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which is the best U.S. cell service provider for Sony w800i?

by laurafrofro / March 20, 2006 9:32 AM PST

Does anyone have this phone in the U.S. and get decent reception? If so, who is your carrier? I have Cingular and because of the triband issue I can only get coverage outdoors. Thinking of switching to another carrier but only if I have some assurance that the performance will be better. Thanks in advance for your advice!

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You don't have much choice
by tychocat / March 20, 2006 7:10 PM PST

There's two main GSM signal providers in the US, and the other one is T-Mobile. As you indicate, the problem is your phone's frequencies - it's 900, 1800, 1900 mHz., and the US uses 850 and 1900 mHz., so you have only half your necessary channels. The only place in the U.S. that I'm aware of that uses the 900 mHz. band your phone has, is Washington, D.C., because of all the foreign diplomats and their cell phones. Your profile indicates you live on the West Coast, so I might suppose that moving is not an option.

Cingular is currently the largest GSM network in the U.S., so I'd guess their GSM signal is as good as it gets. If you're sticking with GSM tech, your only real option is to switch to a phone with the 850/1900 mHz. frequencies.

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you and your problem

if cingular is off your list with this phone. your only other option is t-mobile. you cannot use the w800 on verizon or anything else. cingular or t-mobile

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is one better than the other?
by laurafrofro / March 21, 2006 1:00 AM PST
In reply to: you and your problem

I've heard that T-Mobile focuses on the 1900 band so reception on the W800i should be better than Cingular, which focuses on 850. Is that true?

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Um, not so sure about that.
by tychocat / March 21, 2006 11:36 PM PST

The need for two frequencies, as I understand it, is that the high-band (1900, in this case) is used mainly in metropolitan areas, which the low band (in this case, 850 mHz) is used in rural areas. The higher frequency provides more bandwidth and more calls can be put through, while the lower frequency is supported by cheaper equipment and rural areas don't have the call volumes that cities do. I believe both Cingular and T-Mobile use the same schemes to deploy their towers (usually the same towers) so I'd say as long you stay within a city, you'll be okay with whomever gives you the best deal (as you can probably see in this forum, there's no agreement on who that might be).

You may be right in your question regarding T-Mobile vs. Cingular, but the reason I can't entirely endorse that is because I am a former T-Mobile customer, who migrated to Cingular and am getting much better reception. (Note: I also changed phones from a 900/1800/1900 to an 850/1800/1900, which might also account for the better reception. Your own mileage may greatly vary.)

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I got the K750i (same as W800i)
by torotu / March 22, 2006 6:50 PM PST

Well to be honest, like what they all said, it doesn't matter what you choose. Your phone will only sport the 1900 band. It's all up to choosing the better plan. T-mobile so far has pretty nice features when it comes to really utilizing your W800i (which is a GPRS phone). Beacuse it's GPRS capable, I added unlimited picture messaging, which with the Sony phone is SOOOOOOO fast compared to the normal GSM phone. So you will be sending vibrant colored images with the awesome camera with FAST speed. I'm sure Cingular has an option too, but i don't think unlimited for a small price.

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