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Old 10-08-2012, 09:18 AM   #1
Jamie Z OP
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iPhone 5: Verizon vs. AT&T

I currently own an iPhone 3GS. It's three generations old, and I've been thinking of getting the 5.

Currently an AT&T customer, and have been for the past six or seven years. No complaints about anything, really. I don't recall the last time I had to deal with customer service, if ever.

Previously I was uninterested in using Verizon because they are not on GSM, and I've done a lot of international travel. Now, however, the Verizon iPhone 5 is GSM compatible, and further, it's unlocked.

So... I've given thought to moving from AT&T to Verizon. Plan prices are within a few dollars of each other.

I'm drawn to the reported larger coverage area of Verizon. I do a lot of US travel, and frequently in moderately remote places. That said, a couple years ago I traveled with a Verizon customer for a couple of weeks and my overall impression was that we each had coverage about the same amount of time. Sometimes he'd have coverage where I didn't, and about as often, I seemed to have coverage where he didn't. Is Verizon's "biggest network" just a marketing ploy?

Is there anything I'm missing?

Jamie
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:32 AM   #2
Toysrme
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comparing the verizon network to AT&T's has always been a total joke. verizon really does have service pretty much anywhere where AT&T... doesn't come close.

Verizon's 4G LTE WILL NOT be the fastest 4g network 10 years from now, but it will ALWAYS be the most stable. why is this? That's because Vz-4g runs on the 700mhz frequency they bought. When talking radio propagation, the lower the frequency:
the higher the penetration
the higher the refraction behind objects
twice the frequency takes twice the power to cover the same distance

for example, most 1/2/2.5G phone output is in the 800-900mhz range. most 3G is at 1700-1900mhz. ever notice 3G coverage is worse? that's why! 4G coverage is very, very good. even on fringe areas the bandwidth is really good, it simply goes out intermittently.


the iPhone5 has without a shadow of a doubt, the worst 3G reception of any phone made, ever. period. the iphone 4 (gsm and then cdma) has the second worse 3G service ever.
I'm not kidding. the 4's are bad and blow the 5's out of the water on 3G. there is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON to buy an iphone 5 and not have it on verizon's 4g network. because anytime you're NOT on that great covered network, you've got the worst 3G phone ever developed.
(why you say? that's because apple has a single integrated chip in the iphone 5 to handle 4g 3g and 2/2.5g to save battery & space. most previous phones must have two chips to run them. the issue is that the iphone 5 is cramped for space & has lost 3g antenna space inside the phone in favor of 4g)
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:33 AM   #3
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I've been an AT&T customer forever, and spent 10 years building the AT&T mobility network here.

It's confusing as hell. Verizon says they have the largest 4G network (I see their commercials all the time). AT&T says they have the largest 4G network (says so right on their website). There's a lot of lying going on.

I just got a 5, and I'm happy on AT&T here in the Dallas area. On the LTE network here, it is blazing fast. I have a Blackberry on VZ (company requirement), and I have no complaints about service with that, either.

I just finished a week-long tour of the middle Rockies with a buddy of mine (TX, NM, CO, WY, UT, and a little piece of ID). His Droid is on VZ, and my (at that time) iPhone4 (3G only) was on AT&T. Every time I turned around, I was stuck on the Edge network, slow as hell, or with no service. He seemed to have 3G and 4G mostly everywhere. Only in a handful of spots was my service better than his, and his was better everywhere else.

3GS to a 5? You're going to LOVE it! Good luck with your choice!

W.A.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:37 AM   #4
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also if push comes to shove you can buy a "world mode" phone. like above where i pointed out apple waited for a single chip that could run multiple networks, world mode phones have two, sometimes three chips to run a huge amount of basebands!

i had one several years ago (HTC Imagio) it would run about every cellphone network on earth. at a hospital built into a mountain (very iron ore laden) no one ever had service, i always had it. including the concrete reinforced parking deck, in the elevator, three stories under ground and twenty feet out the door...

the price for that is battery life. their transmitter outputs run at the limit of what is FCC acceptable. if a world mode phone is running multiple networks and struggling you can run one flat in no time. thirty minutes and hour, 90 at most.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:47 AM   #5
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I run my GPS surveying equipment telemetry on Verizon for a reason. They are expensive (for pure data plans) and feature the worst customer service in the known universe. But their coverage is without equal. I have yet to find a place in DC, Maryland or Viriginia where our modems don't link up to their network. In five years of running four modems all over hell and creation we have never lost any time due to not having network coverage.

That said, I have found a few Verizon dead spots in the mountains while riding. In fact, I just found a couple while riding through BFE somewhere in the mountains of NC last weekend. But there aren't many. I hate dealing with Verizon customer service. But I love their network and how well their OTA programming works when my field crews smash a modem that has to be replaced and setup on the fly.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:50 AM   #6
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AT&T will never have as good of coverage. verizon bought a massive block of frequency from the FCC. AT&T bought a large amount of very little frequency. Verizon went in and gobbled up huge amounts of frequency. AT&T later found out (and is finding out) that a good portion of what they bought in unusable due to radio frequency interference. (which, btw takes FOREVER for the FCC to track down, give notices for fixing, threaten fines, etc) so there are quite a few areas AT&T went to the trouble of putting up 4G towers and a portion of the tower capacity is useless.
LoL!?
Sprint 4G will never compete with verizon on 4G, they mostly run it on 1600mhz. meaning on level ground a single verizon tower will have over twice the range before factoring in anything environmental (where that will increase). it's simply too costly to try to provide coverage.



basically... as long as a 4G LTE tower is cut on, it's got about 90% of the range a 1x tower does. if you can call someone and talk to them via voice, you're pretty much in range for 4G LTE.
even in backwoods alabama, as of last week verizon cut on 4G in gadsden alabama. this means you can start at weiss lake and drive past tuscaloosa with 4G coverage. on i-65 you have 4G coverage from montgomery northwards, it goes out for 20-30 miles, then from 20 miles south of birmingham all the way past huntsville with a dropout between cullman and huntsville.







Verizon data isn't expensive if you have the unlimited plan. by default they DO NOT grandfather in, but you can buy a phone for a different line & upgrade it on your line to keep the unlimited data. i did. i burn through 20gb/month on 3g. i'm over 6gb of data in the last few days. LoL! (12 hour shifts at work and we stream cable TV from the house)
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:03 PM   #7
Jamie Z OP
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Thanks for all the real-world advice. My one big hangup about Verizon (at least for the iPhone) is the lack of simultaneous data and voice. I don't use that feature very often, but I do use it. I understand iMessage is also a victim of this and won't come through if you're using the phone. Not a deal breaker, but something I considered.

What I do like, and I'm not sure I understand correctly, is that it seems that Verizon offers free Wifi hotspot. On AT&T, I have to pay $25 or $50 per month to turn my phone into a hotspot (or I could Jailbreak), but that's an included feature on Verizon. Is that correct? Of course, you can't use it while also using the phone.

I figure it'll be a month or so before I decide to get one. I'd like to get a Lifeproof case first, and it's not yet available for the 5. In addition, the Verizon store I visited to check out their service said that it'll be at least a couple weeks before they get more 5s in stock.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grreatdog View Post
I run my GPS surveying equipment telemetry on Verizon for a reason. They are expensive (for pure data plans) and feature the worst customer service in the known universe.

I hate dealing with Verizon customer service.
Interesting. From my research, Verizon is highly regarded for customer service.

JD Power ranks Verizon #1: http://www.jdpower.com/content/press...ance-study.htm

Consumer Reports survey ranks Verizon #1: http://news.consumerreports.org/elec...on-survey.html

In any case, I don't ever recall ever having to deal with AT&T customer service and I don't anticipate having to talk to Verizon, either. I know the woman who helped me at the Verizon store was friendly and helpful, if that means anything.

Jamie
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:16 PM   #8
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It's a phone company. They are both going to suck. Hard. Get whichever one has the better coverage for wherever you are.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Z View Post
Thanks for all the real-world advice. My one big hangup about Verizon (at least for the iPhone) is the lack of simultaneous data and voice. I don't use that feature very often, but I do use it. I understand iMessage is also a victim of this and won't come through if you're using the phone. Not a deal breaker, but something I considered.
Verizon's network (not 4g) has supported it for several years in most areas; as we discussed previously about having to have multiple chips for most late model phones to run 2/3g and then separate 4g. that requires a lot more effort on the handset maker. currently, none of them can afford to use the chips that allow this on cdma networks AND the suffer the impacts to battery life plus taking up that much more room in small packages.
it's not likely to surface for years on verizon. not until verizon eventually supports VoLTE (Voice over LTE).

that being said. the reason it's never really been an issue to push is wifi. smartphone/tablets/mobile devices didn't have lots of wifi until 2008. it was a big issue! once most devices came with wifi, you don't tend to notice it. i started smartphones on verizon with the LG Dare, summer 2008. like the first iphones it had no wifi and it was an issue! it's rarely an issue in my case since i replaced that with a phone with wifi. go home, wifi, go to work, wifi. most anywhere else, probably have 4g (which is faster anyway!)

If it's a deal breaker issue you can skirt it by using data. Skype for voice and as of the ios6/ip5 launch Verizon quit charging data for Facetime calls. Oh how my family blew that up!
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Z View Post
I'm drawn to the reported larger coverage area of Verizon. I do a lot of US travel, and frequently in moderately remote places. That said, a couple years ago I traveled with a Verizon customer for a couple of weeks and my overall impression was that we each had coverage about the same amount of time. Sometimes he'd have coverage where I didn't, and about as often, I seemed to have coverage where he didn't. Is Verizon's "biggest network" just a marketing ploy?
Longtime AT&T 3GS owner here, too.

The "Coverage" thing is B.S. some remote places AT&T works and VZ does not and vice versa. The trick is to be on the carrier that has the better coverage in the remote places you frequently visit. I used to carry a Sprint phone (same network as VZ) for personal use an AT&T phone for work, that was the only type of redundancy that would give me coverage in 90% of the places I went. FWIW I'm basing that off of phone coverage NOT data. I've never had good data reception in any truly rural area. In the Northeast in rural places I've always had good luck getting an AT&T signal same thing in FLA, while VZ and Sprint didn't work. Here in places like Summit and Grand Counties VZ works and AT&T doesn't.

For me I'm stuck with AT&T because I get a 20% discount on plans and 50% on all non-Apple brand hardware.

I was pretty excited for the 5 due to the big screen, better camera etc. But I'm pretty pissed off that charger interface has changed. WTF Apple? Now I need a new car charger, can't dock it, or share house charges/patch cables with my iPad.

After watching the drop test of the Galaxy S3 there's now way I can swap over to that flimsy piece of trash.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:26 PM   #11
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the connector has changed but dont worry. it's the same shit chinese connector that will pull out & strip just like all the previous ones

mine's already pulling... sigh
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:34 PM   #12
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levain screwed with this post 10-08-2012 at 08:53 PM
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:53 PM   #13
Jamie Z OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toysrme View Post
the connector has changed but dont worry. it's the same shit chinese connector that will pull out & strip just like all the previous ones

mine's already pulling... sigh
Dude. Have a cup of coffee. We get it. You don't like AT&T and you don't like iPhone 5.

Jamie
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:59 PM   #14
Toysrme
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are you slow or have you not picked up that it's an APPLE cord. AT&T doesn't make cords....
the iphone 5 has the some cord problem every other iphone, ipod & ipad has... expensive device, laughably crappy power/data cord.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:01 PM   #15
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Age 3 weeks. Apple, not a knockoff. My ip5 cord is showing the beginnings of the sane issue after 1 week...
Welcome to Apple.
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