (hint: there is no headline feature) you are sorely missing right now.
Well, considering right now I am using a International One X and I don't like it, I am sorely missing something right now.

I think I will probably stick with ATT, just because they do probably cover most of where I travel w/ LTE, and the 3G is alot faster than verizon around here. It probably wouldn't be wise to give up a 23% discount either.
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:10 AM   #22
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That's how I've operated for a while now. I sell my current phone, and upgrade to a newer device. I would use my contract upgrades to get the new iPhone and then immediately sell it for profit.

In some ways I'm glad Verizon has removed the upgrade path. This will keep me from being tempted to continuously renew my contract, and when I'm finally month to month I will feel free to jump ship if the need ever arises.

"Unlimited" on AT&T is pointless IMHO if they're throttling you. There's no reason to keep something that doesn't work as advertised.
The unlimited data plans on AT&T are still better than their current plans as they give you an extra 2GB of data on LTE for $5 less. No tethering though.
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:10 AM   #23
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I thought the minimum was ~$80? Or did they change the texting options forcing you to pay extra?

My phone bill (old unlimited) is $80 for 450 minutes, 250 texts, and unlimited data.
With their new share everything plan, 40 for basic monthly and 2gb @ 60, 1gb @ 50.

So around 2gb is what I use so it'll be 100/month on vz.

i'm hoping I can tether also

http://www.zdnet.com/verizon-no-free...rs-7000001987/

Verizon is no longer offering unlimited data plans. Instead, the network giant is now offering Share Everything plans that offer unlimited voice and text, but doesn't offer unlimited data options. These plans do include free tethering, however.
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:39 PM   #24
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I've mentioned this in other threads, but I'm switching from AT&T to Verizon. I've been with AT&T for about 7 years (when they were Cingular still). I have unlimited data, and even with 4G rates, I find that AT&T's decent data rates are being absolutely destroyed by being in a building. I mentioned how I compared my .2Mbps (on AT&T HSPA+) to a coworker's 15Mbps (on Verizon LTE) in a previous thread, and I was doing a few more tests today. With 5 bars while inside a building, I get .4Mbps on AT&T 3G. With 5 bars while in a vehicle, I get 1.9Mbps on AT&T 3G. Most of the time when I'm using my phone during the week, I'm inside a building. It's just not worth it even though I'll pay more.

Also, is tethering (Mobile Hotspot) actually free? I went and read a report on the FTC ruling, and it just mentioned tethering apps, which I assume would apply to Android (unless you jailbreak your iPhone).
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:46 PM   #25
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Also, is tethering (Mobile Hotspot) actually free? I went and read a report on the FTC ruling, and it just mentioned tethering apps, which I assume would apply to Android (unless you jailbreak your iPhone).
If you're going to be joining Verizon the new plans that you have to go with include mobile hotspot I believe.
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